Nepal Police has formed a three-member committee to investigate use of force by its officials on civilians during a peaceful protest held in Kathmandu on Friday and Thursday.
Nepal Police drew flak after reports, photos, and videos of police thrashing peaceful protestors made rounds on social as well as mainstream media.
The Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office (MPCO), Ranipokhari, has formed a three-member committee led by Senior Superintendent of Police Kiran Bajracharya to probe into police brutally thrashing Bablu Gupta and Manish Shrestha at Maitighar and Baneshwor areas.
Gupta sustained minor injuries while Shrestha received a deep cut in his head after police indiscriminately baton-charged them for participating in a peaceful protest demanding reappointment of Kulman Ghising as the Managing Director of the Nepal Electricity Authority.
According to MPCO, Ranipokhari, the probe committee has been asked to submit an investigation report within a week. However, police arrested some more protestors demanding Ghising’s reinstatement in Kathmandu on Saturday.
Police high-handedness doesn’t seem to cease as reports of people dying in custody and videos of security personnel indiscriminately thrashing general public are made public almost on a daily basis.
On September 16, Nepal Police issued ‘Simplified and Detailed Code of Conduct’ to be followed by all police personnel in the course of their duty. It also formulated Nepal Police Action Plan, 2020, to accomplish 14 major goals.
Senior Superintendent of Police Kuber Kadayat said, “This code of conduct incorporates detailed information on the way police personnel should act.”
It is rather ironic that the code of conduct demands all police personnel to exhibit high value and moral and conduct their duties with dignity and integrity, and is aimed at instilling a positive attitude of the public towards police.
It expects police personnel to be polite towards service seekers by avoiding all kinds of prejudices based on caste, creed, class, gender and ethnicity.
Similarly, Nepal Police Action Plan, 2020, envisions 14 targets for betterment of Police Department.
It aims at enhancing the police force, protect the history of Nepal Police, develop infrastructure and enhance professionalism in the force through the use of technology, according to SSP Kadayat.
Though the recently issued new code of conduct is aimed at bolstering police image, their brutality, especially when it comes to silencing dissent and criticism from the general public, seems to indicate otherwise.
Even during the lockdown, police personnel were condemned for using excessive force against the lockdown violators.
A writ was filed at the Supreme Court seeking its intervention to stop police high-handedness when enforcing the government’s shelter-in-place orders.
On April 15, police beat up three doctors from Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital while they were returning to their residence after completing their duties.