Bandarmude victims doubt TRC’s fairness

Kathmandu, March 11

Victims of Bandarmude bomb attack today cast doubt on the impartiality of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and urged the transitional justice mechanism do justice to the victims.

At least 38 civilians were killed and 75 injured when the Maoist rebels ambushed an overcrowded bus in Bandarmude of Madi, Chitwan, on June 6, 2005.

All five TRC members today visited Madi and interacted with the victims of Bandarmude incident at Rastriya Primary School, Ayodhyapuri, according to TRC member Madhabi Bhatta.

“We have doubts whether the TRC will act on behalf of the victims,” said Lekhanath Adhikari, who was injured in the incident. Adhikari claimed that some of the alleged perpetrators were inside the hall, where the interaction took place.

“We know that some of those involved in the attack are here inside this hall,” a source quoted Adhikari as saying. “We cannot share our sufferings in front of them.” The victims also accused the transitional body of being perpetrator-centric.

Talking to The Himalayan Times, Bhatta admitted weakness on the part of TRC to take proper caution in ensuring that the perpetrators did not infiltrate the interaction venue.

Another victim Shiva Prasad Subedi, who had lost his father in the attack, said all those killed or wounded in the incident were innocent people and hence the TRC should bring all the perpetrators to book and do justice to the victims.

“The perpetrators should not be spared on the pretext of reconciliation or general amnesty,” he said. Yam Kala Chuwai, who was pregnant when the attack took place, said she gave birth to a mentally ill child as a result of the incident.

She demanded compensation to raise and educate her child.