Gautam trains gun on youth brigades, urges dissolution

Biratnagar, December 12:

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam today demanded the disbanding of both youth outfits — the Young Communist League (YCL) and Youth Force (YF) — since they were a major obstacle to maintaining law and order in the country.

Speaking at a press conference, organised by the Morang chapter of Press Chautari, Nepal, the minister said that both the YCL and YF had no place in the present political space for their scant regard to law and order.

“If they continue to flout the rule of law, the government will take action against them. No one has the authority to unleash a reign of terror. They won’t be excused simply because they are an offshoot of the ruling coalition,” he said.

Asked about the thorny issue of army integration, the minister stressed the need to give a complete shape to the special panel, which has been formed for the merger.

He warned that the statute-drafting process would be delayed if the integration weren’t completed on time. He felt that the main opposition Nepali Congress had to be included in the integration process.

As for the growing demand to merge the armed Tarai outfits into the army, he stated that it wasn’t a major issue under the present circumstances. “The government will take a decision on this at a later date. Let us first hold talks with the various factions,” he added. He reiterated to improve the law and order situation in the country in another three months.

Listing his ministry’s recent achievements, he said that smuggling activities had been greatly curbed in the border areas, resulting in a spurt in revenue collection. He took a dig at all those, who have been demanding for his resignation. “Let them hold the post and figure out the trials and tribulations of the Home Minister,” Gautam didn’t have a kind for his principal ally — the Maoists — in the government, either. “The Maoists are neither in a position to quit the ruling coalition nor can it run it smoothly,” he alleged. He called for a radical change in the mindset of the government employees to bring about socio-economic changes in the country.

“The government employees still suffer from the hangover of the Rana regime. That’s precisely why changes aren’t tangible to the common man despite a drastic change in the political set up in recent times,” he added.