Madhes government members stage sit-in seeking police adjustmentProvince Chief Minister Lal Babu Raut, ministers and parliamentarians took part in the protest demanding immediate implementation of the Police Adjustment Act by the federal government.
Madhesh Province Chief Minister Lal Babu Raut along with several cabinet members on Sunday staged a sit-in protest against the federal government demanding immediate adjustment of the police force.
The leaders staged the protest outside the official residence of the Province Chief, stating that the federal government has delayed the adjustment and has not handed over the right to the provincial government as enshrined in the constitution.
Raut said the delay in implementing the Police Adjustment Act that was endorsed by the President on February 11, 2020 has raised a lot of questions regarding the intention of the federal government.
“We cannot imagine a government without a police force. Four years ago we drafted the Police Adjustment Act in an effort to build pressure on the federal government. It’s been two-and-a-half years since the President also endorsed it,” said Raut. “We even drew the attention of the prime minister and top brass of political parties. But since no one is paying heed, we are forced to launch a protest.”
Minister for Internal Affairs and Communication Bharat Prasad Sah said that the sit-in is part of the first phase of protests and will go on for a week from 11am to 1pm everyday.
Despite the continuous demand by the provincial governments that the police force be adjusted immediately, the federal government has not done so because of which provinces are facing problems.
At a press conference in Janakpur on Saturday, the Madhesh government announced a protest against the federal government demanding immediate adjustment of the police force.
Meanwhile, the main opposition party Loktantrik Samajbadi Party said that the sit-in staged in Janakpur has no relevance.
Loktantrik Samajbadi Party province chair and leader of the opposition party Jitendra Sonal said that even though it is also his party’s stance that the police administration should come under the purview of the province, the sit-in in Janakpur will not be enough to create pressure on the federal government.
“There is no point in staging a sit-in in Janakpur. The protest must be organised in Kathmandu,” said Sonal. “The protest organised here has no relevance.”
Earlier on July 7, internal affairs ministers of all the seven provinces had issued a seven-point declaration including their demand for an early adjustment of the police force.
In the second week of July, the internal affairs ministers met all major leaders of the ruling coalition and set a mid-August deadline to adjust the police force.
The federal government, however, is unlikely to adjust the police force as general and provincial elections have already been declared for November 20.
The federal government has already taken control of security arrangements of the three districts of Kathmandu Valley—Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur—by amending the existing laws despite the controversy, as even ruling party lawmakers said the move would breach the constitution.
The constitution says that the responsibility for the security of the province falls under the provinces. Kathmandu Valley falls under the Bagmati Province.
Conflict is set to escalate as the provincial governments want police adjustment before the November 20 polls while the federal government wishes to delay it until the polls.