Citation(s) from the literature library

Karp, Aaron. 2013 ‘Police Firearms.’ Legacies of War in the Company of Peace: Firearms in Nepal; Issue Brief No. 2, p. 6. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva / Nepal Armed Violence Assessment (NAVA). 1 May

Relevant contents

Police Firearms

When on duty, Nepal police officers typically carry a handgun (a Chinese- or Indian-made pistol), while constables customarily are armed with a one-metre wooden truncheon (a laathi) or a Lee-Enfield rifle (Military Photos, 2008). Special units are believed to be armed with more modern weapons, including automatic rifles.

Given the complement of 47,000 officers in the Nepal Police (IISS, 2011, p. 270), and assuming one firearm per officer, it may be concluded that the police control approximately 47,000 firearms.(4)

In 2001, Nepal also created a gendarmerie (or heavy police force), for counter-insurgency and counterterrorist operations. Information on the personnel and armament of the Armed Police Force (APF) is poor, and much reporting is speculative. The IISS suggests that the APF has 15,000 personnel, but this number may be out of date (IISS, 2012, p. 270). An internal report by the People's Armed Police (PAP) suggests that the APF has a complement of 31,000 officers and constables (PAP, n.d.).(5)

Based on the normal ratio of 1.8 firearms for every member of a paramilitary or gendarme force, an APF force of 31,000 would have some 56,000 firearms (Karp, 2006, p. 51).


4) By comparison, law enforcement agencies are normally assumed to be armed at a rate of 1.3 firearms per officer (Karp, 2012).

5) Wikipedia reports that the Nepal APF controls 142,000 rifles, sub-machine guns, and machine guns (Wikipedia, n.d.).

IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies). 2011. 'High Drama in Nepalese Politics.' Strategic Comments.Vol. 17, No. 4, April, pp. 1–3.

IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies). 2012. The Military Balance 2012. London: IISS.

Karp, Aaron. 2006. 'Trickle and Torrent: State Stockpiles.' In Small Arms Survey. Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 37–63.

Military Photos. 2008. 'Nepal Armed Force Photo Gallery.' Online photo gallery.

PAP (People's Armed Police). n.d. Presentation on Illicit Use of Small Arms in Nepal. Kathmandu: PAP.

ID: Q8465

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