Conflict victims blast political leadership

Kathmandu, September 26

Conflict victims today blasted political leadership for neglecting those who sacrificed everything to bring about political transformation in the country.

They also warned of another rebellion if political parties and their leaders did not reform themselves and address concerns of victims of the 10-year Maoist insurgency at the earliest.

Bhavana Bidhrohi, a former Maoist rebel, said they sacrificed their lives to ensure political transformation in the country only to lead miserable lives. “Monarchy was overthrown and a republic system was established. But what have we got?” asked Bidrohi, who stood at the podium with the help of crutches. “We have been robbed of everything and rendered disabled.”

Speaking at an interaction in Kathmandu in the presence of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal, senior NCP leader Madhav Kumar Nepal and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, Bidrohi accused Dahal of undermining their sacrifices.

“You shook hands with Deuba, who once ordered to kill us, to remain in power,” said Bidrohi, referring to Dahal as ‘bua’ (father) because she devoted her life to the Maoist rebellion led by Dahal.

Bidrohi warned that those victimised by both the state and Maoists would come together and launch a decisive protest if denied justice. “We are only seeking justice, nothing else” she said.

Ram Kumar Bhandari, founder of National Network of the Families of the Disappeared and Missing in Nepal, accused the political leadership of living a luxurious life undermining sacrifices of those who were killed, disappeared and rendered disabled during the conflict.

“Political leadership has become dishonest and the state unaccountable,” he said, adding they wanted to know the whereabouts of those who disappeared during the conflict.

Former chairperson of Conflict Victims Common Platform Suman Adhikari said leaders were trying to find solution to transitional justice without involving conflict victims. He said parties were trying to appoint their near and dear ones in transitional justice mechanisms that have remained vacant since April.

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission on Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons failed because of politicking and the commissioners’ incompetence, besides lack of necessary legislation,” said Adhikari, demanding that appointments be made only after amending the act.

Rita Karki, a member of conflict-affected families of security personnel, said the government should listen to those victimised by Maoists and the state.

The victims also demanded that issues related to child soldiers and ineligible soldiers be addressed giving due priority.