Conflict victims not hopeful of justice from CIEDP

Lalitpur, June 8

Rama Khatri, 49, a resident of Makawanpur district is in a dilemma over whether or not lodge a complaint about the disappearance of her husband Nar Bahadur Khatri, who was forcibly taken away by then Maoist rebels on March 29, 2009.

According to her, she later received a message that her husband was murdered by the Maoist rebels for giving information about them to the army.

“I have neither received his body nor have any information about his whereabouts. Thus, I want to lodge a complaint with the local peace committee.

But since the perpetrators are my relatives, I think it would not be safe for me to lodge a complaint against them,” she said, adding, “I want justice but I am equally worried about my safety.”

She also informed that many of her relatives who were involved in her husband’s killing have already fled to foreign countries to escape justice. Her husband was a retired army personnel.

Similarly, Prabina Gole, a 26-year old woman from Chandanpur, Lalitpur said she was not interested in lodging her complaint as she was not hopeful of justice from the transitional justice mechanisms.

She was injured when army personnel fired in the air on March 27, 2006 while she was attending a programme organised by the Maoists in Baghbhairab Higher Secondary School in Sindhupalchowk.

“My left hand had to be amputated due to bullet injuries. I still have the scars of injuries to various parts of my body,” she said, adding, “Leaders such as Sher Bahadur Deuba, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Kamal Thapa and even former Gynendra are responsible for my suffering,” she said.

The women were speaking at a workshop organised by Sankalpa  women’s alliance for peace, justice and democracy today.

According to the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, only 1,495 people were disappeared during the decade-long armed insurgency that ended in November 2006.

But the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons has already received 1,820 complaints till yesterday, said chairperson of CIEDP Lokendra Malik.

“The number of complaints at CIEDP is 122 per cent higher than the number recorded by MoPR,” he said, adding, “This shows that the victims are hopeful of justice and they trust the commission.” He said the government would ensure security and privacy of the applicants.

“Our main aim is to identify truth, take action against the guilty and provide compensation to the victims,” he said.