Kathmandu, September 5

On Sunday, news reports about an incident in Chhaya Centre which concerned Tourism Minister Jeevan Ram Shrestha and a security guard Sher Jung Gurung circulated – Aawaaj News reported the same. In the meantime, on Monday, we were able to connect with Tourism Minister Shrestha, who has shared the following account:

“I reached VFS around 9 am for biometrics as a member of the general public. When I reached there, I saw a queue and got in line – just like everyone else there. Accompanying me were other officers from CAAN (Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal) as we are supposed to attend an ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) event in Canada.”

“Sher Bahadur Gurung, the security guard in question here wasn’t rude only with me – but with everyone standing in line. Security officials, as appointed by the government, informed him that I was a minister – and that was when he said “If he is a minister, then it is all the more imperative to stay in line.”

News reports are suggesting that I tried to misuse my position as a minister, however, that is not the case. I am not trying to misuse my power as a minister, I was genuinely concerned about the guard’s behaviour towards everyone present there – asking us to move like cattle.

As minister, it is the department’s duty to inform relevant departments about my movement – and my office, while reporting my morning schedule, reported his misbehaviour.

Additionally, I also think there have been lapses by VFS – they should ensure their staff personnel are trained and equipped better to treat people who are reaching their office in a better manner.

Lastly, I am more than happy to recommend necessary departments to not take any further action against him – however, he needs to learn to treat people better – minister or not”.

Aawaaj News also tried to reach out to the security guard in question, however, as he is in custody, we were unable to do so.

Meanwhile, Minister for Home Affairs, Bal Krishna Khand has directed Kathmandu’s Chief District Officer Govinda Rijal to release the arrested security guard.