TRC extends deadline for filing complaints

Kathmandu, June 16

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has extended the time period by one month for victims of the insurgency era to file complaints .

Today’s meeting of the transitional justice body decided to continue complaint collection until July 16, after it learnt that hundreds of victims are yet to lodge their complaints related to the war-eras, TRC member Madhabi Bhatta told The Himalayan Times.

The body had started recording testimonies regarding the insurgency-era rights violation crimes from April 17, and was supposed to wrap up the collection of complaints today.

After another transitional justice mechanism, the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons extended by one more month the time period for registering cases, last week, the TRC had come under pressure to follow suit.

Chairman of the National Society for Conflict Victims and Nepali Congress leader Kul Bahadur Gurung requested extension of the deadline for complaint registration by three more months.

Issuing a statement today, the Asian Human Rights Commission had also asked the TRC to join the CIEDP in extending the deadline for giving testimony. It also stated that these commissions should provide security to victims and witnesses, increase trust in victims regarding their safety and protection of evidence.

Gurung also filed his own complaint at the TRC, seeking return of his property that had been seized by Maoists cadres in 2005 and 2006.

His property in Danabari village of Ilam district was captured by Maoist cadres even after the 12-point understanding was reached between the Maoists and the then agitating parties, in New Delhi, in 2005.

In his complaint, the NC leader mentioned that when his daughters told the Maoists that seizure of property was against the spirit of understanding and demanded that the property be returned, they threatened to kill them.

Along with Gurung, another Nepali Congress leader Binaya Dhwoj Chand also lodged a separate case at the body seeking return of his seized land and property based in Baitadi district.

Separately, Sabitri Shrestha, sister of Ujjan Shrestha of Okhaldhunga, also lodged a complaint seeking justice agaist the murder of her brother.

A group of Maoist cadres, including former lawmaker Bal Krishna Dhungel, were convicted in the crime, but Dhungel is apparently at large.

The Baburam Bhattarai-led government had pardoned him in that case, but later the decision was revoked by the Supreme Court.