Nepal

Nation shocked

Oct 11, 2017
The gruesome killing of a businessman in Kathmandu Monday has shocked the entire nation. People are beginning to question if there is law and order in this country. Despite the claims made by police and other law enforcement agencies that they are capable of providing the required security they have apparently failed to do so in this case. The President of Federation of Contractors Association of Nepal Sharad Kumar Gauchan was shot dead by four unidentified assailants riding motorbikes just 50 metres away from his home while he was heading for work at Anamnager. He died from injuries from three bullets that pierced through his chest and armpit.  They had at first hurled bricks at his car to break the windshield and then opened fire. His driver rushed him to the Civil Service Hospital in New Baneshowor where he was declared brought dead. Apparently some outfit had asked for donations from Gauchan.
 
The business community and organizations have condemned this despicable act and demanded security as they fear for their lives. They have demanded that action be taken at the earliest against the assassins and to nab them without delay. This incident took place in broad daylight in the core area of the capital city which is being perceived as a threat to people doing business in the country. Demands are being made for taking the necessary prompt action to nab the culprits. Following this incident the police have increased vigilance in the capital in order to provide the required security so that the people need not face such attacks. This incident has raised the concern particularly of businessmen who are believed to be pestered to provide donations by various groups who warn them of dire consequences if they do not pay up. There are also incidents of business peoples being kidnapped with demands for huge ransoms.
 
Businessmen not paying up face the threat of extortion by various criminal groups and even fear for their lives taking into account this recent shooting. Therefore, businessmen who are threatened should inform the law enforcement agencies so that action can be taken against the perpetrators. Usually, they are warned not to inform the police and action would be taken against them if they do so. There are many businesses which pay such criminals without informing the concerned. As such, there is dire need for the business peoples to discourage these clandestine activities. Some politicians are seen to be using criminals to carry out their nefarious activities and more worryingly providing them protection making it difficult to punish them. One effective way to check the rampant criminal activities taking place is to ban all commoners from owning fire arms. It is known that they have been smuggled from the borders. Thus, the customs people and the police should be extra vigilant to see that this does not happen by tightening up security. It is generally believed that such fire arms are easily available for a price. Let us take lessons from this incident and ensure to do the needful so that innocent people are not shot at by criminal elements with impunity in many cases.
 
Relief to victims
 
The government has revised a guideline of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) and has made it easier for the earthquake beneficiaries to obtain interest-free loans against the collateral of their house under construction. As per the revised guideline, the quake victims will be able to obtain up to Rs. 300,000 interest-free loan against the collateral of their house under construction. But the beneficiaries are required to apply for the same in groups.
 
The NRA proposed to the council of ministers to revise the guideline after the banks and financial institutions showed no interest to issue free-interest loan against their house still under construction. The government has already provided Rs. 300,000 to each of the quake-affected families for rebuilding the damaged house. NRA officials are hopeful that the victims will expedite rebuilding the half-constructed houses. Many of the victims have not been able to rebuild their houses due to unavailability of additional resources. The government had also announced to provide a loan of Rs. 1.5 million in the hilly districts and Rs. 2.5 million in the Valley at two percent interest rate. But it did not materialise as the quake victims failed to put other property as collateral than the damaged homes.
 
The Himalayan Times, October 11, 2017

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