This is a serious incident that took place yesterday in Nepalgunj
and hasn’t ended yet. This is a fact that juniors are treated by many seniors very lowly and without any dignity in all security organizations including Nepali Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force. They should learn that juniors are not their slaves. If this incident is instigated by the Maoists as has been suspected because of the pro-Maoist slogans heard in the barracks then that deserves condemnation. We can only hope that this revolt will be an eye-opening for those senior officers in the security organizations. We also hope that this incident will not lead anarchy in the security organizations that demand high level of discipline and command and control but to the reforms within the organizations. Read the following news reports, the first is the latest, to learn more about the incident:
Update: 22-point pact ends Bageshwori cop standoff, hostages freed
BANKE, June 23 – The disgruntled Armed Police Force (APF) personnel of Bageshwori barracks based at Sumshergunj in Banke district today released all 17 officers taken hostage on Saturday after signing a 22-point agreement with the Home Ministry representatives.
The agitating APF police personnel released three DSP and 14 inspectors in fine condition after holding talks with the Home Ministry team.
The Home Ministry team comprising Joint Secretary Mod Raj Dotel and APF Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Narayan Pandey reached Nepalgung Sunday to negotiate with the agitating APF personnel.
Around 200 irate APF constables had launched the protest accusing their seniors of misbehaving, inflicting torture and providing them with indecent food.
They have claimed that no further incidents occurred at the battalion on Saturday, although local residents had issued a number of complaints.
The agitating APF officers had forwarded a 26-point demand letter to the home ministry on Sunday. Some of their key demands included severe action against chief of the battalion Hari Shanker Budathoki for corruption, an end to physical and mental torture and equal and decent food for all.
APF AIG Pandey conceded that the issue concerning misconduct in the battalion had occurred repeatedly, but could not be corrected due to internal weaknesses.
The Home Ministry’s joint secretary Dotel, APF AIG Narayan Pandey, Armed and Nepal Police Mid-Western Region’s DIGs and chief district official Narendra Raj Sharma were among the negotiators.
APF men release 17 senior officers
BANKE, June 23 – Armed Police Force (APF) personnel of Bageshwori Battalion based at Sumshergunj in Banke district on Monday released the battalion’s 17 officers, who were beaten up and taken hostage on Saturday.
The APF personnel released three DSP’s and 14 inspectors after a team led by Joint Secretary of Home Ministry Mod Raj Dotel reached Sumshergunj for talks.
The released hostages are all in fine condition, a source said.
Around 200 irate APF junior personnel have accused the seniors of behaving inappropriately and of providing them with indecent food.
They have claimed that no untoward incident was carried out at the battalion on Saturday.
Meanwhile, preparations are underway for the talks between the representatives of the APF personnel and the government side at Bageshwori battalion in Sumshergunj.
The agitating APF officers have forwarded a 26-point demand letter for the talks.
Their demands include 11 points concerning some implementation in the Armed Police Force unit and 10 points concerning enforcement at the Bageshwori battalion, among others.
They have also demanded severe action against chief of the battalion Hari Shanker Budathoki accusing him of corruption, end of physical and mental torture in battalion and equal and decent food for all.
APF AIG Pandey conceded that the issue concerning misconduct in the battalion has occurred repeatedly, but could not be corrected due to internal weakness.
Home Ministry’s joint secretary Dotel, APF AIG Narayan Pandey, Armed and Nepal Police Mid-Western Region’s DIGs and chief district official Narendra Raj Sharma are participating in the talks, which will take place in the presence of representatives from National Human Rights Commission and mediapersons.
Revolt in APF, over dozen officers captive
By J Pandey
SHAMSERGUNJ (BANKE), June 22 – Over 200 Armed Police Force (APF) personnel of Bageshwori Battalion here at Shamsergunj ‘revolted’ on Saturday night to protest against “poor ration quality and seniors officers’ ill-treatment”.
The disgruntled group also beat up APF battalion chief, Superintendent of Police (SP) Harishankar Budhathoki, and other senior officers, including three DSPs and took over a dozen senior personnel captive. Budhathoki was taken to Kathmandu for treatment on Sunday.
Agitating APF men have also padlocked the main gate and captured all communication sets and telephones inside the battalion. They also turned back two vehicles, in which senior APF officers from Banke and Surkhet had arrived by pelting stones at them on Sunday morning.
“We couldn’t go inside as they were chanting slogans,” said Raj Kumar Rana, APF Deputy Inspector General of Surkhet. “I don’t know how many are captive and injured inside.”
When a group of human rights activists and journalists attempted to get inside, agitating APF personnel stopped them at the gate itself. They said they were preparing their “agenda” to hold talks in the presence of APF chief, Home Ministry officials and others.
Although 500 of the total 700 APF personnel are reportedly not joining the protests, it could not be confirmed independently as no information could be gathered about the situation inside.
Protesting APF personnel even came out of the battalion and allegedly terrorized locals, saying that the latter had hidden some senior APF officers at their houses on Saturday night.
“A large group of APF security men came here suddenly and also hit me on my head,” said a local Devkanta Thapaliya. “Many other locals were also chased away.”
Eyewitnesses also claimed that they heard pro-Maoist slogans inside the battalion. When contacted, an injured SP Budhathoki, however, said APF personnel attacked him when he intervened in a dispute that ensued after a head constable beat up a drunken constable. “This is a supporter of (former home minister) Khum Bahadur (Khadka); beat him up!” he quoted protesting APF men as saying.
Regional office of National Human Rights Commission here said they had received complaints from the rank and file of APF men asking that various issues including ration, salary, torture and other forms of misbehavior by senior APF officers be probed. Meanwhile, APF Additional Inspector General, Narayan Pandey, and joint secretary at Home Ministry, Modraj Dotel, arrived here at Nepalgunj to take stock of the situation. They are busy holding talks with other security officials in the district over the issue.