Dipendra Kunwar has been promoted to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of the Armed Police Force (APF) in a way that he is ranked top from his batch.
He has not topped his batch due to his capabilities. He is not only incapable compared to others from his batch but was not even eligible to be recommended for promotion now. But he has been recommended as the highest ranked among his batch mates after pulling strings due to his relation with the political leadership at Baluwatar.
Kunwar is the husband of Bhanu Deuba’s sister. Bhanu Deuba is the nephew and personal secretary of Prime Minister (PM) Sher Bahadur Deuba. Kunwar, who has been recommended for promotion to SSP, in this way is the son-in-law of PM Deuba.
He has been pushed forward in a fraudulent manner in a way that he becomes APF chief in the future because he is a relative of the Deuba family.
The promotion committee under the Home Ministry chaired by the Home Secretary decided to recommend 14 Superintendents of Police (SP) to SSP on Friday. Kunwar has been ranked second overall behind Praveen Kandel, who joined the APF from the Nepal Police and is set to retire soon, and top among his batch mates.
The APF regulation, which required APF personnel to serve for at least four years in a position to become eligible for promotion in the APF, was amended for Kunwar’s promotion. Kunwar would complete four years as Superintendent of Police (SP) only in April 2023. So, the government amended the regulation on July 6 and changed the eligibility to three years.
Kunwar had joined the APF as inspector on March 21, 2003. He was ranked toward the bottom of the 74 inspectors of his batch. But he was ranked 10th from among his batch mates when he was promoted to SP from Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), and has now been made top-ranked among his batch mates.
Bishnu Prasad Bhatta, who was the top-ranked inspector among the 74 from Kunwar’s batch, has now been ranked behind Kunwar while being promoted to SSP.
The main objective for promoting him now as the top-ranked among his batch mates is to make him Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police first and then Inspector General of Police (IGP).
There are currently three vacancies for DIG in the APF. There is no experience eligibility for DIG as in junior positions and Kunwar will directly become a candidate for DIG as Kandel, who is top-ranked among the newly promoted SSPs, would retire before becoming DIG due to age limit. Kunwar, who is ranked behind Kandel, would be an obvious claimant to IGP.
One must pass staff college to become DIG of the APF. Kunwar has twice failed entrance examinations for staff college. But the APF leadership took a special decision to send him to the staff college of Nepal Army (NA) at Shivapuri for the course even though only the best few APF officers are sent to the Nepal Army staff college. It is, in this way, clearly apparent that he completed staff college due to political backing.
SP Kunwar’s promotion is directly connected to PM Deuba. The PM or his secretariat is at the center of how he has been illegitimately recommended for promotion, that too in a way that he is ranked top among his batch mates.
It is now PM Deuba’s responsibility to either prove that the facts that have been uncovered about Kunwar now are false or revoke his unlawful recommendation. Deuba is guardian of all those serving the nation through NA, Nepal Police, APF and civil service in his capacity as the executive head of the country. The government led by him cannot mete out injustice to anyone.
Deuba’s responsibility as a PM elected by the people is toward the country and not his family. Democracy is a system of government of the people but all the citizens cannot go to the Singha Durbar and govern as that is not practically possible. The citizens, therefore, should govern through their representatives. The government or the leadership of government, in this manner, is the representative of citizens governing in their stead.
It is the responsibility of those in the leadership to use that for the larger good of the citizens. It is arbitrary to shirk one’s responsibility and take any decision for the benefit of oneself or those close to oneself. Arbitrariness of the leadership is unacceptable and unpardonable in democracy.
There is also another side to this.
It is a legitimate expectation of every police officer to be top-ranked if she has performed well, has displayed integrity in behavior, excelled in work, and is more qualified than other contenders.
“The issue of promotion to IGP is not just an issue of the government’s pleasure but is also an issue of the rights and legitimate expectation of the candidates concerned,” reads a Supreme Court verdict curtailing the arbitrariness of the government in IGP appointment.
PM Deuba cannot trample on the legitimate expectations of any qualified police officer to promote his relative even now. Display of such arbitrariness by those in the government can harm the police organization in the long run.
If there is no environment where a new officer who has recently joined the police force can expect to become the IGP in the future because she believes she is the best police officer based on her conduct and capabilities, then why would anyone strive to become a good police officer? She will then try to curry favor with politicians and arrange money to offer to higher-ups. What will happen to the security of the country and the citizens then? Discrimination against public servants by every political party and leadership when in power will kill their dreams. That will, in turn, give rise to despair and increase malpractices in police and administration.
It does not suit somebody like PM Deuba, who has even endured life in prison during such a long political career, to promote his relative causing injustice to others. More than that, this is blatantly immoral.
We urge PM Deuba to immediately intervene and revoke the unlawful recommendation for promotion of his relative, protect the rights of other police officers, give them justice and save himself from yet another stain on his name.