Rebelling police officers surrender in western Nepal

July 14th, 2008 - 1:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, July 14 (DPA) Hundreds of police in western Nepal who mutinied and held hostage seven senior officers surrendered Monday to the government. The surrender followed growing indications that the government was prepared to use force to end the revolt in the town of Nepalgunj,about 400 km west of Kathmandu.

“Armed police and soldiers moved into the barracks in the early hours of Monday to end the revolt and free senior officers being held hostage,” said Narendra Raj Sharma, chief government officer in the town.

“The revolting policemen laid down their weapons and surrendered,and all the hostages were freed without harm,” Sharma said.

On Sunday, Nepal’s government deployed thousands of armed police and parts of the army’s special forces around the police barracks a day after it had been seized by around 500 junior police officers.

Late Sunday, the cabinet gave the go-ahead to use force to quell the rebellion and bring those responsible for leading the mutiny to justice.

“The revolting policemen will be charged with criminal activities and sedition,” Sharma said.

Officials said despite heightened tension throughout the day and the possibility of a gun battle, the incident ended without a shot being fired when troops forced their way into the barracks.

The mutining police Saturday seized the barrack’s weapons and communications equipment before capturing seven high-ranking officers, including the battalion’s commander.

They demanded better food rations and clothing and an end to ill treatment of the lower ranks by officers.

It was the second police revolt in Nepalgunj in the past month and the third in western Nepal.

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