Concern over Voters' Security in Nepal
According to Gorkhanews.com, a criminal gang on 4 April has shot dead a farmer while he was reaping wheat in his field in Bara district bordering India. Similarly, Nepal’s major mass media have commonly disseminated the information that anti-democracy criminal gangs on 4 April have exploded several bombs in Birgunj, injuring many. The bombs went off in busy market areas. The clear target of the criminal gangs seems to be the ordinary civilian population. This shows an obviously nonpolitical and criminal nature of the gangs, whatever tags they may carry. Amidst the growing civilian insecurity, even human rights monitoring has become more difficult. Perhaps because of this security crisis, hundreds of human rights violations have not yet been exposed publicly. Due to this situation, the Nepal government’s estimate of the overall security atmosphere might have been superficial.
Indo-Nepal border has not been sealed off though the local Nepalis inhabiting border villages have complained that hundreds of fierce criminal and professional gangs from India have with arms entered Nepal to serve Nepali political parties (especially regional parties assisted politically, financially and technically by their Indian counterparts) for election purposes. Although talks between Nepali Home Administration authorities and Indian government officials have been going on for almost two weeks regarding sealing off the border to prevent heinous massacres during the coming 10 April constituent assembly polls, no clear-cut decision has yet been made regarding this. The delay in deciding about especially controlling border for election purposes has been attributed to the top leaders of the seven parties that are in the coalition government.
Everyday robberies in the Nepali villages bordering India are usual incidents that often lead the concerned Nepalis to believe that they lack state because they feel extremely unsafe in their settlements. Robbers relaxingly perform their crimes and escape through the border. It has happened regularly for almost 16 years. The Nepali security personnel deployed there often claim that they have been doing their best to control robberies. But the local people find the moral background of security mechanisms quite weak.
The security concern in the Indo-Nepal border regions of Nepal has sharpened since some previously ruling political parties such as the Nepali Congress and the UML do not imagine of staying any more in power without the direct assistance and counseling of Indian authorities. For example, it has become quite a normal practice for the Indian ambassador to Nepal to counsel the chief leaders of these parties. This political slave-mindedness has further worsened Nepal’s political and economic over-dependency.
Since media reports have confirmed that huge quantities of weapons have been smuggled into Nepal with a special mission to derail the country’s peace process and the efforts to restructure Nepal, the Nepalis feel very insecure. In this situation, the Nepal government has a special responsibility to ensure civilian security. For this, it requires to function on a principled basis, without being influenced by ideological prejudices and intolerance.
As the historical constituent assembly polls intending to formalize the agreement of federal republic mandated by the historically unprecedented April uprising of 2006 is going to be held on 10 April, some armed resistance efforts on behalf of the outgoing feudal monarchy are expected. Therefore, Nepal government’s seriousness regarding the voters’ life security has been naturally sought throughout the country. In this context, some political parties blindfolded with their monopolistic apolitical character molded during their corrupt heydays have to think about their voters’ security.
Tags: Voters , Security , Nepal , Constituent Assembly , Election , Indo-nepal Border , Robberies , Criminal , Gangs
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