THT 10 YEARS AGO: Compensate kin of disappeared: SC

Kathmandu, June 1, 2007

In a landmark judgement today, the Supreme Court directed the government to provide compensation to 83 families of those who had disappeared from the custody of security forces and to prosecute the security officials involved in killing and disappearing citizens.

Responding to habeas corpus petitions which have been pending for years, a division bench of Justices Khil Raj Regmi and Kalyan Shrestha issued mandamus order to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Cabinet and the Office of the Attorney General to prosecute those involved in the killing of people in detention centres.

It also directed the government to promulgate a law criminalising enforced disappearance and to form an independent commission to find the whereabouts of all those who have gone missing in the past 10 years. The ruling would bring some relief to the kin of over 900 who had disappeared in the decade-long conflict if they approach the court.

The bench directed the government to provide compensation considering the grief faced by the families of the killed and the disappeared. It told the authorities to provide Rs 2 lakh to the family members of those who were killed in detention centres and Rs 1 lakh to those whose family members disappeared after their arrest.

The bench also directed the government to launch relief programmes in financial, economic, employment, education sectors to compensate the family members.

16 bodies recovered, most of them kids

Surkhet, June 1, 2007

The bodies of 16 persons who died last Saturday in a snowstorm near Tangtange Lake in Dolpa district were recovered today.

According to the midwestern regional police office at Surkhet, the rescue team dug out the bodies from under the snow. Although the team identified the spot on Wednesday, the bodies could not be dug out due to bad weather, said deputy superintendent of police at Surkhet Naresh Man Shrestha.

Among the bodies, 10 are of males and six of females, he said, adding that half of them were children. Children are recruited for the collection of yarsagumba as they have sharp eyesight. Ten other missing persons have also come into contact in the region, DSP Shrestha said.

This makes the number of persons who came into contact 40, including 30 on Thursday. The other missing persons had gone to collect yarsagumba in the surrounding areas, DSP Shrestha quoted the rescue team as saying.

Meanwhile, the relatives of those killed came to the spot and the bodies were handed over to their kin. The relatives of those killed are preparing to cremate the bodies as it is difficult to carry them away due to the remoteness of the area, DSP Shrestha added.

The rescue team was able to reach the site which is at an altitude of 16,000 feet at 4:00 pm yesterday after two days’ attempt. The team will return from there tomorrow.