Bhairahawa, April 15
Although the conflict era is long over and peace has been firmly established, people still have the tendency to hide weapons on the pretext of self-defence.
Reluctance on the part of locals to submit weapons despite the local administration and the home ministry’s directive to hand over arms has brought to the fore the practice of hiding weapons.
After the government struck a deal with CK Raut and banned the Netra Bikram Chand-led party, it had issued a notice asking people to submit weapons around a month ago to the DAOs.
The home ministry had directed the district administration offices of Rupandehi, Banke and Dang, among others, to collect weapons submitted by locals in Province 5.
Rupandehi and Kapilvastu DAOs had served a deadline of April 18 to submit weapons to nearby police posts or district police offices or any other security post. Sources, however, said very few people had submitted weapons so far.
One person each has submitted weapon in Rupandehi and Kapilvastu so far. Kapilvastu CDO Arjun Prasad Pokhrel had said the DAO would not punish anyone for submitting any sort of weapon in any state within the deadline. “If weapons are hidden after the submission deadline expires, we shall take another step,” CDO Pokhrel said.
Residents have kept around 600 licensed weapons for self defence in Kapilvastu.
Rupandehi CDO Uday Bahadur Thapa Magar said that his office had issued a circular to all security units and offices in the district to collect weapons. “We shall wait till the deadline. If we are not satisfied, we shall take appropriate action,” he added.
According to Rupandehi DAO, as many as 129 people had their licence for weapons renewed this year. Rupandehi SP Hridaya Thapa said that they were doing everything possible to collect weapons.
A version of this article appears in print on April 16, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.