TRC mapping extended offices in provinces

Kathmandu, January 12

Members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are now busy with field visits to map out its extended offices in seven federal provinces.

All five TRC members, including Chairman Surya Kiran Gurung, visited the sites of the proposed extended offices of TRC, and held discussions with relevant stakeholders as how to set up local offices; form investigation team and arrange necessary logistics and resources.

Upon TRC’s request, the government recently decided to establish extended offices of the transitional justice TRC in all seven provinces.

These field offices will be set up in Biratnagar for Province No 1; Janakpur for Province 2; Hetauda for Province 3; Pokhara for Province 4; Tulsipur for Province 5; Surkhet for Province 6; and Dipayal for Province 7.

Gurung is on a visit of Pokhara and Hetauda, while TRC member Manchala Jha has been deputed to Biratnagar. Likewise, other members Leela Udasi has visited Janakpur; Sri Krishna Subedi is in Dang and Madhabi Bhatta is in Surkhet. Joint Secretary of TRC Gopal Rijal is visiting Dipayal for the same.

They are busy discussing with the joint attorney generals of each province as well as chief district officer, chiefs of security bodies, representatives of Nepal Bar Association, civil societies and victims on conducting investigation from these offices.

Almost 60,000 complaints relating to Maoist insurgency era criminal offences have been registered at TRC, and the instrument was yet to commence the investigation process.

The extended offices will be set up at the Office of the Attorney in each province and the joint attorney general will head the investigation committee.

The TRC chairman said that during the visit, all TRC members will observe the designated offices, its locality and safety for victims and perpetrators when they come for hearing and interrogation. The TRC members will also manage the local experts in the reconciliation process.

TRC member Madhabi Bhatta, who visited Surkhet, told The Himalayan Times that this was basically a mapping for investigation of complaints from the provincial level.

Gurung said the transitional justice instrument would soon start investigating registered complaints from relevant extended offices. It’s also learnt that setting up extended TRC offices in provincial headquarters was also a part of implementing the federal set up enshrined in the constitution.

Once the extended offices come into operation, many rights violation related complaints which are at the TRC headquarters in Kathmandu will be sent back to the relevant extended offices.

Gurung made it clear that TRC was yet to frame criteria of what types of cases will be sent back to the local offices and which will be kept in its Kathmandu headquarters for further investigation.