Two incident of Indian nationals trying to rescue criminals arrested by Nepal Police has pointed serious lapses in border securitTwo different groups from India over the week tried to rescue two criminals arrested by Nepal Police in Rupandehi and Banke districts by crossing into the Nepali territory, resulting in violent scuffles.
Two different groups from India over the week tried to rescue two criminals arrested by Nepal Police in Rupandehi and Banke districts by crossing into the Nepali territory, resulting in violent scuffles.
On May 16, a team of Nepal Police from Province 5 arrested a 50-year-old Indian national identified as Jhinak Dhobi from the border area of Siddharthanagar Municipality of Rupandehi with a pistol and a magazine.
After Dhobi was arrested, a group of 15 to 20 people from across the border tried to rescue him. Three police officers were injured in the ensuing clash.
“Shots were fired during the clash and 22-year-old Dilip Dhobi, an Indian national, suffered gunshot wound. He died while undergoing treatment in India,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Tika Bahadur Karki, spokesperson for Province 5 police, told the Post. “We don’t know yet who fired the gun.”
Police foiled the attempt made by the people from India to free Jhinak, who is currently in a five-day judicial custody of Rupandehi District Police Office for investigation.
A similar incident occurred in Banke on the evening of May 17.
Hundreds of people from India surrounded the Narainapur Area Police Office, demanding release of Indian man Devibin Bishwokarma, who was arrested with 5kg hashish by Nepal Police.
The mob also vandalised a car and a motorcycle of the police office.
“Police had to fire around 65 warning shots to disperse the mob,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Prakash Sapkota of Banke District Police told the Post.
The agitated crowd had also briefly detained Province 5 lawmaker Krishna KC near the border area after Bishwokarma was arrested.
“Many people surrounded me with household weapons demanding Bishwokarma’s release,” KC said. “The situation came under control at around 9:45 pm after a team from the district police reached for support.”
According to the police, the incident brought to fore the security risk faced by border police.
“A criminal has no nationality. A Nepali can be arrested in India if found involved in criminal activity across the border. However, the recent situation shows how people are trying to violate the law of another country by taking advantage of open border,” Sapkota said.
Security experts have warned that similar incidents could take place in other bordering areas if necessary precautions are not taken.
“The two incidents show that there are some lapses in border security. It also shows the lack of coordination between border security agencies of the two countries,” Hemanta Malla, a former chief of the Central Investigation Bureau, told the Post.
Some senior officers at Nepal Police, who have worked in the Tarai districts, say that coordination between security enforcement agencies between two countries is crucial in order to control cross-border crimes.
“If border police offices take firm stand against cross-border crimes, they will also get support from the neighboring security forces,” Senior Superintendent of Police Uttam Raj Subedi, chief of Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu and a former Nepal Police spokesperson, told the Post.
“The main challenge is breaking the nexus among the criminals of Nepal and India,” added Subedi, who worked in districts such as Parsa, Siraha, Sarlahi and Dhanusha.
In an interview with the Post in 2014, former Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae had said, “Since we have an open border, it is easy for someone to commit a crime in one country and run to the other. This is a problem for both countries.”
Since the authorities in Nepal and India have arrested many criminals of one country in the other country, proper relations should always be maintained among the two countries, say security experts.
A team from Narayani Zonal Police Office, led by then Superintendent of Police Sarbendra Khanal, the incumbent Inspector General of Nepal Police, had arrested Bablu Dubey, an Indian fugitive accused of killing 36 people in India, from Kathmandu in 2013.
Similarly, Fariyad alias Lamboo, a kingpin of a tiger poaching gang operating in Nepal and India, was arrested in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve by the Indian authorities on April 7.
Nepal Police has claimed that it has not compromised in border security and that it has been working closely with the Indian security agencies to curb cross-border crimes.
“Security agencies from both countries have been working together to control crimes and contraband smuggling at border areas. Following the recent incident, we will be taking some more preventive measures to control such incidents in the future,” Deputy Inspector General Bishwaraj Pokharel, spokesperson for Nepal Police, told the Post.