APF told to deploy more personnel in Tarai

Kathmandu, April 13

Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa today asked the Armed Police Force to deploy non-essential staff posted in hilly and mountainous area to districts in Tarai region to monitor the East-West border areas.

The order comes in a bid to control the spread of COV- ID-19 inside the country as people travelling from India might bring the virus inside the country. The ministry also said more Nepal Police personnel from such areas can be transferred to the border area in the coming days.

Minister Thapa, had conveyed this to APF Chief Shailendra Khanal through Home Secretary Maheshwor Neupane today, after three Indian citizens who travelled to country tested positive for COVID-19.

Deputy Inspector General Prabin Kumar Shrestha, also spokesperson for the APF, said they were ready to act as per the minister’s directive.

Currently there are approximately 7,500 APF personnel guarding the border area from east to the west. The APF has already sent additional 4,080 personnel to the check posts after the nationwide lockdownbecame effective. There are a total of 120 Border Observation Posts which are the major routes for transporting goods. People also travel to each other’s countries through the open border. There are additional 1,176 temporary check posts, some of which were established after the lockdown.

“We can send a few thousand more personnel if they are needed to control the porous area,” said DIG Shrestha.

The APF currently has 34,000 personnel that can be deployed on the field according to Shrestha.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 14, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.