A healing Nepal: “Badal” salutes statue of police boss killed by his own hit squad

30 January 2019: It’s been well over a decade since a Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the government and Maoists officially re-established peace in Nepal. Even by the usual standards of slow, little or zero progress on promises made, it’s about time the wounds inflicted by the decade-long civil war healed.

A rare moment of that healing process was witnessed by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Tuesday as his home affairs minister garlanded statue of the first Inspector General of Armed Police Force, Krishna Mohan Shrestha.


It is noteworthy that the late Mr Shrestha was viciously gunned down by none other than the Maoist guerrillas the likes of whom Ram Bahadur Thapa “Badal”, the home affairs minister, once led.

It had been exactly 16 years and 3 days since the Inspector General was gunned down when Mr Thapa was situation-bound yesterday to salute the statue of the person his own party sent the assassins for.

News reports suggested that “Badal” even looked “emotional” as he saluted the statue on the occasion of the 18th Armed Police Force Day. Guests participating in the programme apparently looked at each other when the home affairs minister saluted the slain Inspector General, news reports suggested.

One of the stealthy killers, who shot at not only the IG but also his innocent wife and a bodyguard, later told investigators that the decision to kill came from the senior leadership of the Maoist party.

Sixteen years ago, no one would have imagined that the once feared “Badal” would turn “emotional” at the commemoration of the Inspector General of the Armed Police Force, an entity the very purpose of which was to quash the “People’s Army”.

Innocents were killed and people who shouldn’t have died, died, as the government forces and Maoist guerrillas clashed between 1996 to 2006. The ill-fated “People’s War” claimed nearly 16,000 lives and left estimated 1,300 missing whose memories are now limited to the NGO catchphrase of “the disappeared”.

Yesterday’s dramatic and ironic scene at the headquarters of the Armed Police Force of Nepal no doubt indicates that the land of Buddha is on the right side of the healing process.

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