Madhes government announces protest over delay in police adjustment

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The Madhes government announced a protest against the federal government demanding an immediate adjustment of the police force.

Organizing a press conference in Janakpur on Saturday, the Minister of Internal affairs and communication Bharat Prasad Shah said Madhes government is launching its first phase of protests.

“We will be holding a sit-in protest outside the provincial leader’s office for two hours every day for a week as part of our first phase of protests against the federal government,” Shah told the Post. “If the federal government remains indifferent to our demands for a week, we will begin our second phase of protests.”

The protests, according to Shah, will start from Sunday with a sit-in from 11 a.m. daily and will be attended by Madhes government ministers, provincial assembly members and members of civil society and intellectuals.

Despite the continued demand from provincial governments for police forces to be adjusted immediately, the federal government has not done so because of the provinces that have problems.

Earlier on July 7, the interior ministers of the seven provinces issued a seven-point statement including their demands for rapid adjustment of police forces.

During the second week of July, the interior ministers met with all the main leaders of the ruling coalition and set a deadline of mid-August to adjust the police forces.

However, the federal government is unlikely to adjust its police forces, as general and provincial elections have already been declared for November 20.

Earlier, when provinces demanded an adjustment of police forces, Interior Ministry officials investigating the matter said all preparations had been completed.

The federal government has already taken control of the security arrangements of the three Kathmandu Valley districts – Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktpur – by amending existing laws despite controversy, as even ruling party lawmakers said the move would violate the Constitution.

The constitution says that responsibility for the security of the province rests with the provinces. The Kathmandu Valley falls under the province of Bagmati.

Minister Shah said that federal government leaders had told home affairs ministers of provincial governments that it was difficult to adjust the police before the elections and that they had promised to finish after the November 20 elections.

The conflict is expected to escalate as provincial governments want a police adjustment before the Nov. 20 election, while the federal government wants to postpone it until after the election.

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