It’s the 24th day of national lockdown being imposed by the government of Nepal. Like me, people might have been bored staying home and seeing the acts of police brutality. Or maybe not! Until and unless, we experience it firsthand, we are irressistible.
I am not opposing what government is trying to do. I support the cause as we don’t have any other alternatives for now. Staying home, I am trying to spread hope and positive energy as much as I could. Finding energy during the dark times and trying to let the creativity get into flow state is what I am trying to do right now. Regardless of the situation, I am trying my level best to get positive out of everything.
- Hope and Positivity during Lockdown
However, there are incidents which are completely unacceptable. Even being an observer seems to be painful and I can’t imagine what might happen to the ones facing them.
A story of Police brutality
Recently, I was enraged by the inhuman acts done by Nepal police officials in my place. Let me tell you the story. Here’s what happened:
Time: It was around 6 in the evening.
Location: Near Nayabasti Club, Jorpati.
Date: 14th of April, 2020.
It was time for me to go to the vegetable shop as the stocks were already cleared. So, I went out to get the vegetables and some fruits too. After a few minutes of walk, I saw plenty of people rushing and hurrying to get inside. Later, I realized it was because of the fear of police approaching near. People ran towards their home. Since, evening time was open for shopping, I was not scared and so stood still there. In no time, two police officials came rushing there. One of them (with a huge stick on his hand) got out of the motorbike they were on. He should have been some higher-level official seeing the batch (it was a star with something else but I am not quite sure what it was). Doesn’t really matter much! Right in front of my eyes, I saw a guy being beaten brutally. He was saying that he was going to buy vegetables. But they didn’t bother to listen to him. The guy with the stick was constantly beating him while the other guy was kicking him. Both of them were using foul words. Surprisingly, the people were rushing towards their homes just before few seconds were now asking police to add up more to the punishment. Strange!
It was the moment when I felt so helpless. I couldn’t utter a single word. But what the police did to the voiceless guy was completely unacceptable. They didn’t stop swearing to him.
After sometime of kicking, beating with sticks and using foul language, they left him. How would this incident impact him? Would he feel glad to be beaten (for the greater good, one should make sacrifice for others)?
The guy went there to buy vegetables. What if he was out for emergencies? What if he was ill seeking for medical help?
And there are numerous “what ifs?”
Even if the guy went out for no reason, I totally disagree on beating. There’s no point at all! Brutality is not an answer!!!! I repeat; BRUTALITY IS NOT AN ANSWER!!!
Yesterday, I called 100 (emergency police number) and someone from Boudha station picked up. She spoke to me politely that I didn’t even feel like talking to a police official. It was a long long time back when someone from Police authority had talked to me in a polite manner.
When I inquired her if I can get out to buy vegetables, she told me everyone can get out for essential goods and services. And I asked if there is any specific time. She mentioned it’s between 5-7 in the evening. *Hung Up! *
I was truly disheartened by this incident and so talked to many people regarding the information. I wanted to know what exactly is the notice regarding getting out of home. One of my friends told me the timing for groceries is between 3 to 6 AM in the morning. Another guy said, it’s between 6-8 AM. Some said it’s between 5-7 PM. When I searched any relevant information in the official websites of government ministries, there is nothing.
When there is no uniformity in the dissemination of information, how are we supposed to get the reliable information?
Is Police Brutality the only option left?
When that incident took place, I was trying to figure out some questions:
- Are we now only left with the option of beating general public by some police authorities whenever they want to?
- Is it fair that a guy with police uniform comes and beats people on his will? I believe there’s no provision anywhere in constitution as such! Or is it just that I am missing on that? If yes, please someone let me know!
- Has the Nepal government imposed curfew? Or is it just lockdown? There’s a difference between “Curfew” and “Lockdown”. Until now, it’s just lockdown. And during lockdown, people can go out for essential goods and services.
- Who authorized and gave rights to the police to inhumanly beat and speak foul language to general public? Has any ministry/authority permitted police to become ruthless?
Sadly, I couldn’t figure out anything. If you can, please help me. 😊
Ground realities of people
Many people suggested me to opt for online delivery system. Since I am staying alone, the option doesn’t sound feasible to me. The reasons are because:
- I don’t have a refrigerator to store for a long time. The fruits and vegetables stored for a long time will turn out to be unusable in a span of some days. I even tried buying vegetables that would last for a week. But half of them ended up in trash. So, I have to go to the market in every 2-3 days.
- Online platforms are way too expensive. Example: I checked on one of the online delivery applications yesterday. The price of papaya per KG was Rs. 200. The earlier day, I bought it for Rs. 100 per kg. Who is monitoring the price hike? Any authority?
And I am just a representative figure here. Many of the people living here in Kathmandu share the similar story like mine. Some stories even seem to be unreal for us to believe. There are families who are surviving only with spinach (leafy vegetables) and rice, day and night.
So, what I am trying to say is that, getting out to the market (once in 2-3 days) is a must for many people including me. There’s no substitute to it.
“Did you get beaten?”
When I posted this incident on social media, everyone seemed concerned about me. They were asking if I got beaten. The answer is NO! I didn’t. But that doesn’t justify the inhuman acts of Police. I don’t always have to be victim to speak up for something that is not RIGHT. If I choose to speak against such activities only when I am into trouble, that’d be nothing but hypocrisy.
Just because it’s not happening to “ME” doesn’t mean it’s fair or justified.
To speak for a cause, we don’t necessarily need to be victimized. Whenever, however and wherever possible, we can raise our voice against the injustice happening around us.
Dear Police, Brutality is NEVER an option!
At last, I would like to stress on the very point that I am trying to make throughout this writing that brutality is never an option.
If brutality and violence could solve problem, the world would have been a much better place to live in.
I would like to conclude this article with the quote (by William Penn) that I am driven by. It says: Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.
I stand against Brutality and violence in any forms. What about you?
Stay Safe; Stay Resilient! Thank you so much. 😊