No Leave To Policemen In Festivals As COVID-19 Grips Nation

Kathmandu, Oct. 9: No policemen will get leave on the occasion of Dashain and Tihar festivals this year, according to Nepal Police Headquarters on Thursday. Police will not get Dashain leave as they have to be mobilised and focused on increasing cases of the coronavirus and maintaining peace and security during the festival time.
However, emergency and essential leave in case of maternity, death rituals and others will be sanctioned, according to the Headquarters.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and spokesperson at Nepal Police Headquarters, Kuber Kadayat, said the leave taking provision had been tightened even before this, after the coronavirus infection increased in the country.
“The Headquarters will not sanction leave application unless it is essential and urgent as the risk of coronavirus has been increasing and the activity of Nepal Police has to be increased as compared to the past,” SSP Kadayat said.

Although there are more than 79,000 posts in the police, more than 12,000 posts are still vacant.
The police, who are active in peace and security in the society and crime investigations, have the highest number of coronavirus cases in the security organisation. About 4,800 coronavirus cases have already been reported in the police so far. That is why the burden on the police has increased compared to the past, SSP Kadayat said.
The infected policemen have been returning to work only after one more week of rest after being discharged. As per the records of the coronavirus, more than half of the total number of the infected people are from Kathmandu Valley.

Spokesperson Kadayat said, “More police activism is necessary during the festivals, including Dashain. There is more work to be done than at any other time. In case of the Valley, most people leave home and go to the villages to celebrate the festival. “During such a situation, there is a possibility of more criminal cases including theft,” he said.

Security vigilance has been heightened across the country. Police statistics show that incidents of theft, looting and other incidents are more frequent during the festival, he said. SSP Kadayat said that the reserve force has also been mobilised along with the regular manpower.

The Police Headquarters was of the view that leave may affect the work including peace and security as the number of coronavirus infected policemen was increasing every day. Compared to other areas, security activism must be increased in the Valley, he said.

Special security plan in place

Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police Office, Ranipokhari, has prepared special security planning for the upcoming festivals. The planning will be finalised this week and be implemented from the next week, Deputy Inspector General of Nepal Police (DIG) Bishwa Raj Pokhrel said.
The office has tentatively planned to deploy over 3,000 security personnel to curb festival related crimes and incidents in the Valley. There will be sniffing dogs, surprise check points, and CCTV monitoring to make the festivals all peaceful and free from any serious crime.
A regular motorbike and cycle patrolling will also be given priority to check any unwanted activity in the Valley, he said.

– The Rising Nepal

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