In simple word, a police force is a constituted body of persons empowered by the state to enforce the law, protect property and limit civil disorder. In past week the government has once again appointed Senior Superintendent of Police Ramesh Kharel as the chief of the metropolitan police of Kathmandu. Safeguarding the public and their properties is the primary function and responsibility of the Nepal police. Police force generally charges with the fear of criminals and the prevention and detection of crime, and the maintenance of public order. Some of the police department have been trained and acquired authorities and special duties such as surveillance, counterterrorism, child and women protection, VIP protection, crime investigation techniques into major crime including fraud, rape murder and drug trafficking. The crime rate is always increasing in Kathmandu due to the growing population and high unemployment numbers. Everyday thousands of people enter in Kathmandu city looking for work opportunities, employments and to go abroad. Kathmandu always appears to stay busy as it is the capital city of Nepal and also a gateway to foreign destinations. According to the ancient saying Kathmandu was named after the temple “Kasthamandap” which was made by the King Gunakama Dev. This district covers an area of 395000 hectares. Peoples believe that the Kathmandu city has a rich history dating nearly 2000 years which is proven by inscriptions found in the valley.
Chief of metropolitan police of Kathmandu’s job is a very challenging and also the most disputed one. Kathmandu police chief have always faced allegations of extortions from dance bar, casinos, illegal gambling shelters, prohibited brothels and hotels. Before the constitution assembly election in Nepal, Upendra Kanta Aryal was appointed as a head of the Nepal police force (IGP). At that time, he had pledged to take stern actions against hooliganism, extortion, smuggling, gambling and other organised crimes resisting political and other forms of undue pressures in crime investigations. According to the trusted source of Upendra Kanta Aryal, IGP made him come back to Kathmandu valley once more. As per the recommendation of Nepal Police Headquarter, the government transferred SSP Ramesh Kharel to the Metropolitan Police Range at Hanumandhoka, Kathmandu as its in-charge. This time Ramesh Kharel will replace SSP Subodh Ghimire who will serve at the Kavre-based Bagmati Zonal police office. SSP Ghimire is also regarded as one of the brightest officer among the batch.
SSP Kharel already has some experiences about crime activities in the valley. He previously served as a district police chief in Kaski, Kathmandu (April 2010- January 2011), and Parsa. He had made his reputation for fighting corruption, resisting political pressure and also combating the wrongdoing within the police organisation. During his tenure in Kathmandu, SSP Kharel had cracked down on crimes in the city that saw many raids in dance bars, guest houses operating as brothels and rounding up the so called Dons in the city. After the initiative crime rate fell drastically in the Kathmandu valley.
“Law enforcement, crime control and investigation of crimes for peace and security and engaged in the noble service of all people with full protection of human rights” is mission of the metropolitan police Kathmandu. Police organisation deployed more than 2000 police under the Chief of metropolitan police of Kathmandu, including SP to followers.
At present, the crime rate in the valley is increasing everyday. The Nepal police organisation is the first line of defence and it is responsible for safeguarding against everyday crime and also to maintain the law and order. Nepal police faces new provocations on a daily basis and to combat this new challenges, Nepal police must be empowered, wellequipped, trained and modernise its weapon system to successfully tackle the possible threats and crimes and to move forward in the right direction. According to the Kathmandu Police, there is only one police constable or officer for every 560 peoples which is very significantly less compared to other countries. Key Challenges of Chief of Metropolitan Police of Kathmandu.
1. Political interference in crime investigation.
2. Nexus between criminals and politicians.
3. Small arms trade.
4. Theft and robbery.
5. Growing sex trade.
6. Gangs, Gang wars and organised crimes.
7. Kidnapping and extortions.
8. High Tech Crimes.
9. The absence of criminal profiling data.
In Kathmandu, many crimes that are related to persons, properties, moralities, white-collar crime and organised crime are frequently taking place. In my opinion, great political pressures and political interference in crime investigation might come unncessarily. But after being transferred as a chief of the metropolitan police of Kathmandu, SSP Kharel mentioned in BBC Nepali Service interview that he will seriously target organised crimes, gangs, dance bars and guest houses that are illegally operating as brothels. He also said that he will not accept any kind of political or administrative pressures during police investigations. In a comment made on social media network, Mr. Kharel vowed to work as the hallmark of integrity dedicated to public service. Despite his superiror’s pressure he brought the murder charge against then Minister of Land Reforms, Prabhu Shah, while he was in Parsa district.
Because of the fact that Supreme Court Justice Rana Bahadur Bam, Faizen Ahmed from the Islamic Association of Nepal and media tycoon Jamim Shah were all shot dead in broad daylight, It is very essential and also challenging for him to keep the main city, busy roads and VIP routes safe and secure. In order to increase the capacity of Nepal police force, the government must give more priorities to the police force in modernizing and strengthening it. The government also needs to focus more on building up quality service. The lack of criminal profiling system and high-tech crimes could give a security challenge to the Nepal police, therefore, it is very essential to follow crime prevention methodologies such as location scanning, analysis and response that play vital role to prevent crime.
(Master Degree – Anglia Ruskin University Criminology A level – NCFE, UK)
Published on UK’s Nepalipatra, 4-10 March 2014