Curve of insecurity

The countdown to the constituent assembly (CA) elections is just fifty days. The political parties are still trying to find a way out of the impasse over the elections caused by the Maoists’ 22-point demand. And to give themselves more time for making an effort to break the deadlock, the seven political parties have got the Election Commission to delay the date for the submission of the closed list of candidates, as well as for the filing of nomination papers for the polls. Within days, it should be clear how things turn out – whether the elections go according to plan or the poll date gets postponed yet again. Apart from this, there is also the worry over the security situation across the country. One source of concern is big-time crime like the recent bomb blasts in the capital, and also the looting, arson, vandalism, killings, rapes and communal disharmony of the kind seen in Kapilvastu; the other is the rising level of day-to-day crime, such as mugging, murder, theft, and robbery, that appears to be showing a steadily rising curve.

While the residents of the capital are increasingly feeling resigned to their fate in such matters despite the capital’s much better security apparatus, the situation outside is anybody’s guess. Both kinds of crime are abominable and call for heavy crackdown. But the former variety needs elaborate planning, wider links and resources, and they are generally perpetrated with deeper design than meets the eye, and in Nepal’s present situation, with motives such as destabilisation and sabotage against the CA polls. The latter kind is very narrow in scope, planning, and execution, and the motives are often pecuniary, and, sometimes, personal revenge. The latter is also easier to control — only if the local security forces summon a greater resolve to tackle it effectively.

On Sunday, the police disclosed their findings

on the September 2 bomb explosions in

Kathmandu. They have four persons, including a police constable, in their custody, whereas nine other suspects, including the alleged mastermind, are still at large. The police say the accused identify themselves as members of the “Tarai Army”. The perpetrators of the Kapilvastu outrage are still scot-free. There, the police, the local administration and the home ministry demonstrated their incompetence,

to say the least; otherwise, the escalation could

have been contained. As the poll date comes

nearer, the government will be well advised to heighten security preparedness. Elections at one go will stretch the security agencies much, particularly in the present situation where even criminal groups have mushroomed under political garb. Besides, several groups with political or ethnic demands are likely to intensify their protests to affect the polls. On top of that, people of the erstwhile regime, uncomfortable as they are with the current course of politics, may be expected to make a last-ditch attempt to salvage the situation for themselves. All this calls for greater unity of the seven political parties to steer the country’s transition successfully.