Incident Reports

NA seeks details of complainants


Karnali, Jajarkot, Bheri

A Nepali Army battalion based in Rukum has sought details of the conflict victims who have lodged complaints against the army from Rukum district at the transitional justice mechanism. Devidal battalion on Thursday wrote a letter to the District Peace Committee, Rukum, seeking names and addresses of the victims who had filed complaints, as well as the names of that Nepali Army personnel who they have accused of rights violations. The Truth and Reconstruction Commission and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons began receiving complaints from the victims of Maoist insurgency on April 14 and 17, respectively. The district peace committees across the country have been asked to collect the complaints on behalf of the TRC and CIEDP. The transition justice mechanism, however, rejected the request, stating that the details of the victims and their complaints were confidential and couldn’t be shared with anyone. “The move is surprising.

The Nepali Army has no right to seek such information,” CIEDP spokesperson Prof Bishnu Pathak told The Himalayan Times. “The victims and details of their complaints can’t be shared with anyone and will remain confidential.” However, he said the total number of complaints that the two commissions had received from the victims could, however, be shared with others. DPC Rukum Secretary Raju Lamichhane told this daily that he had immediately informed TRC and CIEDP in Kathmandu about the NA’s letter, and got their directions that “such information couldn’t be shared with anyone, let alone the Nepali Army”. Later, CIEDP also wrote a letter that it couldn’t provide such confidential information about the victims and their complaints against the Nepali Army — which was part of the decade-long armed insurgency that ended in November 2006. According to Lamichhane, at least 35 complaints have been filed for TRC, while merely four cases of forceful disappearance have been registered for CIEDP in Rukum. When contacted, Nepali Army spokesperson Tara Bahadur Karki said he was unaware of any such request made by the Devidal battalion.

He clarified that NA headquarters had no policy of seeking information about the victims and their complaints and it had not directed anyone to do so for its any battalions, including the Devidal battalion. He, however, said the battalion could have sought such information at the local level. Over 1,300 people were disappeared forcefully during the insurgency, of which 77 per cent were by the state security bodies, including the Nepali Army. At least 10 per cent were disappeared by the Maoist side and it’s not known who was responsible for the disappearance of the remaining 13 per cent missing people.