Let’s feel safe

There seems to be a substantial lapse in law and order in the country, more so in the capital. This is evident from a series of appalling criminal episodes since the week following the end of the Jana Andolan. On Sunday, for instance, a group of five unidentified persons looted Rs 1,097,376 from the Chhetrapati branch of Nepal Bank Limited in broad daylight. In another shocking incident, Srish Pokhrel, a Nepali Congress cadre, was ruthlessly stabbed to death on Friday night. Da Tsering Sherpa, a businessman running a trekking agency, was also shot dead the next night. Shell-shocked as they are by these incidents and other cases of robbery and extortions, the valley residents have now started forming local security squads for their own safety.

Security lapse and rise in illicit activities is usually the aftermath of the people’s uprising like the recent one in the country. However, there is no political vacuum in Nepal as such. There is a government in place, whose full responsibility it is to maintain law and order. Similarly, since law enforcement and state security agencies are still intact in the country, there is no logic in forcing the people to live under constant threats. The authorities should not, therefore, hesitate to mobilise the security forces to protect the terrified citizens at once. In this context, the government’s recent decision to deploy army personnel at various entry points and central areas to ensure security is praiseworthy. Presently, there is a mutually agreed ceasefire in the country. The parties concerned are now gearing up for the second round of peace talks. But that will make no difference at all until and unless the government tackles the lawlessness by providing all the citizens the protection they need and by bringing the culprits to book.