Print Edition - 2018-04-14  |  On Saturday

The new chief in town!

  • Sarbendra Khanal has managed to win the race to be our 26th IGP and has 21 months to go before he retires. We hope he will do more than what our previous IGPs have done for the police forceThere is no such thing as free rides in Nepali politics and burea
- Guffadi

Apr 14, 2018-

Nepal Police has a new IGP.  It’s always big news when the time comes for Nepal Police to get a new person to head the institution. Armed Police Force and Nepal Army don’t get much publicity when it comes to having new chiefs and maybe it’s because our men and women in blue are the ones who deal with the public every day while the other security forces come out during emergency and andolans only.  But it is funny that these two security forces are better equipped and get all they want from our government while Nepal Police does not get the same love from our folks in power.

Earlier, we used to hear about senior police officers offering Karods to be the chiefs of their institutions. We don’t hear about the price tag anymore but somebody must be making something or must have promised something to someone to get to the top. There is no such thing as free rides in Nepali politics and bureaucracy. Everything has a price. But it seems that our politicians are not getting a free ride when it comes to getting their choice to head the police force in the past few years. Our Home Ministers in the past decade all failed to get their choice to head the police force because then Prime Monsters had the other person in mind or had no choice but to pick the third person due to too much controversy with the leading two.

Let us all blame Deuba for the IGP natak last year.  Silwal is now our MP. Chand has retired and Prakash Aryal has now left the building after a year in office. I think it is time we had a special term for the IGP. Let whoever gets to the top to at least serve four years and reform the police force instead of just serving for a year and not doing much. It’s not that they don’t want to bring changes but the Home Minister and the Home Secretary have other priorities.

This is what happens when our incompetent government fails to amend the Police Act and sends our cops home after thirty years of service. A whole bunch of the most senior officers have retired and don’t be surprised to hear someday that an SSP has been promoted directly to IGP. Every year, Nepal Police loses competent professional hardworking senior police officers due to the thirty year service rule. Most of them are not even 55 when they retire. 

The last time anyone had the guts to change the service tenure was then Home Minister Deuba who did so to make Motilal Bohara our IGP for four years. The man was probably the last IGP to serve a full term in office. And then the service tenure was reduced to 30 after Bohara left office. 

Since then, we continue to have massive political interference and being an IGP needs both heavenly and political intervention. Even our former IGP Prakash Aryal would have never thought that he would lead the police force one day. Even today, things would have been different if SSP Rajendra Shrestha was healthy. 

We hear that our Madame President wanted Pushkar Karki Dai to be our chief. Some other thulo manchey wanted Ramesh Kharel to head the police force but at the end of the day, Sarbendra Khanal has managed to win the race to be our 26th IGP. All three in the race were competent folks and let us wish all of them the best for the coming days. 

It’s sad to hear about Ramesh Kharel resigning from the police force. The man dreamt of leading the men and women in blue someday but sometimes, you need a little bit of luck and a whole lot of political connections to be the hakim saheb. And when you are a government employee, you should not whine about our corrupt politicians. 

Yes, Kharel had once said that senior police officers run around politicians with suitcases full of cash for promotions and lucrative transfers. 

Let us not only blame our police wallahs. Other sarkari hakim sahebs do the same thing and even low-level government employees have to pay lakhs be posted at money-making departments across the country. Yes, this whole country is up for sale and those who can demand bribes from service seekers are the ones who are able to afford to pay our netas.

We hope that Sarbendra Khanal who has 21 months to go before he retires will do more than what our previous IGPs have done for the police force. Don’t be surprised if IGP Khanal manages to get the government to amend the Police Act and once again extend the service tenure to 32 years. Then, he would serve for another two years and could bring a whole lot changes to the institution. 

IGP Khanal should first instruct all his men and women in blue to learn to speak like civilised human beings instead of rowdy mundreys. Yes, our police wallahs have tried the service with a smile natak before. Our cops should understand that they have sworn to protect the public not to harass them and treat them like dirt. They should get their priority right and help the public instead of only serving our politicians. 

The public should feel safe around our cops instead of being scared. Yes, our police wallahs have the ‘real’ power. You can protest against our netas. You can go to the CDO’s office and bang on his desk but try to act tough with a police constable and you will get a bamboo stick on your head as his or her answer to your logical question. 

Yes, we need tough policing but it’s about time our police wallahs do more to win the hearts and minds of the public so that we can once again trust our cops. Let us wish IGP Khanal the best and hope he will do more for his fellow cops when it comes to getting adequate resources and facilities so that they can do their work better and be respected by all rather than only being feared. 

Guffadi is a grumpy old man who blogs at guffadi.blogspot.com. You may contact him at maguffadi@gmail.com

 

Published: 14-04-2018 07:28

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