Miles to go

Even as political pundits envisage a new Nepal built on the foundation of justice and respect for the democratic rights of the citizens, any semblance of that progression does not seem to be shaping up in reality. The peace pact signed between the government and the Maoists supposedly brought the decade-long insurgency to an end, but criminal activities, including murder, extortion and abduction, continue to afflict society. Take for instance the mysterious abduction of journalist Birendra Sah, whose whereabouts remains unknown even three weeks after his abduction. Though the act of abduction has been condemned by various groups including journalists and human rights organisations, the government has taken no concrete action to free Shah, let alone punish the culprits.

Despite the claim of several human rights organisations that criminal activities and human rights violations have come down in the last one year, Nepali people continue to live in an atmosphere of terror and insecurity, while the perpetrators seemingly enjoy absolute impunity. Sah’s abduction is just a case in point. Many similar incidents have gone unreported or received little media attention. The government must show its presence felt in the country, especially when the issue is one of public security. Moreover, it should bring the criminals to book whoever they may be. But it has left a lot to be desired on that count.