Nepal Today

Monday, March 4, 2013

SCHOOLS REOPEN AFTER TWO-DAY CLOSURE Kathmandu, 5 March: Schools and campuses reopened Tuesday after two successive nation-wide closure Sunday, Tuesday. Management and Maoist students forcibly closed down educational establishments. Educational institutions reopened after a four-point agreement between students, guardians and management overnight. Maoists said they went on violent protests after being denied permission to form unions. Committees were formed to probe complaints of both sides. Nnnn MEDIA GOOGLE “We don’t need a constitution. All we want is development. The government is not only expanding the roads, but also the sky. We are bringing two aircrafts., We have been proving through our actions, but they [NC and UML] only stage demonstrations,” (Hishila Yami, The Kathmandu Post, 5 March) Nnnn MAOISTS HAY HAVE A RE-THINK ON ELECTION GOVT. Kathmandu, 5 March: The UCPN (Maoist) is unlikely to accept Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi as the new prime minister if a political deal on holding elections by May is not sealed, The Kathmandu Post writes. Leaders of the ruling party close to Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai maintain that appointing Regmi as the new government head for holding elections in November instead of May is meaningless. They said their party floated this alternative to hold the polls in May. According to leaders, the party has chances of securing a majority of seats in the CA if the polls are held in May. After the nationwide tour of Maoist leaders just before the General Convention, the party had calculated that it can emerge as the largest party in the polls despite the split last year, according to leaders. “Chances of a CJ-led government being formed will disappear if elections cannot be held within May,” a leader close to Dahal told the Post. The Bhattarai faction has also piled pressure on Dahal to give continuity to the incumbent government as prospects of holding elections in May are disappearing. PM’s Chief Political Advisor Devendra Poudel said they have agreed to form an election government under the CJ at any cost. The party’s convention last month proposed a CJ-led government for holding elections in May. Later, the opposition parties also agreed on it despite opposition within.“If elections cannot be held within the stipulated time frame, we have to look for other alternatives. In that case, the best option is to trans form the present government into a national consensus one for holding elections,” said Poudel. He said that the party is not in favour of extending the tenure of the CJ-led government until November. Other leaders said the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML are for forming a CJ-led government only to topple the incumbent government, not to hold elections in May. A leader said Dahal is against forming a new government by toppling the incumbent one, as the NC and the UML want to topple the government and are not serious about holding elections by May. Cong prez casts doubts Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala on Monday directed party cadres to be ready for a struggle as, according to him, he is suspicious of the proposed CJ-led election government being formed. “As CJ Khil Raj Regmi himself does not seem interested in leading the government due to the UCPN (Maoist) ’s deceptive nature, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s proposal for an election government without holding consultations with his party is a conspiracy,” Koirala, who was on his way to Taplejung district to address an NC meeting to be held on Tuesday, told the cadres here. He accused Dahal of being reluctant to hold the elections and end the political crisis. He challenged the Maoists to be ready to face a struggle if the government is not formed and elections not held within the proposed deadline. The NC boss further said the proposal of an election government led by the CJ is an attempt to weaken the judiciary. “The Maoists are trying to drag the judiciary to dispute and fulfil their vested interests,” he said. Nnnn STIFF OPPOSITION TO POLICE DRIVE AGAINST PERSONS WITH LONG HAIR, STUDS Kathmandu, 5 March: Metropolitan Police Commiss-ioner AIG Nawaraj Dhakal has directed the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range, Hanumandhoka, not to detain people merely on the basis of their looks—hairstyle and studs, Ankit Adhikari writes in The Kathmandu Post.. The orders from the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office (MPCO), Ranipokhari, follow heavy public criticism on the police’s newly-launched campaign against “hooliganism.” The drive launched last Monday was initially targeted at individuals with long hair and “rough” appearance. Stating that people with atypical get-ups pose threats to social harmony and security, police had detained over 700 individuals from various parts of the Capital on the first day of the campaign. “The campaign was wrongly portrayed, although Hanumandhoka had no ill intentions behind it,” AIG Dhakal told the Post. “The only thing that went wrong was the detention of individuals for their rough get-ups,” he added. “The Commissioner’s office has written to Hanumandhoka to correct the mistakes and go ahead with the drive in a more effective manner.” Spokesman of the Hanumandhoka range DSP Chakra Bahadur Singh said the police department has learnt its lessons. “We have already started correcting our ways of approaching hooliganism,” he said. “We never meant to arrest individuals wearing studs and fancy hairstyles and having atypical get-ups. Our primary aim was to nab individuals who, by means of rough get-ups, tend to spread terror in their community.”There was widespread criticism from all quarters after the police started picking up people with long hair and studs from the streets of the Capital. The public outrage was most evident in social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter. Major national dailies wrote editorials condemning the draconian measure, which they said was unbecoming of a democratic country. Still, the round-up campaign, has significantly brought down street crimes, including chain-snatching, bag-grabbing and harassing and stalking of women, said Dhakal. “Parents whose children had been bunking colleges and engaged in hooliganism of various kinds have lauded the police activity,” he said, adding that the campaign is sure to garner support from all quarters of the society if it also takes into account the public sentiments. According to DSP Singh, the broader campaign, which has seen over 1,300 detentions in the past one week, will continue in Kathmandu. “However, we will no longer arrest people just for wearing studs and long hair,” he said. Former IGP Achyut Krishna Kharel, meanwhile, said the initiative is positive, although it drew criticism in the beginning. According to him, such activities could prove handy in “preventing crime” and “gathering information about larger crime networks at the local level”. “The campaign’s efficacy can’t be judged in just one week,” he said. “The public needs to be patient and see what the police delivers in the long run.” IGP Kharel, who was the DSP in Kathmandu back in the 70s, had stolen the limelight for launching a similar campaign to discourage the use of drugs like hashish and cannabis as the ‘Hippie Movement’ spread to Kathmandu. nnnn


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