14-20 March 2014 #698

No one bigger than the law

Gagan Thapa, Facebook.com, 11 March

The arrest of NC-affiliated Nepal Student Union (NSU) members on Monday raises grave ideological and practical issues, one of which is the rule of law. The Nepali Congress is a staunch believer in the rule of law and our party's manifesto clearly affirms this conviction.

No one should be punished or exempt from the law based on their political or philosophical standing, faith, power, or position. Anyone who tries to interfere or influence due process when a case is under investigation is flouting the basic principles of democracy and the NC’s core values. If a suspect is convicted, then he should not be immune to prosecution just because he belongs to the ruling party or is a well wisher. The converse is also true. If the person is pronounced innocent, he shouldn’t be made to suffer because of his political connections.

I hope my NSU friends are proven to be innocent. But since investigation is ongoing, the police should be allowed to reach their own conclusion without any prejudice or outside pressure. And it is our duty to help them. Those who believe they can misuse power to get their way are mistaken. Whoever is involved in unlawful activities must be ready to bear the consequences.

There are clear gun laws in the country stating who can and cannot own firearms and the circumstances in which they can be used. However, there have been many cases where such provisions have been abused. We need to have public discussions on the timeliness and practicality of these gun laws.


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