Nepal | December 02, 2020

Special security strategy for festivals

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The Metropolitan Police Office, Ranipokhari, has enforced a special security strategy in Kathmandu valley, bearing in mind potential criminal and unlawful activities during the festive season.

According to MPO, the new security arrangements were put in place to make security of the valley reliable and sturdy throughout the period of Dashain, Tihar and Chhath. “Security personnel will perform their duties in such a way that people will feel a sense of security, while bringing to book the guilty in case of any untoward incidents reported in the responsibility areas of MPO,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Sushil Kumar Yadav, MPO spokesperson. As many as 7,570 personnel, including traffic cops, have been mobilised to implement the festival security plan. A total of 54 joint teams of civil and traffic police have fanned out to prevent and reduce road accidents. Dog sniffing; foot, cycle, motorcycle and vehicle patrol; seal and search, cordon and search; picketing, ambushing and surveillance; armed quick response team; cross-checking and scientific deployment of control room vehicles will be carried out as part of crackdown on criminal activities, said the MPO.

SSP Yadav said an extensive security plan had been chalked out to keep ‘hawkeyed vigil’ on suspects to prevent any untoward incidents during the festive season. All police employees have been directed to not stay on leave, except for bereavement and maternity till further notice to make the security strategy effective. The cops, both in uniform and civvies, will be on duty with special focus on crowded areas, marketplaces, departmental stores, bus parks, solitary areas, banks and financial institutions to check crime and unethical trade practices, according to MPO. Special units will also be mobilised to ensure physical security of government offices when they remain closed during the festival.

MPO, in association with all three district administration offices of the valley, Department of Food Technology and Quality Control, Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection, and consumer rights activists have also stepped up market monitoring to prevent black-marketing, hoarding and profiteering.

Police officials have warned unregistered organisations and clubs against running illegal lottery schemes without obtaining prior approval of the concerned district administration office, in the name of festival. DAOs in Kathmandu valley have imposed a ban on raffle and lottery schemes.

More than 500 places in the valley are under surveillance of CCTV cameras. Police will also keep vigil on residential areas to prevent potential burglaries in unattended houses during the festive season when a section of migrant workers, students and civil servants residing in the valley leave for their home-towns to celebrate Dashain.

Metropolitan Traffic Police Division has put in place a separate security arrangement to prevent road accidents during Dashain, Tihar and Chhath when people are in rush. Senior Superintendent of Police Bhim Prasad Dhakal, MTPD in-charge, said traffic cops, both in uniform and civvies, equipped with breathalysers, were deployed in all transits to Kathmandu valley, including Thankot, Nagdhunga, Pharping, Jagati and Balaju, to arrest anyone driving under the influence. Traffic police have been conducting regular and surprise alcohol metre tests on drivers, mostly on long-route buses. Existing law has adopted zero tolerance against drunk-driving.

MTPD has warned against possible incidents of double-ticketing, blackmailing, overcharging and selling tickets in black.

A version of this article appears in print on October 23, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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