Thursday, April 28, 2005

State Vandalism in Nepal

King Gyanendra would call his foreign tour that included his participation in the Asian-African Summit 2005 a successful one - mainly because the Indian Government did the U-turn about the military aid. At the summit, he reiterated his commitment to democracy and put forward some points supporting his February 1 coup that had definitely earned him some good fame.

But saying and doing are two different things and that can be entirely different: the King proved it.

On April 25, plain-cloth policemen vandalized the central office of the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) or CPN (UML) - the second largest political party of the nation, when the party was mourning death of a leader - Sadhana Pradhan - the wife of first elected communist prime minister of the world Man Mohan Adhikari.

If you think this a party propaganda, read the statement from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), whose chairman supported the King's move in the international forum which drew much criticism. According to reports, Nayan Bahadur Khatri said after the inspection: "This is foolish act and we will take necessary action."

The statement by NHRC said plainclothes policemen in masks vandalized the door and windows and also pointed guns at the students at the UML office. The move was criticized by all the political parties, more than a dozen human rights association and many other organizations.

But had we heard anything from the government? Where is the answer of the question? Will there be an investigation on the issue? All the answers should have a 'YES' answer in democracy, but in King's rule, it might just be unheard and unanswered of.

On April 27's night, former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who was oust by the King to grab the power, was arrested on corruption charges. It would have been a good move by the state if it had been done properly with the assurance that there will be proper investigation. But the way it happened indicates it as a terrorism functioning than a state functioning.

Deuba was arrested at 2am when he was asleep by plainclothes policemen. More than three-dozen policemen, some of them uniformed, entered Deuba's house after cutting off the phone connection and arrested him despite family protest of 'midnight action'. After the arrest, the electricity was also cut off at his residence.

Despite strict direction to press not to criticize the King, some newspapers condemned both these actions calling it a 'vagabond action'.

Plainclothes policemen are more at action than the uniformed one - we don't know why. Besides these, the arrests of student leaders including Gagan Kumar Thapa and many other rallying protesters and leaders, plainclothes policemen do the action.

The King's democracy has all this for us. Let's see what will come next and how long.

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