Kin of war victims from security forces seek ‘justice’

Kathmandu, August 28

The Association of Conflict Affected Families of Security Forces today staged a sit-in in front of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, demanding that they also be included in the transitional justice process.

The association said the agitation, which began yesterday, will continue until their demands are addressed. Their demands include dignified identity to conflict affected personnel of the Nepali Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force, treatment to injured security personnel and declaring those security personnel who died in the line of duty as martyrs.

According to Shobha BC, a member of the association, they were forced to launch protest after the TRC turned a deaf ear to their repeated pleas. “The TRC does not seem to be serious about our concerns,” she said. The TRC Act needs to be amended to include conflict affected family of security forces in the transitional justice process.

Gunj Karki, former Nepali Army soldier from Ramechhap, lost his right hand in an explosion, which also damaged his ear drums. He said he had to stay in the hospital for five months for treatment of injuries he sustained in the blast.  “Though I served the country as a soldier for 30 years, I was excluded when the time came for the government to reward me,” he rued and added that the TRC Act discriminated against conflict victims from the security forces.

Kalamati Thapa from Syangja, whose husband died during the conflict, said the Nepali Army provided her a compensation of Rs 750,000, but the government had not given her any additional benefits.

Bina Devi Dahal, president of the association, said although the tenure of TRC was expiring in six months, no efforts had been made so far to ensure justice to conflict victims from security forces. “The TRC Act should treat conflict victims from both sides equally. For this, the act needs to be amended.” The TRC Act does not recognise security personnel who were killed in the line of duty during conflict as victim,” said TRC Chair Surya Kiran Gurung.

Manchala Jha, member of the commission, said the demands of conflict affected families of security personnel could not be met as were mobilised by the government to fight against the then Maoist rebels.

However, TRC member Madhabi Bhatta said they were holding meetings on the issues raised by conflict affected families of security personnel. “Hopefully, we will come to a conclusion in a day or two,” she said.