Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ah, when the police take hostages...

From today's AP report:
Nepal riot police revolt over bad food Jul 13th, 2008 | KATMANDU, Nepal -- About 500 riot policemen took senior officers hostage in a revolt in western Nepal over ill treatment and poor food, officials said Sunday. The policemen seized the riot police camp at Nepalgunj, about 310 miles west of Katmandu, on Saturday and were holding seven senior police officials hostage, said Krishna Acharya, a government administrator in the area. Armed rebel policemen were guarding the camp's entrances and there had been some shooting but no one was injured, Acharya said. Other police surrounded the camp and the area has been cordoned off while negotiations with the rebel officers continue, he said. The rebelling policemen told reporters they were protesting ill treatment of lower-ranking officers by their supervisors, low-quality food they are given and other police force issues. Home Minister Krishna Sitaula said he ordered the police chief to take "all necessary action" to deal with the situation.
Now, the AP is taking a little bit of a liberty with the headline--the police at (by the way) the Riot Control Battalion are revolting because of systematic mistreatment; the Kathmandu Post reports that they are complaining about "providing low quality food to the rank and file, involvement in rampant corruption, financial exploitation of juniors [i.e., junior officers] and misuse of resources." And the kicker: the senior officers had ordered an exercise for Saturday morning, the typical Nepali day off, and had snuck off and gotten drunk instead of participating. In essence, they armed and enabled their captors. Ain't Nepal grand?

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