Serfdom survives, thrives in Nepal Police:3,000 lower-rank employees made to work as domestic help

Kathmandu, March 13:

Though the Home Ministry issued a code of conduct restricting the use of lower rank police staffers as domestic help, the ministry is yet to take concrete initiatives to implement the code.

It is said that as many as 3,000 policemen ranging from constables to peons have been working as domestic help in the houses of former home ministers, former administrators, former IGPs, officials of constitutional bodies and senior police officials. Ironically, some of them retire working as domestic help.

About two dozen policemen are learnt to have been working as domestic workers for former home ministers Purna Bahadur Khadka, Khum Bahadur Khadka, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Kamal Thapa, Govindaraj Joshi, Ram Chandra Poudel and KP Sharma Oli, a source said.

Policemen are also working as domestic workers for former IGPs Khadgajit Baral, Durlav Kumar Thapa, DB Lama, Hem Bahadur Singh, Motilal Bohara, Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan, Achyut Krishna Kharel, Pradip SJB Rana, Shyam Bhakta Thapa, Om Bikram Rana and Hem Bahadur Gurung.

Chief Election Commissioner Bhojraj Pokhrel and acting chief at CIAA Lalit Bahadur Limbu have also been using policemen to take care of their household chores.

A dozen of policemen from head constables to peons are working as domestic workers in the house of former IGP Kharel, the source said. Lower level police staffers are also working as domestic workers in the houses of SSPs Keshav Bahadur Shahi, Narayan Prasad Bastakoti and Yadav Adhikari, SPs Sarbendra Khanal, Ganesh Bahadur KC and DSP Narendra Prasad Upreti, the source added.

“It has been found that policemen are being used as domestic workers,” Yubraj Sangraula, coordinator of a taskforce formed to suggest ways to modernise and restructure the police organisation, said, adding, “This is an unfair practice and it must end.”

However, DIGP Binod Singh, spokesperson for Nepal Police, said nobody in the police department has been assigned the work of a domestic worker. However, if the code of conduct has been violated, action will be taken against the offenders,” he said.

A police peon working in the house of a former IGP complained, “We not only have to work in the houses of IGPs but often asked to work in the houses of their relatives.” He said he has been working as domestic help for the past seven years. “I work in the kitchen. I also wash clothes,” another police staff, who works as a domestic help for a former home minister, said. “Some of lower level police staffers retire from their service working as domestic help. They come to the headquarters to collect pension after they retire,” a senior police officer said.

Former AIGP Keshav Baral stressed that the IGP should investigate into such cases and take necessary action. Ironically, Baral himself has employed a few police staffers as domestic help in his own house.