Nepal: Disappearing Security in Occlusion
Krishna Hari Pushkar
The occlusion has become contemporary identity of Nepal, where bandh, strike and halt are now considered as common phenomena. Honestly, no one knows or assure when Nepal is opened in full-phased manner. Uncertainty, impunity, insecurity, topsy-turvy, mutiny, iniquity, conspiracy, imbecility, abnormality etc have observed as chronic diseases of the transitional Nepal. The decreed diseases have proved very unhealthy for the nation, due to the reason ongoing peace process and overall affairs of state restructuring have pushed into limbo. The national peace has been kidnapped, security is fragile and human and civil rights are in criminal's captivity. Impunity is booming and security is in dying situation. The occlusions syndrome has become the principle ethics to all oppositions or the actors who differs from the ruling parties and its government. It does not matter who are in opposition, but they perform the same manner and character without considering their basic political ethics and ideology, while particular parties or group comes into the opposition. The occlusions' culture is integrated in Nepalese polity as a cyclic festival. All of them celebrate in same manner. Still, there are little differences in the way of celebration; some do it with brutal violence and some without. However, all politicians use to apply same methods of occlusions to achieve their intended goals and purposes.
Shamefully, often politicians loud bluntly to close all types of closures permanently, while they remain in a part of ruling parties, but they declare vice-versa to open all forms of occlusions in unblushing manner while they thrashed in opposition's room. Unfortunately, many ethnic, regional, professional and others groups and community also have learnt the same manner and ways to pressurize government. Most of the opposition actors believe that occlusion is the only one perfect way to demoralize the government and to achieve the vested interest in favor of particular groups and community, ignoring the interest and need of the nation and its' general people. Cogently, people are fed up with occlusion and also forced to accept and suffer with its activities of bandh, gherao, strike, and blockages.
In this regards, all the times government use same haphazard formula to counter the occlusion. The exiting security arrangement formula is mainly includes frequent useless mobile, unscientific patrolling, defensive picketing, vip escorting, and paper reporting. Generally, the prime purposes of the special security arrangement are to minimize the impacts of such occlusion, support to maintain normalcy of the general life, minimization of the threat of violence, and support the regularity in daily life and services of the general people and system. However, the special security arrangements are found ineffective, opprobrious and unproductive. The so called special security arrangement is seen only somehow success in bias- reporting, escorting of so called VIPs and to drop and pick up them to and from office to residence, airport or to the destination point of the official meetings and programs. The pseudoscientific security management on such crisis day has frequently invited the causes of huge tensions, damages, violence's and causalities, despite the facts the government is being just limited to watch the situation in paralyzed manner. Does not it a great strange as well as a pity?
Rather considering the past experiences as serious lesson, our home security apparatus has not taken yet any lesson to reform or restructure the so called special tightens security arrangement to counter the occlusion. Nepal security system is worsening and being operated without any seriousness and accountability. No one knows who are accountable and how, exits saver confusions among them for rights and duties. Except some formalities, no one is accountable for anything. Everyone is found suffering with responsibility shifting syndrome. It is not because our security capabilities are poor but it is because the neurological system of our national security has been paralyzed due to unprofessional acts and interventional culture from the indoor and outdoor windows. So called seniors security masters often attack bluntly in mechanic and engine of security system to deviate the whole security system to fulfill only the vested interest of particular leaders of party. There is nothing based on professionalism, and now operation and management of security is carry through individualism of particular security leader. Every leader believes on "our man is good man rather "good man is our man". Therefore, it is not a justice to blame our security personnel for their failure and ineffectuality of security to address the challenges and difficulties of occlusion.
All the time, we see either inactive or negative presence or found involves in useless activities of our security personal during the bandh, strike, gherao and blockages. It is strange, to know that no one has known or measured the significances of presence and productivity of the special security arrangement from past experiences. Everyone know about the defeat arrangement, although why did the same strategy repeat since decades and decades? The continuation of such failure arrangement means government are either totally failure or seems indirectly in favor of such occlusion. In such situation people may think as cheating or understand as fraudulence of government towards its people. People won't believe on the statement where the government uses to pretend, they are trying their best for betterment of public security. It is beyond the public minds that why the government is not thinking about some other effective ways of security arrangement besides repeated experiences of violent occlusion. Or do we have the scarcity of experts in security system or is it a part of strategy to a particular parties or leaders who want to prove the country failure or occlusion is beyond control? The state must find the reality, if the answers are in yes in wholesale than why the things not appear in those countries that are also in similar situation? It seems neither government itself nor its' mechanism are honest towards the betterment of existing security system.
During the strike or demonstration, both times we see the security personnel are enjoying with peanut, cigarette, tobacco, jokes and popcorn in street stalls and mobile shops. They found generally lazy, drossy, kidding or less active in the areas where occlusion keeps less influences and other hand they gather together in compact and defensive form all the time as looser, where they see more impact of occlusion and presence of violent activist. Sometimes, even we see they facilitate the occlusions' actors and activities by stopping and disturbing general people from regular activities. In principal, occlusion demands offensive security but we play in just opposite way. Gathering together in compact form means, they are just prepared to protect themselves rather to control the violent activities and assist in maintaining general normalcy for those people and services that are in disfavor of occlusion. Honestly, it is a kind of surrender to the anti-state forces. Most of the time, the mobilized security troops just try to secure their presence in post- incidents phases e.g. after burning of vehicles or well vandalized or someone has badly assaulted and the guilty has gone away.
In fact, the security personnel found themselves hapless because they have the duty without power, answerability and accountability. The security personnel are found demoralized and demotivated. They often suffer with poor resources and even lacking minimum facilities, arming and technology. They feel fully unsecured to perform their honest duty because any political stunts may create threat on their career with forge or without any justification too. The chain of command is no more functioning effectively, span of control is just limited in formalities, power and authority is not assigned properly for rationale use, unwanted intervention has become a part of commanding culture, security politics is criminalized, accountability, responsibility and answerability are just survived in part of vocabulary and academic lessons of policing.
In short, it won't a surprise to illustrate that Nepalese security system is no more real security in accordance with the conceptual and constitutional spirit. The overall security system has become defunct and disable. The public trust over security is mortifying. Many people have started to use illegal channels for legal security service. The so called dada and dons have formally started their business and actively involved in organized crimes and anticrime activities too. The outlaw & restricted activities are flourishing day by day, ignoring rule of law and existence of public security system. The bandha, strike, blockages, blackout and torch rally, transport halt and damages and vandalization of public and private properties have considered as among the common activities of entire anti ruling agencies and polity. Thus, it is issue of serious concern that why the Nepalese security is being failure, weak or disappear during the occlusion?
The culture of security disappearance during occlusion is directly concern with capabilities and legitimacy of government and also stamina to control anarchy and to maintain good governance. Therefore, it must be addressed duly by talking proper restructuring and re-engineering approaches in national security system. The state must admit that traditional security arrangement has been totally failed during occlusion and continuation of such approach may lead further damages and causality of national strength. The security strategy planner must able to calculate the situation of occlusion in advance on the basis of qualitative and quantitative statistics. They must design and conduct proper feasibility cycle and detail risk and threat of psychoanalysis before deploying the security in occlusion. Further, Security system must be well informed about the potential strength, target, pressure, possible activities of violence and other related information, afterward counter occlusion program and strategy need to design on the basis of ground reality rather to deploy police personnel in haphazard style.
The state must understand that only stochastic picketing, patrolling and useless roaming of security vehicle are useless as now happens. The state must be able to provide necessary security for those people and institutions who do not want to support the occlusion. Just picking and dropping to VIPs are nothing signified and it does not mean any security arrangement for the general public. Therefore, security personnel must be properly equipped with accountability, strategy, armaments, security related ICT, resources and insurances to counter any sort of occlusion in full-phases manner. It should be legitimately and legally provided to the each security personnel in clear and well defined manner. Reward and performance, incentives and promotion, posting and transfer must relate with performance in free and fair manner to keep morale and motivation at highlevel. In addition to minimize and handle the influence of occlusion effectively and efficiently through special security arrangement, the security personnel should also know how to help anti-occlusion people and group, at the same time public also must be empowered to know how to take help from security system during occlusion to regulate and normalize their daily life, services and common goods.. The bilateral cognitive coordination must be based in natural manner between people and security personnel. Further, government must take accountability of all rights things or wrongdoings that may have occurred during the occlusion control. The culture should be ended to constitute post occlusion commission and take action against the committed and neutral security personnel on the basis of political prejudice. Obliviously, at the same time, the human rights violators and unprofessional security activities or actions must be panelized if it found with necessary evidences, otherwise, all the time state must keeping up continue to promote the morale and motivation of the national security forces.
Disappearing security in occlusion is also associated matter with political ethics and dignity of ruling parties and its' leaders, so they must be careful. They must understand that disappearance of security means failure of governance and presence of dexterous security mechanism is strong presence of government. Therefore, they should apply major efforts to strengthen the security strategy specially for occlusion; however it should not be helpful to turn as a form of confrontation while dealing with occlusions, anyway. It is essential to understand that professionally rich security systems have capabilities to check and control riots with minimum causalities and less confrontation. So, Nepal government must learn and draw seriousness over the issues of desired professionalization of existing security system.
Therefore, Nepal government should to start immediately the restructuring of national security system by using security sector reform (SSR) approach. Government must change and reform the existing imperfect and faulty legal, organizational, hierarchical, technological, procedural, etc. provisions of national security arrangement; it should start to manage in accordance with the need and desire of the nation and its people. State must be able to provide clear-cut accountability with power and authority to the all security personnel. The Ministry of Home Affairs, also look and rethink over the existing involvement, efficiency, effectivity and also carrying and delivery capacity of chief district officer, who are the chief of district security system, to encounter the state of occlusion. It is totally misunderstandings of the government that only normal and arm police are the enough for the job but the state have never cogitated about the importance of possible civic engagement approach while making anti-occlusion strategy.
Security experts describe that proper and balance civic participation in security system is a most important step and it will help the national security to counter the state of occlusion and also helpful to minimize its' effect. In addition, the effective and efficient intelligence arrangement is equally important while dealing with occlusion, so Nepal must be develop a common platform and mechanism where security related statistics may interchange intelligently in time and duly to achieve better productivity of joint security efforts to counter the state of occlusion. Presently, there is huge gap and lapses in part of functional coordination and professionalism among the security concerned agencies. Therefore, it must be corrected in due time. In addition, the state must marketwise adequately about the full security related laws, arrangement and possibility of legal treatment to the general public in case of any threat, causality or attack during the occlusion. Also, the state must secure by full compensation, in case of state's failures against the assurances to deliver minimum and basic security and services to their citizen.
In last, fully responsible and accountable governance and government, both are the essential conditions to a successful security system. Indeed, the unusual disappearances or intentional ignorance of prime duties and responsibilities of security personnel during crisis or occlusion cannot be considered as a good symptom. No any capable government and its citizen want to see the pathetic security situation during the occlusion or the times of national desire. Therefore, the national security leaders as well as high ranking officials must work hard to resolve the problem properly, otherwise they should quite immediately from their public posts in ethical and moral ground, they have no more rights to continue their jobs in status quo wretched security situation and to watch the public grief's shamefully. In democracy, public liberty must not be taken into captivity in the name of occlusion, so a successful state must be capable to protect and preserve the full human and public rights. Also, the state should able to provide enough facilities to their citizen to enjoy the fruits of democracy without any problem and difficulties.
(Mr. Pushkar is a Peace and Conflict Management Expert and pay special concern on National Security System of Nepal, firstname.lastname@example.org)