Nepal Police records criminal complaints against its officers, but only a few are brought to justicePolice spokesperson DIG Shailesh Thapa Kshetri says most complaints turn out to be baseless.
According to her statement, Khiuju had raped her multiple times beginning February last year when she visited Chapagaun Police Circle, Lalitpur, to file a police report on a different case.
“We have opened an investigation based on the woman’s report. An arrest warrant has been issued against Khiuju,” Senior Superintendent of Police Tek Bahadur Rai, chief of the Lalitpur Metropolitan Police Range, told the Post.
Similarly, Senior Superintendent of Police Saurav Rana was suspended on January 30 following a rape allegation against him.
A woman had filed a case against Rana at the Sunsari District Police Office, accusing him of raping her multiple times over the last 10 years.
Rana has been taken into custody for questioning, a police official told the Post.
The cases against Khiuju and Rana are the latest in a series of criminal complaints filed against law enforcement officers.
Since the fiscal year 2016/17, a total of 2,002 cases have been filed against police officers. Those complaints were received via the Home Ministry, police offices, mobile apps, social media platforms and media reports.
Police urge the members of the public not paint the entire department with the same brush based on these incidents.
“There are anomalies in the department. That’s why we conduct different campaigns to strengthen our relationship with the public,” said Deputy Inspector General Shailesh Thapa Kshetri, spokesperson for the Nepal Police. “We also encourage people to file complaints if they have come across any wrongdoings by police officers. This helps us to weed out the bad apples and make policing better.”
According to data provided by the Nepal police, in the fiscal year 2016/17, altogether 323 complaints were filed against police officers. But data also showed that most of them were settled out of court. Only 97 officers had faced action.
In the fiscal year 2017/18, the number of complaints against police officers rose to 812. Only two of the accused officers faced legal action while the remaining cases were settled out of court.
There were fewer number of complaints against police officers in the fiscal year 2018/19. Altogether, 566 cases were filed against police officers and only 90 officers had faced legal action.
“Fewer police officers faced action in comparison to the number of complaints because many complaints turn out to be baseless after investigation,” Kshetri said.
In the first seven months of the current fiscal year, there have been 301 cases against police officers. Out of them, 194 were settled and 26 officers faced action.
“There is a separate team under the direct command of the Office of the Inspector General of Police, led by Deputy Inspector General of Police, to looks into the cases related to the crimes committed by police officers,” Kshetri told the Post.
“The office works with the concerned police office to investigate a complaint and initiate legal action.”
A majority of the complaints against police officers are filed at the Ministry of Home Affairs. A significant number of cases are also filed at the Nepal Police headquarters. Most of the complaints are on abuse of authority, involvement in corruption, breach of code of conduct, misbehaviour and refusing to record complaints.
Hemanta Malla, former Deputy Inspector General of Nepal Police, says there is nothing surprising about police officers engaging in crimes.
He told the Post that in the past, crimes committed by police officers were hushed up and settled within the department.
“Today, with increased public awareness and pervasiveness of social media, it is difficult for the police to keep the crimes of its officers secret from the public,” Malla said.