Security personnel miss out on the fun

KATHMANDU: The Holi— festival of colours—turned out to be a non-event for police personnel, who had been ordered to fan out across the city centres, to maintain law and order.

Except the feeling of nostalgia for their own childhood days when they had the opportunity to play Holi, the police personnel had nothing to enjoy. No colours, no water jets, no merry-making, the day passed off just like that, looking at others’ smiling faces, they said.

“Who’ll take care of security if we are obliged to mix up with you for celebrating the Holi?” Shiva Thapa, a constable, retorted.

DIG Bigyan Raj Sharma, spokesperson, Nepal Police, said security personnel manning the streets were ‘institutionally barred’ from coming in contact with the colours. Traffic cops on duty also missed out on all the fun. Though most vehicles stayed off the roads on Sunday, they were ordered to tighten the noose on motorcyclists and youngsters who were likely to hit the road recklessly under the influence of alcohol.

The police had been empowered to take tough action against any individual or group inciting hooliganism in public places during the festival.

The government has made an elaborate security arrangement to avert any untoward incidents. Cops belonging to Armed Police Force and soldiers of Nepali Army were also fielded.

Despite elaborate security arrangement and plea from the authorities to play safe, the festival had its nastier side too as hooligans prevailed over pedestrians, especially the young women, forcefully smearing them with colours and hitting them with water-filled balloons from high-rise buildings. Some were misbehaved too.