It’s a step

Despite all the uncertainties that were seemingly in the air even when the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and

Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy had arrived in Nepal, an action plan has finally been signed by the government, UCPN (M) and the United Nations for the discharge of the Maoist combatants verified as minors living in the designated cantonments

for the past three years. This paves the way for the resolution of the around 3000 individuals to be assimilated in the society with the assistance of the

government and the UN, while the funding for the purpose is to come from the UN Peace Fund for Nepal (UNPFN), supported by the governments of Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Canada and the UN Peace Building Fund. This can be termed as a strategic breakthrough that

had proved so elusive for such a long duration of time, and one of the key ingredients of the peace process. The date for the start of the discharge of the disqualified erstwhile combatants is December 27 and is to completed within 40 days. The timeframe will add to the credibility of the discharge schedule with all the parties concerned agreeing for the same. That the UCPN (M) also agreed to the provisions of the action plan is suggestive of the fact that they too seem to want a rapid resolution to the discharge scheme, to which they themselves had created unnecessary fuss in the past. It also goes to the

extent that the UN is recognised as a credible organisations, in spite of some shortcomings.

Though not genuinely a historic step in the overall peace process, it is some progress and has allayed the Maoists’ fear that the issue would be sidelined. In fact, the Maoists themselves were indifferent to the discharge and rehabilitation of the disqualified combatants. That also speaks for the delay in arriving at a action framework for finally getting the discharge process moving for real. As per the plan, the disqualified would benefit from rehabilitation packages which would encompass education and skills for income generating activities once they are assimilated in the society. It must be considered as one step in untying the knot related to the former rebels. However, it is but a tip of the iceberg when the issue of

the verified lot is concerned. The whole process of integration has been stuck in the mire of the political deadlock that prevails. Moreover, the major parties have almost shut their eyes to this particular

issue, and are focusing on another political tug-o-war with the Maoists going all out for seizing

land and in the latest development of declaring one autonomous state after another flouting every accord to which they were signatories and also the Interim Constitution.

Even while the problem of the disqualified seems to have received a direction, the Maoists are in no mood to listen to the voice of logic. What they had termed as mere publicity has become another ground for contention with the declaration of the republican states. It clearly indicates that the UCPN (M) wants the show to run according to its diktats rather than anything that is reasonably arrived through hammering consensus.

Hoodwink the goons

Criminals are taking to increasingly sophisticated means to conduct their nefarious activities.

Organized crime in urban areas use the latest technology making it difficult for the law enforcement authorities to detect and nab them in the process.

Although belatedly, the metropolitan police have now decided to go high tech by introducing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) so that they may be able to fight the criminals using the

internet and as well as other technological innovations. Why it took the police so long to adopt modern technology to provide security is a matter that

needs to be probed.

These days most modern cities have cameras installed strategically so that they can be on the scene of the crimes without loss of time. The law enforcement agencies constantly upgrade their technological arsenal so that they do not become obsolete making it difficult for them to catch the hoods. Now can we expect our police personnel to curb the escalating criminal activities taking part in various urban parts of the country through the use of these modern gadgets and technology?