Laws sought to curb misuse of small arms

Kathmandu, May 29:

Terming small arms “the cause of violation of human rights and the rule of law”, leaders, members of parliaments and a conflict management expert today stressed the need to make laws to manage small arms.

Pointing at the occurrence of a number of crimes even after the declaration of the ceasefire by the government and the Maoists, central leader of the CPN (UML), Shankar Pokhrel, called on the government to show readiness to curb the misuse of small arms.” “Criminal groups can use small arms to take revenge or commit other crimes,” Pokhrel said at a programme on the “Role of Parliamentarians in Promulgating Legislation to Control Small Arms”, organised by the IRHICON today.

Pokhrel also called the government and the international rights bodies to manage the arms belonging to the state and the Maoists. “We cannot rule out the misuse of small arms by both the sides. The state’s security agencies have been found to have used small arms in the past to suppress people. That is why, the international rights bodies should take the issue of management of small arms seriously.” Janamorcha leader and MP Leelamani Pokhrel said, “ Since the arms were used for political cause only after all other options were closed, it would be irrational to call for the surrender of arms without any conclusion. “The use of arms should be controlled. Arms use can be minimised,” Pokhrel added.

MP Prakash Jwala said, “Though the promulgation of law is not the only way of controlling small arms, there is a need to build consensus among the people against the use of small arms. “The state and international rights agencies should be ready to manage the arms by adopting suitable policies,” he added.

Even after the success of the movement, vested interest groups can get involved in criminal activities with the help of small arms, conflict management expert Dr Bishnu Uprety said, “The government and the political parties should be ready to control arms misuse.”