July 23, dang. On March 25, 2061, a team of the then Nepalese Army captured 14-year-old Vijay Choudhary of Okhra in the Ghorahi sub-metropolitan of Dang and shot him dead. Along with him three people of the village were buried on the charges of Maoists.
Even after almost two decades have passed since their son was killed, the wounds of father Hariram Chaudhary and mother Chhini Chaudhary have not healed. The son remembered that the corners of his parents’ eyes would fill with tears. Mother Chini Chaudhary says that sometimes after seeing her son in a dream, one feels pain for several days.
Where did the Chaudhary couple not reach for justice after the murder of their school-going son in Anahak? He repeatedly ran to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with a petition. Wherever he called, he went there, Balindradhara shed tears, but those tears were in vain.
On the morning of 19th July, Hariram Choudhary hesitated for a long time while showing his son’s photo to this correspondent and then burst into tears. He slowly recovered and said, ‘The government did not tell us that our son was killed until the culprit was found. Meanwhile, the villagers also know about the army team involved in the murder.
Hariram Raidas (54) of Tulsipur sub-metropolitan town-15 Duruwa was pressured by the then Maoists to resign as a ward member. However, he refused to resign. On 20 August 2057, the Maoists set their foot on a stone and threw another stone from above on the same pretext.
He has broken bones in his right leg. He lay in bed for the next two years. It took him four years to be able to walk, but he still can’t walk much longer. In very cold and hot heat, swelling and pain starts in the feet.
Raidas, who met him at home on the evening of July 21, told the online news, “I sold the land for the treatment of two carts and five axles, ‘still spending on medicines in 5 to 7 thousand months’. The Maoist commander who has abused me so much is Prasu Chaudhary, a resident of a neighboring village. There was no condition for lodging a complaint during the dispute. Later when I complained repeatedly, there was no hearing.
Raidas said he received 40,000 medical expenses from the state after repeatedly complaining to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “Other than that, I’ve got nothing,” he said. “Those who have committed a crime against me are walking freely,” he said.
He says that this situation has also increased his mental torture. He said that it is unbearable for the victims that those who have wronged them are roaming freely. “What worries me is why the guilty are not prosecuted,” says Raidas.
The above two examples are enough to show how the victims of the 10 years of armed conflict in the country are leading a miserable life in the absence of justice.
In February 2052, in an armed war launched by the then CPN (Maoist), more than 17,000 people from the state and rebel side were killed, over 2,000 went missing and more than 16,000 were injured and disabled.
On 5 November 2063, the country entered the peace process following a 12-point comprehensive peace agreement between the then rebel Maoists and the government. The peace agreement stated that the status of the conflict victims would be made public within 60 days and all incidents of the period of the conflict would be investigated and justice would be given to the victims within 6 months. However, even after 16 years, the victims are not able to feel justice as the transitional justice has not been finalised.
Prakash Choudhary, president of conflict-hit Common Network Dang, says victims suffer more when the government does not deliver transitional justice. He said that in the name of completing transitional justice, the state has delayed a lot. “Giving justice late is like not giving justice,” he said.
Chowdhary said that by exempting the perpetrators of the conflict period, victims are being made more victims, ‘Nepalese society cannot be healthy unless the victims of the incident are compensated and the culprits are punished legally. go.’
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Inquiry of Missing Persons were formed on 27 March 2071 to carry out transitional justice for murders, disappearances, sexual offences, physical torture, beatings etc. during conflict. For the last nine years, the government has been repeatedly extending the deadline of both the commissions, but the commission has not been able to conclude the matter so far.
65,000 complaints have been filed with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and 2,500 in the Missing Investigation Commission.
pardon the guilty
A writ was filed in the Supreme Court against the provision of amnesty even in some serious offences in the Act made in 2071 to deal with transitional justice. After the Supreme Court decided in favor of the writ, the said act automatically became ineffective.
Nine years later, the Bill to amend the Commission of Inquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Act – 2071 has also been in controversy due to the provision of pardon in Ghuwaro Para’s case. Conflict victims and rights activists are protesting that several provisions in the bill, which were registered by the government on June 31 last year, are flawed.
On 15 July, they protested in Kathmandu’s Maithigharamandal, saying they were trying to bring in a law to exempt the perpetrators of the incident in the name of accomplishing transitional justice. Conflict victims and rights activists are raising their voice that the bill should be amended to give exemption to criminals.
In the process of amending the Act, without consulting the victims, they tried to introduce a law that allows criminals to go round, says Sushila Choudhary, treasurer and advocate of conflict-hit Samudha Chautari.
He said the problem lies in the definition of the Bill with respect to cases of serious human rights violations. According to Chaudhary, the cases of ‘human rights violation’ and ‘serious violation of human rights’ have been kept separately in the proposed bill. According to him, incidents of nature including murder, sexual violence, torture, kidnapping and body captivity, beating and mutilation are classified as human rights violations, while incidents of nature such as brutal torture and brutal murder, coercion, inhumane or brutal torture, forcible disappearance of persons classified as serious violations of human rights. listed in the event.
Advocate Chaudhary says that it is wrong to call heinous crimes like murder, sexual violence and physical torture only as violation of human rights. He said that by not keeping incidents like murder and rape in the list of serious human rights violations, it seems that they are trying to give exemption to the guilty.
“Murder, sexual violence, kidnapping are serious crimes in themselves,” she said, adding, “It is flawed and objectionable to define such serious human rights violations as ordinary crimes.”
Another issue on which conflict victims and human rights activists have raised serious objections to the proposed law is the provision of amnesty to offenders. However, the amendment bill entered in the Parliament provides that in cases of human rights violations (as per the proposed bill, clemency, sexual violence, abduction, torture etc.) can be granted with the consent of the victim. ,
Section 26(5) of the Bill states, “On the basis of the damage caused to the victim and the statements made by the offender to the Commission in this regard, the Commission may, with the independent consent of the victim, recommend clemency.”
Advocate Chowdhary says, “It is not acceptable under any circumstances to pardon the guilty of such serious offences.”
In this way, he says, the state is trying to give immunity to the perpetrators instead of providing justice to the victims of conflict. “An attempt to abolish transitional justice through deceit will not be accepted under any circumstances,” he said.
salt in the wound of the victim
Ramprasad and Tulsikumari Choudhury of Ghorahi sub-metropolitan town-17 Bargarhi lost two children during the conflict. The son died, the daughter disappeared.
His 24-year-old son Arjun Choudhary was gunned down by government forces on 25 Chait 2061 in Okhra, a village near the house. Three years before that, on 3 Baisakh 2058, his daughter Ramkali was also arrested and banished by the government forces. Even though the son is dying, there is still a small hope in the hearts of the Choudhary couple to return the missing daughter. He has not performed the last rites of his daughter.
The thing that hurts them the most is that till now no investigation has been done about the truth of the incident of both the children. ‘Why did someone in the army kill our son? Where is the missing daughter, when and how will she come, says Ramprasad Chaudhary, ‘We need answers!’
He knows about the people who killed his son and made his daughter disappear. They have also filed a petition against him in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but the investigation has not progressed. Even after two decades, the government is silent on those incidents.
Chaudhary said, ‘The government is trying to save the culprits. We do not believe in forgiving the guilty. The day the guilty will be punished, we will get justice.
Hariram Raidas, a victim of atrocity of Tulsipur in the sub-metropolitan city-15, also says that it is unimaginable to forgive the culprits of the incident. “We have been wandering for years without punishing the guilty,” he said.
He said that he spent so many years hoping that justice would be served. “We have lived so many years, but it seems we have died as the guilty will be punished gradually,” he said.
Prakash Choudhary, president of the conflict-affected Aam Network Dang, is a victim of harassment. In 2058, while he was studying in school, the army arrested him for being a Maoist and severely tortured him. When he was a 14-year-old schoolboy. “I was tortured for 82 days in the army barracks,” he said.
He said the government’s proposal to pardon those guilty of serious crimes like murder, rape and torture has sprinkled salt on the wounds of the victims.
“The first thing is that the government has delayed in delivering justice,” he said. The victims hoped that justice would be served even if there was a delay. At such a time, trying to bring a law that pardons criminals is making victims more victims.
Victims of sexual violence always neglected
The bill, introduced in Parliament, includes heinous crimes such as rape and sexual violence during conflict as common human rights violations. Maina Karki, president of the conflict-affected Samudha Chautari, says that the state is not serious even towards women victims of serious crimes like rape.
During the 10-year conflict, many women were victims of rape and sexual violence by rebels and government security forces. The state is yet to recognize victims of rape, considered a heinous crime after murder, as victims of conflict.
Karki, president of the conflict-affected community, says that victims of sexual violence during the conflict should get compensation from the state.
“The state called the families of the dead, injured, missing, tortured, cut off all victims and also compensated,” she said, adding that “sexual violence victims were not included in the figures.”
Nirmala (name changed) of Dang Tulsipur-3 was gang-raped by government forces in her own house in 2055, when she was two months pregnant. The security forces used to threaten her every day on the allegation of her husband being a Maoist.
’23 years have passed, the tyranny still hasn’t stopped,’ she says, ‘there’s a lump of pain in her heart that can’t be released. I can neither walk nor forget it. Isn’t it the job of the government to get justice for me?’
She boldly filed a complaint with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but no hearing has taken place so far. He has not received any compensation from the state. ‘Where shall I go for justice, where shall I go to express my pain?’ He has a question.
Conflict victims and rights activists have raised serious objections to the bill. Another issue is that the special court’s decision is final. Advocate Sushila Choudhary says, “If you are not satisfied with a decision, then withholding of appeal is unconstitutional.
Similarly, there is a provision in the amendment bill that the culprits of the incidents of conflict will get less punishment. According to the circumstances of the case and the principles of transitional justice, the proposed law provides that the court can commute the sentence.
Human rights activists and conflict victims have serious objections to this. He says that reducing the crime and punishment of those involved in serious human rights violations will do injustice to the victims.
Advocate Chaudhary said, “The present bill is going to increase the suffering of the victims by giving exemption to the guilty as before.”