‘Detainees buried in Shivapuri’

Kathmandu, December 29:

Though the scientific examination on the remains gathered from a suspected site in Shivapuri forests ruled out the possibility of mass grave there, a former detainee in Bhairavnath Battalion of Nepal Army has claimed that many detainees of the battalion were killed and buried at the site.

Jit Man Basnet, former detainee in the battalion, today claimed that the suspected site is the graveyard of at least four detainees killed by the army in 2004.

“The army had buried bodies of fellow detainees Gyanendra Tripathi, Rajendra Mali, Dipendra

Pant and an unidentified detainee in the Shivapuri forests. They died because of inhuman torture inside the barracks,” Basnet, a lawyer and journalist, claimed.

After studying the samples collected from the suspected site in Shivapuri, the National Human Rights Commission concluded on December 17 that at least one male was buried there three years ago.

Releasing the english edition of Basnet’s already published memoir — 258 Dark Days — today, chief of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Richard Bennett called on the government to end the state of impunity. He also urged the government to ratify the International Convention on Enforced Disappearance and the Rome Statute. Saying that the formation of a commission on disappeared may be a good beginning to end the state of impunity, Bennett called on the government to form the commission at the earliest.

“Basnet has claimed that the detainees were killed and buried in the Shivapuri forests. It is very difficult for us and the kin of the missing persons to believe. The government should respond to Basnet’s claims,” former commissioner of the NHRC Sushil Pyakurel said.

Editor of Nepali Times weekly Kunda Dixit said Basnet’s book was a compilation of events that occurred inside the army barracks. He also added that book would help in further investigation into the case. Mandira Sharma, executive director of Advocacy Forum, accused the government of promoting the state of impunity.