Govt recalls Saptari CDO, security chiefs

  • Decides to deploy additional 300 security personnel in the district
- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu
According to security personnel, they resorted to firing after supporters of the Madhes-based parties attempted to disrupt the CPN-UML’s a get-out-of-the-vote rally at Maleth of Saptari district

Mar 8, 2017-The government recalled chief district officer and top cops from Saptari on Tuesday, a day after three persons were fatally shot during clashes between protesters and police in Maleth of the district. 

CDO Udhav Prasad Timilsina, SP Debesh Lohani, DSP Dan Bahadur Karki and SP Jaya Bahadur Khadka of the APF have been recalled, said Home Ministry Spokesperson Balkrishna Panthi. 

CDO Timilsina was posted in Saptari only a week ago.

The government has decided to send Krishna Bahadur Katuwal as the new CDO and SP Anurag Dwibedi of Nepal Police and SP Ramadhar Yadav of the APF to Saptari. 

Clashes between police and protesters on Monday come as a grim reminder of protests in 2015 along the plains when over 50 persons, including seven police officials, were killed. 

According to police personnel deployed in and around the Gajendra Narayan Industrial Area in Maleth of Saptari where the CPN-UML had organised a mass meeting, police had to resort to firing after supporters of the Madhes-based parties tried to storm the venue.

In several meetings held at the Ministry of Home Affairs, according to sources, officials agreed that security personnel had used excessive force against the directives of the ministry. However, officials the Post talked to refused to make any comment on the ministry briefings and discussions that were held about Saptari incident. 

Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi on Tuesday morning summoned chiefs of Nepal Police and APF and directed them to exercise restraint on the ground. 

Another meeting held at the Nepal Police Headquarters in the presence of chiefs of Nepal Police, APF and National Investigation Department also decided to ask its district units to maintain restraint and avoid opening fire. 

The meeting also decided to deploy additional 300 APF and Nepal Police personnel in Saptari. 

Police officials have claimed that there was no option than to open fire. Multiple officials who did not want to be named said over 8,000 protesters tried to enter the UML’s programme venue. 

“We did our best to disperse the crowd. We resorted to firing after things went out of control,” they said.

However, questions are being asked why protesters were shot above waist—on head or face. Many have also argued that security agencies have failed to learn a lesson from past experiences and that there have been no or minimal training for personnel about handling of such situations.

Published: 08-03-2017 07:54

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