Degrading Law And Order Situation

Uttam Maharjan

Security is one of the basic rights of people. People have a right to live without fear or intimidation. A secure life is what people want irrespective of what social condition they are in. For a secure society to be established, the security apparatus of the government should be sound. At the same time, people also have to be honest and righteous.
In recent times, the law and order situation of the country is worsening. Many untoward incidents, including smuggling, kidnappings, rapes and killings, have taken place since the present government was formed eight months ago. The case involving 33 kilograms of gold once made the headlines in the media. Several police officers were nabbed along with Chudamani Upreti ‘Gore’ in connection with the murder of Sanam Shakya and the gold smuggling.

Big fish
When the arrests were made, there was a sensation of a sort, with speculations doing the rounds that ‘big fish’ would be netted in connection with the case soon. However, the investigation has now almost come to a standstill. It is reported that the Prime Minister himself intervened in the case. As the investigation is fizzling out, the police officers thought to be complicit in the case have been released one after the other. This shows that the security apparatus of the country is weak and that the police officers were nabbed just to show to the general public that the government is serious about the gold smuggling case.
On the other hand, rape and murder cases are surging on an unprecedented scale of late. Such incidents are taking place across the length and breadth of the country. The rape victims range from minors to the elderly. Most of the perpetrators are the victims’ relatives or acquaintances. When the perpetrators are from an influential background, they tend to go scot-free either by trying to implicate some other person or trying to cover up their heinous crime in collusion with the police administration. The rape and murder case of Namita and Sunita that took place during the Panchayat system in Pokhara in 2038 is still a mystery. It is speculated that the perpetrators were very powerful; even the forest keeper who was a witness to the incident was killed in cold blood to cover up the case.
At present, the Nirmala rape and murder case is challenging the law and order situation. It has been more than two months since the incident took place on July 26. There are several investigation teams probing the incident from various angles. One of the investigation teams has also submitted its report to the Minister of Home Affairs. After hesitating to make the report public, the government made it public on October 8. But the report seems to be a compilation of news items that have appeared in various newspapers. Rights activists and parents of Nirmala are not satisfied with the report, prompting them to think that the investigation was carried out to pull the wool over the eyes of the people. This has raised suspicion on the intention of the government.
Likewise, eight police officers and cops have been suspended on the charge of botching up the investigations. It is reported that they deliberately destroyed various kinds of evidence to save the real culprits. Although the Minister of Home Affairs has said that the real culprits will be nabbed within a week, the people have not stood confident that this will surely happen. At one point, the minister went as far as to say that capitalism was to blame for rape cases. What is more, even Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has irresponsibly said that it may take ten or twelve years to resolve the case. All this is enough to surmise that the government is trying to hide the real culprits. It seems the suspended police officers and cops will be released from suspension when the case cools down and the Nirmal case will meet the fate of the Namita and Sunita case that transpired 37 years ago.
It is the duty of the government to create a sound law and order situation by mobilizing its security apparatus. For this, the police administration needs to be robust and honest. The police administration should be allowed to run without political interference. The criminal cases need to be proceeded with in a just and fair manner. It is objectionable on the part of the police administration, as in the Nirmala case, to implicate innocent people for the purpose of saving real culprits as it involves the violations of human rights.
These two cases- gold smuggling and rape and murder of Nirmala – have brought to the fore the degrading law and order situation prevailing in the country. As such, the people have lost faith in the government. It is said that justice delayed is justice denied. But now justice is not only delayed; it seems it is never delivered as in the Nirmala case.
The government boasts that it has a two-thirds majority. It is the strongest government since the 1990s. But what is worth contemplating is who made the government so strong? It is definitely the people who voted the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) to power with an overwhelming vote. Now the same government is failing to deliver justice to the people.

Popular faith
It is high time the government regained the popular faith. The people are considered sovereign but it is the same people who suffer. The government should, therefore, show its honesty by bringing the real culprits involved in the Nirmala and gold smuggling cases to book, or else, criminals will be further encouraged to commit one heinous crime after the other, thus comprising the law and order situation in the country.

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