Maoist victims knock on NHRC door

Himalayan News Service

Lalitpur, June 24:

Seeking justice for crimes committed against them by the police, Maoist victims today submitted a memorandum at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) at Harihar Bhawan, and called for resignation of Home Minister Dan Bahadur Shahi for refusing to acknowledge them as victims. “The government has failed to recognise our status as victims; so we are submitting a memorandum to the NHRC seeking justice,” said Dharma Raj Neupane, chief of the Maoists’ Victim Association. The victims are awaiting a response on a case filed by them at the Supreme Court on June 9 regarding a June 5 incident. They allege that police looted their temporary settlement at the Khula Manch. They have also blamed the home minister of not acknowledging their status as Maoist victims for which they said they have ‘proof’ — papers certified by the CDO office.

“The minister has refused to recognise us as victims, and accused us of coming here for our own personal benefits,” Neupane said. “The government has not shown any serious concern regarding us.” Neupane added that if the home minister could dismiss the Maoist victims’ struggle and the injustice meted out to them, then he had no right to hold on to his position.

He called on the NHRC to help them get justice and said: “If the NHRC fails to act on our behalf, then we will be compelled to believe that human rights in the nation is non-existent and that the NHRC is useless.” However, he did express hope that the NHRC would help them get justice.

NHRC commissioner Sudip Pathak assured the victims that the rights body would look into their case. “The Commission is here to listen to your problems,” Pathak said. “We will do everything possible within the rules and regulations of the commission to try and resolve this issue.” Pathak also showed the victims files of investigation being conducted by the NHRC regarding the injustice done to the victims. The victims had to wait for over an hour to present their memorandum to Pathak. NHRC officials said they had not stipulated a specific time to the victims, and as a meeting was in progress when they arrived, the delay was