UML CC members tag Rawal a failure

KATHMANDU: Home Minister Bhim Rawal who is also a central committee member of the ruling CPN-UML answered to queries raised by the party central committee (CC) members in today's meeting of the party.

Most of the CC members criticised Home Minister's failure to maintain law and order in the country and the ministry had also failed to book the culprits involved in the murders of media entrepreneurs Arun Sinhaniya in Janakpur and Jamim Shah in the capital.

Pradip Gyawali, a politburo member, said the Home Minister explained the context under which the present government was formed.

Rawal is believed to have informed the central committee meeting that he could not perform his duty as per the expectation of the people and the party due to the prevailing political circumstances. "The law and order situation in the country should be looked into the context under which the coalition government was formed," Gyawali quoted the Home Minister as saying.

Except for the two tragic incidents in which Singhaniya and Shah were shot dead and Nagender Pampati, MD of Bharatpur Medical College, was shot at recently, overall security situation of the country had fairly improved compared to the last year, the Home Minister is said to have told the central committee meeting.

Rawal cited open borders between Nepal and India, mushrooming armed groups within the country and the Unified CPN-Maoist, which is still holding arms and has been opposing the coalition government from the day one, as main reasons behind the security lapses. He also defended the ministry's Special Security Plan and claimed that it had resulted in positive impact in the society.

Central committee members Yogesh Bhattarai, Ramchandra Jha and Lalbabu Pandit had demanded Rawal's resignation, however. They are learnt to have alleged the Home Minister that he had demanded kickbacks from senior police personnel for their transfers in lucrative areas and higher posts. The entire police administration had been heavily politicised due to unnecessary interference in the functioning of the organisation, a central committee member informed. Earlier, the central committee members had demanded that Rawal furnish replies on the law and order situation of the country at the party's CC meeting.

Minister incompetent, alleges State Minister for Home Affairs

KATHMANDU: State Minister for Home Affairs Mohammad Rizwan Ansari today came down heavily on Home Minister Bhim Bahadur Rawal for the alleged incompetence of the latter in combating increasing criminal activities in the country.

Speaking at an interaction in the capital, Ansari said Rawal should be held responsible for the heightening insecurity in the country, adding, he should step down on moral grounds. “I am his junior and have limited power to work ," he said, adding, "It would be unjust if I quit as a state minister for I am not responsible for what is happening."

Ansari alleged that minister Rawal acted unilaterally while posting and transferring senior police officials and CDOs recently. He argued that police force was losing its morale due to that.

"You can imagine my helplessness as a state minister, when I know such decisions of the Home Minister through media. I took up this issue in a meeting with the Prime Minister and CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal as well," Ansari told mediapersons. "I have found them positive but I will quit if I am not empowered with 15 days," he added.

He claimed that if he is offered the post of Home Minister, he will maintain law and order in three months. He also alleged that appraisal of police personnel under the special security plan was biased. "It has encouraged criminals to crane its head at the law enforcement officials and the public," he reasoned.