KATHMANDU; The National Women’s Commission (NWC) today released a report on the Bardiya National Park incident where the Nepali Army (NA) used “excessive force” against civilians.
The report said the incident has become more
complex after clothes of the victims were found at the
Three women, including a girl child, were killed when armymen patrolling the Park opened fire on the women on March 10.
The report added that the commission has taken ‘vaginal swabs’ of the victims for further investigation to see if they were raped.
The dead had been identified as Devisara BK, 35, Chandrakala BK,12, and
Amrita BK, 32, of Haripur-2 in Surkhet.
The army said army
personnel had to open fire during an “encounter” in
the Bardiya National Park while the victims were
collecting firewood and fodder for animals.
The report, however,
said collection of fodder
is strictly prohibited in the national park.
The women’s commission has drawn the conclusion that the Nepali Army
personnel used “excessive force” on the women
and that they have violated human rights.
It has urged the government to form a committee to look into the case and take action accordingly.
The report also urged
the government to provide compensation to the victims’ families.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) also expressed concern over the killing by army personnel under what it called ‘unclear circumstances.’
Although the army claimed that the victims were killed in an encounter, there is evidence to suggest otherwise, leading to strong suspicion of a cover-up
operation, a statement issued by the Asian rights body said today.
It expressed serious concern over the “wide-reaching impunity” of army personnel who committed human rights violations in Nepal.
The AHRC has strongly recommended a thorough and transparent investigation into the case.
A version of this article appears in print on March 25, 2010 of The Himalayan Times.