Kathmandu, June 28
Before being promoted to the top position of Nepal Police in April second week, Sarbendra Khanal was known as one of the most competent and efficient police officials in the country.
After the promotion, his activeness has apparently come down. Surprising enough to many, he is silent on two recent controversies involving Nepal Police: the ongoing investigation led by the Ministry of Home Affairs about smuggling and disappearance of 33.5 kg gold and involvement of police officials in the case; and disputes regarding promotions of inspectors to deputy superintendents (DSPs) and deputy superintendents (DSPs) to superintendents (SPs).
After the Home Ministry’s probe panel arrested and prosecuted some key police officials who led the investigation process in the preliminary stage, three former police officials organised a press conference to express concerns that the ongoing probe would discourage investigation officials. The Home Ministry later issued a statement to protest the trio’s claim. But, the Inspector General was silent.
“The department (Police Headquarters) should have made its opinion public about the statement of former officials at first. But, it came from the Ministry,” a former IGP tells Onlinekhabar, “It makes us suspect if the department is still under our (police officials’) control.”
“This is just an example. There are some other recent activities which justify our suspicion.”
As the former IGP hints, Khanal did not speak a word about dissatisfaction expressed by some officials about the names recommended for promotion. Again, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa spoke about the controversy at a function.
“Now, two big parties have come together. He is silent, despite hullabaloos in the organisations, just to make them happy,” an official at his own secretariat says.
Other sources also confirm that he is running hard to please ministers and the unified Nepal Communist Party well.
Now the question is: Can he do so at the cost of professionalism?