Kin seek information of disappeared

Pokhara, March 19

The whereabouts of Netra Prasad Baral, the eldest son of 64-year-old Ana Nath Baral of Khudi, Lekhnath has remained unknown for the past 14 years ever since the army arrested him in November 2002.

Ana Nath has no hope that his son is alive. “However, it has already been 14 years since he went out of contact, but the government doesn’t make his whereabouts public,” he said at an interaction on ‘Peace Promotion, Conflict Minimisation, Transitional Justice and its Implementation’ organised by the Local Peace Committee in Pokhara, Kaski,  today, adding, “For how long are to hope that he is alive and may return home. If the government includes him in the list of disappeared persons, it will pave the way for us to perform his final rites. We have no hope that he is alive,” he said. He complained that his family had been deprived of justice by the state. “It’s hard to tolerate the plight of a son’s disappearance,” he said.

He said the families of disappeared persons panic when different organisations hold programmes on the same subject. “It is not relief, but the whereabouts of disappeared persons, justice and good atmosphere that ought to be guaranteed for their kin by the state,” said Ana Nath.

Goma Ghimire, who lost a leg when security personnel opened fire during the conflict era, said that the state should address the demands of victims. “Though Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been formed, it has not been operating effectively to heal the wounds of victims,” she complained.

According to data with the Local Peace Committee Kaski, a total of 23 persons have been included in the list of disappeared persons while 109 lost their lives during the insurgency in the district. Many of the victims complained that they were not so optimistic about getting justice from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as the commission officials were appointed through political quota sharing.

Meanwhile, HC Pokhara Justice Kumar Chudal said that those guilty of serious crimes should be observed seriously even under international law. “It will be better to settle cases resulting from political conflict politically,” said Chudal.