HM Gautam lashes out at NP for ‘not-up-to-the-mark performance’

KATHMANDU: Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bamdev Gautam on Friday expressed dissatisfaction at ‘not-up-to-the-mark performance’ of Nepal Police in giving people a real sense of security and directed the law enforcement agency to augment the capacity.

Speaking in a programme organised at Singha Durbar to honour a team of Central Investigation Bureau, which resolved the 2002 Ranibari murder case, Gautam criticised the ‘discriminatory attitudes’ of police officials to serve their personal interest, when it comes to treating the crime suspects. “Recently, it came into my notice that police detained some suspects, including women, in the Kathmandu Valley. The on-duty police personnel let the men loose on the way to their station and kept the women in the custody. I don’t know why this happened,” Gautam said. He also said that he was shocked by the way some police officials have been behaving with him in a ‘disrespectful manner’. “Not a long ago, a police official openly said ‘home minister is not worth saluting in respect’. How can Nepal Police maintain law and order and chain of command in the force?,” he said.

“I doubt that the cops will behave with respect if I went to their units on my own. Police officials have not followed the chain of command. The force cannot function properly until the cops improve themselves,” he added. It may be recalled that SSP Ramesh Kharel, then in-charge of the Metropolitan Police Range, Hanumandhoka, had denied visiting Home Minister Gautam and paying a salute to him in April last year. Gautam had publicly vented his ire at SSP Kharel ‘for not showing respect’ to him.

Prior to airing his dissatisfaction with police officials, Gautam honoured four CIB officials with letters of appreciation and cash prizes to recognise their acumen in crime investigation that cracked resolved the 12-year-old Ranibari murder case. Those honoured were CIB Director, DIG Hemant Malla Thakuri, DSP Bhim Bahadur Dahal, and Inspectors Mahesh Basnet and Dipendra Adhikari. They were awarded with Rs 30,000, Rs 25,000 and Rs 22,000 each.

The June 14 Cabinet meeting had made a decision to honour them for their praiseworthy crime investigation. Police had failed to identify the culprits of ‘one of the most complicated and mysterious murder incidents’ despite formation of 12 separate probe panels over the period of as many years before the CIB led by DIG Malla took up the case.

Engineer Hemanta Shrestha and his wife Anjali were hacked to death with a khukuri in the horrendous murder of July 15, 2002 in Ranibari of the capital. The CIB team had finally cracked the mystery surrounding murder with the arrest of two accused, Manraj Gurung, 30, of Khare-6, Dolakha and Pramesh Chauhan, 32, of Fulasi-3, Ramechhap from Samakhusi and Jorpati respectively on March 12.