Print Edition - 2019-04-23 | News
Human rights watchdog censures police bid to enter its Nepalgunj office
- National Human Rights Commission terms the action an attack on its independence and autonomy
Apr 23, 2019-
Some two weeks after the government decided to endorse an amendment bill to revise the existing act of the National Human Rights Commission, an act that undermines the institution’s authority, a squad of the Nepal Police tried to forcibly enter its regional office in Nepalgunj.The police were intending to nab a cadre of Netra Bikram Chand-led Nepal Communist Party, Dan Bahadur Fadera, who was released by Banke District Court. The commission’s regional office had given refuge to Fadera after he was released by the court on a general date, following suspicion that the police wanted to arrest him yet again.
He was charged of masterminding a bomb blast, but was later released due to a lack of evidence. The commission said the police team, led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Ramesh Bahadur Singh, threatened their guard and demanded they be let inside the premises to arrest Fadera. The police were barred from stepping into the commission’s premises, but the office is still being picketed to nab the NCP cadre.
This is just another instance of how the government has been staging one attack after the other on the National Human Rights Commission.
“This is a direct interference in the constitutional independence, autonomy and dignity of the commission,” reads the statement by the commission.
As a consequence of the action of the Nepal Police, the commission has directed the Inspector General of Nepal Police to investigate the incident and take necessary action against Singh. It also has directed the IGP to make sure such incidents are not repeated. Additionally, the body has also asked Chief Administrative Officer in Banke to handover Fadera to his family safely.
The national human rights watchdog also has written to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Home Ministry, the Nepal Police and the District Administration Office Banke seeking their response on the issue.
“The commission draws serious attention of the Nepal government and Nepal Police to ensure rule of law by respecting the decisions from judiciary,” the statement further said.
“This is saddening that the government is taking one after step after the other to blatantly attack the commission,” said Govind Sharma Poudyal, a member of the commission. “An attack on the commission is a direct attack on democracy.”
The commission has already asked the government to withdraw the amendment bill it is planning to table in Parliament that commences on April 29. The Bill to Amend the National Human Rights Commission Act-2012 makes it mandatory for the commission to recommend cases against human rights violators—individuals or institutions—to the attorney general.
Published: 23-04-2019 11:04