Provinces get their Police Act together

  • States demand full authority to handle the force
- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Nov 20, 2018-

Internal affairs ministers of all seven provinces will meet next week in Butwal to pressure the federal government and devolve full authority to them to mobilise police forces.

In the absence of provincial police act, provincial governments are finding difficult to mobilise police as per their requirement though the central government recently issued “Executive Order to maintain peace and security and Provincial Police Administration-2018”.  

Provincial governments had urged the centre to draft federal laws governing security deployment and authorising provinces to handle their internal security affairs as mandated by the constitution.

The constitution says the provinces can plan security arrangements by drafting provincial police act, but the centre has been delaying the federal police act. The provinces have refused to accept the executive order saying it was too little, too late.

The meeting plan comes following Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa’s reluctance to hold meetings with provincial Internal Affairs Ministers to discuss their issues on security arrangements.

Province 5 Internal Affairs Minister Kul Prasad KC acknowledged they have been working to manage an ‘interaction’ in Butwal, but a date has not been finalised yet.

Internal Affairs Ministers had urged the Home Minister before Dashain to call a meeting.

Gandaki Province Internal Affairs Minister Hari Chuman said, “We wanted the Home Minister to convene this meeting, but he did not show any interest. We need to seriously discuss security issues.”

Citing delay in drafting federal laws, including Federal Police Act that is necessary for the provinces to establish provincial police, the centre had issued an executive order allowing them manage security arrangements until the laws are promulgated.

However, the move failed to appease the provincial governments as it gave them authority to deploy police personnel only up to the sub-inspector rank. The provincial governments had asked Kathmandu to let them mobilise Chief District Officers (CDO) and at least senior superintendent of police.

Province 3 Internal Affairs Minister Shalikram Jammarkattel said, “Provincial governments have been offended by the centre’s move. Hence, we urged minister Kul Prasad KC to call for a meeting in Butwal next week.”

After their appointment, all the internal affairs ministers except Province 2 had discussed issues with Home Minister. Later, they all met in Hetauda and agreed to exert pressure on the centre to devolve authority to them to mobilise security forces. They have expressed their concerns over the existing provision of central government deploying CDOs and informed the centre to allow CDOs function under provincial governments.

Defying the executive order, Gandaki province has drafted its provincial police act. Other provinces are doing the same.

On October second week, the provincial assembly of Province 2 endorsed the provincial police act through majority vote.

 

Published: 20-11-2018 07:34

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