CIEDP miffed at transfer of staff

Kathmandu, September 20

The Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons has expressed concern about transfer of its trained human resources including some senior officers claiming that it would only impact its investigation into war-era disappearance cases.

The transitional justice body had already been facing human resource crunch, as the government fell short of making available adequate staffers as promised earlier.

On top of that, many senior and trained officers who had acquired training from foreign experts on conducting investigation into disappearance cases left the transitional justice body before formal commencement of its thorough investigation into insurgency-era cases of enforced disappearance.

CIEDP Spokesperson Bishnu Pathak said the government had assured it would make available at least 70 staffers when the body was formed in February 2015.

But CIEDP eventually got only 42 employees, most of them support-staff and drivers.

“About a dozen civil servants were deputed at CIEDP. At least five of them have already left the office and shifted to other government agencies,” Pathak told THT.

Among those transferred are under-secretaries Man Bahadur Khadka and Raju Paudel and section officer Mannath Upadhyay.

They were transferred after they had acquired two-phase training from foreign forensic experts.

Forensic experts who came from Peru had imparted training in two phases— from May 23 to June 9 and August 21 to September 14 on how to carry out investigation, prepare, manage and fill ante-mortem database. Some 25 people, including office bearers of the CIEDP, had participated in the training. “If senior and trained hands are transferred in such a way, it will impact our investigation,” Pathak said.

According to him, some of the remaining staffers, who underwent training, also want to leave CIEDP, which he said was alarming.

CIEDP has received 2,870 complaints of forcible disappearances that occurred during the decade-long Maoist insurgency that ended in November 2006. The body has already started preliminary inquiries into the complaints and is poised to commence detailed investigation.

A source told this daily that the reason behind the staffers’ lack of interest in working at CIEDP was lack of ‘adequate perks and benefits’.

Earlier, the CIEDP had sought an allowance equivalent to at least 50 per cent of their salary for all its staffers. But, the government refused to make that available, stating that daily allowance was being disbursed to all staffers.

During a meeting with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, CIEDP Chairman Lokendra Mallik had sought Rs 500 million in addition to adequate human resources and investigation experts for effectively conducting its works.

Pathak complained that despite the PM’s assurance, CIEDP didn’t get any financial or human resources, in the absence of which the body would become ‘handicapped’.