Prime Minister KP Oli (C) with security personnel. (Photo: RSS)
KATHMANDU: Prime Minister KP Oli on Monday claimed his life was in danger indicating possibilities of a physical assault on him anytime, anywhere.
His assertion: The dynamism and the effective work of the government have not been ostracized by some domestic and foreign elements.
He claimed that he was being targeted and his life was at stake.
Without naming, Prime Minister Oli said at a program in Pokhara: “You do not have to consider it strange or weird even if something unfortunate happens to me.”
He, however, hastened to add that he would not allow this to happen. “I will remain cautious every moment against such conspiracies,” he said.
If PM Oli’s assertion is to be considered, this is, indeed, a very serious issue.
What has to be noted is that the Home Ministry has beefed up security for the President, Prime Minister, Ministers, and other high-ranking officials of late.
Now the question is: Is there a security risk to Prime Minister Oli?
After the dissolution of the House of Representatives and its reinstatement last Tuesday, the security agencies have been more vigilant, according to a senior Nepal Army official.
Security plans are formulated and implemented accordingly after going through the list of his scheduled programs, he said.
A Home Ministry official said security has been vigilant. Talking to Khabarhub, Home Ministry Spokesperson Chakra Bahadur Budha said, “That should be a political statement.”
Budha said Prime Minister’s security is arranged in such a way that there will not be any such lapses. “We have set up proper security arrangements by coordinating with all security bodies,”
Meanwhile, Nepal Army (NA) Spokesperson Santosh Ballabh Poudyal denied not make any comments on PM Oli’s statement. Speaking to Khabarhub, he said, “In fact, I am not in a position to make a comment on PM’s remarks.”
According to him, the Nepal Army has been providing security to very important persons as per the Security Management Procedure 2077.
He said that the NA has been assessing the security threat and coordinating with other security agencies to make necessary arrangements.
According to SSP Basanta Bahadur Kunwar, Spokesperson of the Nepal Police, the police personnel have been mobilized for the security of the Prime Minister as per the procedure prepared by the Home Ministry.
He said, “Assessing the current situation, security arrangements have been made accordingly to meet the security challenges.”
A Home Ministry official, meanwhile, said they organize frequent coordination meetings between officials from the army, police, Armed Police Force and the National Investigation Department.
Security personnel are mobilized accordingly after analyzing the possible internal and external security threats to the Prime Minister, he said.
No threat as claimed by PM Oli
Security expert and Lieutenant General (Retd) of the Nepal Army Dr. Umesh Bhattarai rules out any security threat as claimed by Prime Minister Oli.
“This, I think, is a political stunt,” he said adding, “If he is threatened, he should have a serious discussion with the army and refrain from attending public meetings.”
Binoj Basnyat, Major General (Retd) of the Nepal Army, too, concurs with Bhattarai saying it could be a political stunt.
“Analyzing the security arrangements, there is no security threat to PM,” Basnyat added.
Security expert Deepak Prakash Bhatta rules out any security threat to Prime Minister Oli.
“I see no security threat,” Bhatta added, saying, “This could be a result of desperate mentality.”
Former DIG of Nepal Police Hemanta Malla says even if there is a security threat, the Prime Minister should not have made such a statement publicly.
Malla asks, “If the PM has a security threat, what would be the condition of the general public?”
PM Oli’s security arrangement
The Ministry of Home Affairs has classified the Prime Minister as VVIP in the Security Management Procedure 2077 (Revised).
According to Santosh Vallabh Poudel, spokesperson of the Nepal Army, all arrangements have been made for the security of the Prime Minister.
Currently, more than 90 security personnel have been deployed for the Prime Minister’s security at different places. The security personnel are constantly in touch regarding the Prime Minister’s schedule and the overall security situation.
The Prime Minister has a four-tier security arrangement. The Nepal Army is in the innermost circle. Likewise, plainclothes security personnel deployed for PM’s security also Nepal Army personnel.
The government has deployed trained security NA personnel with all necessary security equipment.
Likewise, security personnel with automatic weapons are deployed at the Prime Minister’s residence. Employees of the National Investigation Department remain active round the clock.
In the Prime Minister’s official residence at Baluwatar, as many as 315 security personnel, including 200 from the Nepal Army, 35 from the Armed Police Force, 75 from the Nepal Police and 5 from the Intelligence Service have been deployed.