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Criminals Ruling Nepal

Issue 52, December 30, 2007

By Siddhi B. Ranjitkar

If we take a look at the political history of Nepal, we find that most of the rulers of Nepal during the Shah dynastic rule were the declared murders and criminals. The regular practice of the power mongers had been to kill the opponents to get into the power. This practice had continued to as late as 2001 when the crown prince allegedly massacred the king and his family members, and the alleged-killer-crown prince in coma was declared the king of Nepal. Criminals have continued to run the country even now.

The recent media report on the abduction of two dissident leaders of Nepal Sadbhavana Party (Anandidevi) by the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supply Shyam Sundar Gupta has triggered a group of human rights activists to call the Government of Nepal for seriously providing the citizens with security. On Saturday, December 22, 2007, in a statement, human rights activists such as Sushil Pyakurel, Mandira Sharma, Dr Gopal Krishna Shivakoti, Kedar Khadka, B P Adhikari, Abhayaraj Joshi and journalist Kanak Mani Dixit said that the incident of abduction by an incumbent minister and the police's refusal to register the complaints against Minister Gupta should be considered as the increasing trend of criminalization in politics and culture of impunity. [1]

In a report on the enforced disappearance released in May 2006, the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nepal (OHCHR) stated that 49 people were disappeared from the custody of the Bhairabnath Battalion of the Nepali Army at Maharajgunj, Kathmandu in 2003, and requested the Government of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala to take immediate actions against the perpetrators of the crime. However, Prime Minister Koirala holding the portfolio of the Ministry of Defense of the government set up by the people’s power had not heeded to the request of the OHCHR. Is it not Prime Minister Koirala ignoring to punish the criminals tended to be a part of criminals?

On Wednesday, December 19, 2007, acting on a tip-off, a team of rights activists belonging to the Nepal's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Office of the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and media people visited the area in the Shivapuri National Park suspected to be the burial place of the people disappeared while under the custody of the Bhairabnath Battalion of the Nepali Army. Media people complained that the Nepali Army personnel in civil dress stopped them from taking photos of the area. The Shivapuri National Park is the area under the control of the Nepali Army.

On December 22, 2007, the parliamentary committee on Human Rights and Social Justice decided to invite Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Chief of the Army Staff General Rukmangud Katuwal to answer the queries of legislators on the Shivpuri issue. The committee decided to know the version of Prime Minister Koirala holding the defense portfolio, and General Katuwal, too, as the issue was related with the Nepali Army. “Since the PM is holding the Defense portfolio, we have decided to get the government’s stance on the issue and since the Shivpuri National Park is under the army, General Katuwal should also come up with his stand,” Legislator Mahendra Bahadur Pandey said. [2]

The parliamentary committee on Human Rights and Social Justice had invited Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Chief of the Army Staff Rukmangud Katuwal to clarify on the Shivpuri issue; however, they did not show up in the committee meeting on December 24, 2007. The committee members agreed to reschedule the meeting. However, Secretary to the Defense Ministry, Baman Prasad Neupane attended the meeting and told the parliamentary committee on Human Rights and Social Justice that the army was not accountable for any crime investigation and giving security and it was the duty of the police to provide security and investigate any crime committed anywhere. Secretary Neupane was invited by the committee to answer about the role of the army in this issue as the Shivpuri area was under the army’s jurisdiction. [3]

On February 01, 2005, the then-king Gyanendra killed the democracy dismissing the Prime Minister, taking power in his hands, and snapping the telephones, internet and other communication networks for a whole week and then opening them only intermittently for months causing the loss of billions of rupees worth of business and inconvenience to all Nepalis living in the country and abroad. The killer king reigned over the country for 15 months before the popular movement of Nepalese people toppled him in April 2006.

A Nepali Army soldier killed 12 innocent Nepalis in a row with the revelers of a festival at Chihan Dana, Nagarkot during the reign of the currently suspended king on December 14, 2005. At that time, leading the seven-party alliance, Girija Prasad Koirala was fighting the street battle against the despotic king Gyanendra; Koirala said that he would bring the culprits to justice as soon as he would be in power. However, after he came to power, he rather joined hands with the criminals not to mention bringing them to justice.

During the reign of the elected Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, the reports available on the death of the innocent Nepalis killed in actions with the Nepali Army during the insurgency period stated that most of the people killed in the so-called actions were in fact innocent people not involved in the rebellion in any way. According to the reports the Nepali Army indiscriminately killed the innocent Nepalis and then labeled them as the rebels.

On June 01, 2001, the alleged-drunken crown prince shot dead single-handily all the king’s family members and some other relatives gathered at the palace for the regular monthly Friday feast, and then attempted to kill himself according to the report released by the palace people. Then, the Standing Committee of the Privy Council proclaimed the alleged-murderer crown prince while lying in coma in the military hospital at Chhaune, Kathmandu the king of Nepal. If he had survived the bullet wounds then Nepal would have the king – the killer of his own parents, sister, brother, uncle, aunts and so on.

On June 04, 2001, the then Standing Committee of the Privy Council declared Gyanendra Shah as the king of Nepal. He became the king after the death of King Dipendra charged with the murder of his parents and other near and dear ones. However, the then-king Gyanendra did not dare to declare his son with the criminal background a crown prince, probably for the fear of provoking Nepalis to protest such a declaration. So, Gyanendra declared his son Paras as the crown prince during the Dashain festival in October 2001 when Nepalis were busy in celebrating their two-week long festival.

The then-Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala became a mute spectator of the massacre of so many people in the royal palace. He let the newly crowned king to form a commission on investigating the bloodshed in the palace. The king was authorized to do so only on the recommendation of the Prime Minister if the king had honored the Constitution of Nepal of 1990. Thus, the new king crowned after the death of so many royal family members ignored his status of the constitutional monarch and became the absolute monarch.

From 1961 to 1971, the then-king Mahendra killed many Nepalese politicians opposing his regime. Dissolving the elected government led by the Nepali Congress leaders and taking power in his hands in the coup in 1961, Mahendra ruled the country through his puppets who had criminal backgrounds or who could commit crimes to suit the needs of his regime. Not only Mahendra killed the Nepalese politicians but also sent the Nepalese troops to kill the Tibetians fighting against the Chinese rule in Tibet, and taking refugee on the Nepalese side of the border with Tibet. His successor and his son the then-king Birendra finished off the Tibetan rebels called Khampas taking refuges on the Nepalese territory.

In 1846, Jang Bahadur Kunwar later on assumed the family name Rana became the most powerful Prime Minister after killing most of his opponents in the massacre popularly known as ‘Kot’ the place where Jang Bahadur and his six brothers fully armed disregarding the order of the queen managed to kill almost all the courtiers assembled there without arms by the order of the then queen. He made the position of the Prime Minister hereditary. As an appreciation of the assistance of his six brothers in coming to power by killing his opponents, Jang Bahadur made his six brother in addition to his sons the claimants of the position of the Prime Minister instead of passing on this position directly to his sons.

After the death of Jang Bahadur, one of the surviving senior most brothers of Jang Bahadur, Ranodipp Singh became the Prime Minister in 1877. He did not enjoy the natural death but the seventeen sons of his brother Dhir Shumsher killed him and all the sons and grandsons of Jang Bahadur on the pretext of Prime Minister Ranodipp Singh was planning to reinstate the sons of Jang Bahadur to the roll of succession to the position of Prime Minister.

The killer-seventeen brothers called Shumsher Ranas and their progeny ruled the country for a century until the popular uprising of the Nepalese people against the dictatorial and autocratic family rule of infamous Ranas who used almost all the national revenue for their luxurious lives keeping the Nepalese people in poverty ended the Rana rule in Nepal in 1951.


[1], December 23, 2007, Kantipur Report “HR defenders rap criminalization in politics”

[2] The Himalayan Times, December 22, 2007, “Shivpuri issue: Panel wants PM, CoAS to react”

[3] The Himalayan Times, December 25, 207, “Shivpuri scandal: PM, Sitaula, CoAS give committee the miss”

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