Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Nepal: Mutiny in Police camps

Posted by Mike E on July 30, 2008

One of the well known signs of a true revolutionary crisis is that some of the most backward forces in society sometimes “catch the fever.” In Nepal there have been mutinies among the police rank-and-file against the terrible work conditions and haughty feudal treatment of their superiors. Kasama is publishing two articles on this. this second one is from the revolutionary Nepali newspaper The Red Star.

For the first time in the history of Nepal, low ranking policemen of the Armed Police Force (APF) from the Chandika Battalion of Parbat district and the Bageswori Battallion of Nepalgunj (a town of western Nepal) revolted against the repression of their high level officers.

The mutiny of the junior policemen against their officers started first in the Parbat district, where the junior policemen accused the officers of treating them badly, beatings, prejudice, of providing poor quality rations etc. The policemen have simple demands, such as edible food, the ending the abusive behavior, the payment of the allowances the government had promised for their work on Constituent Assembly election, holidays to visit their families and homes etc.

Within few days of the revolt in Parbat, some 200 lower rank policemen of the APF in Nepalgunj revolted, beat their officers and held them inside their barracks for two days. However, not a single shot was fired. They had similar demands to the policemen of the Parbat district. They held 3 DSPs and 14 Inspectors. As the junior police started their agitation, the DIG and SP of the Battalion fled to a nearby police camp.

These two similar agitations, in two different police battalions, in less than a week, has brought into light the pathetic condition of armed forces. It seems that the junior police had no other option than to revolt and risk their lives and careers. This action proves that the high officers do not behave in a respectful and human way to the lower level policemen. The revolt has also demonstrated that the restructure of the armed organizations must be the very first agenda in the new Republican state.

The consciousness of the policemen, the revolt against the high handed repression of the high ranking officers has surprised the status-quo, the bureaucrats and the politicians. But the right of the policemen to rebel didn’t develop overnight and it didn’t develop out of nowhere. The consciousness of the policemen to rebel is the result of the ten year long People’s War which has taught all the oppressed to rebel against the oppressors. The highest human right is to rebel. The junior police had expected that their oppression would end once the republic is established, but when the feudalist oppression within their organization didn’t end, they had no other option than to revolt. This revolt has shown the character of the officers of the armed forces in Nepal; the officers need to be taught how to behave with juniors.

A team under the home minister held a meeting with the agitators and a probe is underway. After they received a promise that the high ranking culprits will be punished, the policemen ended their agitation. An AIG of the Armed Police force said that there were many irregularities in the battalion. It is an ironic that a high ranking officer, the battalion commander Hari Sanket Budathoki, received an award for being the best Battallion Commander in the AFP last year. Budathoki has now been transferred.

The agitation has also revealed that a large section of armed personnel want a radical change in their organization, and in the country also. This revolt has sent a message to the new government as to where the problem lies. This is a strong example of how much the 10 year People’s War has influenced the poor and oppressed people of Nepal, including the junior armed personnel.

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