The morale of the Nepal Police must be at a real down level right now. This author knows the majority of policemen from the bottom to the top are corrupt, but there are many other hard working men and women who must be disgusted and discourage by what is happening now.
Two IGPs and several top ranking officers have been sent to jail as per the Supreme Court decision. This is a most shameful thing not only for the individuals but for the entire Police Force. At least according to knowledgeable historians it is said that Bhimsen Thapa performed “hara-kiri”, a form of very painful suicide when it was informed to him that his wife was going to be paraded naked in the streets of Kathmandu. That time but he was incarcerated by his enemies.
If I was a Brit I would have said, cor blimey police chiefs being jailed? But this has happened.
I can talk with confidence about the Police Force because my father-in-law was one of the hardworking persons in the Force who was one of the architects in building the present modern Nepal Police in which crooks have more fun and leverage than honest men.
In fact my father-in-law installed the first traffic lights in the streets of Kathmandu, he also made the Nepal Police member of the INTERPOL, he established the dog squad, he introduced judo and karate by bringing in coaches all the way from Japan and he did many other things to modernize the Nepal Police.
For a person like me, who grew up in a family of policemen – my brother is still a senior hard working and honest policeman – it was very hurting to see the top police officers being sent to jail. Just one minute of detention should be a big humiliation, but these people seem to have no shame. They should have performed “hara-kiri” like Bhimsen Thapa did, but they seem to be enjoying a “short break” after which they can freely enjoy their ill-gotten wealth.
Here I would also like to mention the attitude of the Supreme Court. These police officers who were involved in huge scams have been left off almost “Scot free”. We are not suggesting that they should be shot in public like corrupt officials used to get punished in China till a few years back, but they should get stiff punishment and they should not be allowed to enjoy the money they have stolen from the government. Again what can we do, when politicians are corrupt, bureaucrats also corrupt, the so called civil society leaders also corrupt and the pretentious anti-corruption activists are also corrupt? So how can the police, who hold much power in their hand be left behind?
The rot started from the time when the person who succeeded my father-in-law started taking money here and there. Maybe not much but still it was taking bribes. The person who succeeded him or rather his wife, was even more greedy. It was said she would dictate her husband and was willing to do anything to earn more money.
The worse came later when late DB Lama became the IGP. He put many people in jail on drug peddling charges, but it seems he was in cahoots with the powerful ADC of a former prince in hauling in big amounts of drugs into the country and sending them abroad. May his soul rest in peace and may God forgive me for saying this about a dead man, but he set the record of being the first ever IGP to go to jail. The sad thing is it was reported that late Lama was tortured repeatedly by the very policemen he controlled, but no one said anything this was a gross human violation no matter whatever crime a person committed.
Of course corruption exited from the Rana days, the Panchayat days, but the floodgates opened widely after late Surya Bahadur Thapa by hook or crook ensured the win of the Panchyat system against the multi-party system in the referendum of 2036 BS. Then there was a no holds barred run for illegally earned money among politicians, bureaucrats, policemen and other government officials.
Now to come back to the top police officers who have been jailed, it is a wonder how other corrupt IGPs like Achyut Krishna Kharel and Moti Lal Bohara escaped the Supreme Courts net though both were indicted of corruption by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) of gross corruption. It was reported widely in the media how Kharel used his cousin and close friend and businessman to import small game hunting rifles to fight the then Maoist rebels. He also allegedly took money for helicopter Rockies when no such flights had been made. It is also said by former policemen how his wife used to sell the goats that were sent from all over the country by police officers. Bohara was no less corrupt but he was clever enough to hide his assets that he had gotten illegally.
It can only be hoped that the Nepal Police will become a clean institution which my father-in-law had so painstakingly established and we will not have to see anymore IGPs going to jail, except like villains Kharel and Bohara.