Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu
125 complaints received in the first day
After the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP), another transitional justice mechanism–the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)–on Sunday started taking complaints from conflict victims.
As many as 125 cases were filed on the first day of the 60-day registration process through the Local Peace Committees. The highest number of cases–36–were registered in the Mid West, which was the heartland of the decade-long Maoist insurgency, followed by the central TRC office in Kathmandu (26) and its central regional office (24).
TRC, an independent body formed to investigate war-era crimes, started receiving the complaints 14 months after its formation in February 2015. The commission has called for complaints from victims and their relatives of cases of rights violation committed by both the state and the then revolutionary CPN (Maoist). These could include rape and sexual violence, extra-judicial killing, torture and abduction.
The victims or their kin can file complaints between April 17 and June 16 through visit, post, email and telephone with the central and district committees of the commission, according to Manchala Jha, a TRC member. Nearly 10 years after the 12-point agreement that brought the Maoists to mainstream politics, the government formed the commissions last year. The CIEDP on Thursday started receiving complaints and 57 cases have been registered so far. According to its Spokesperson Bishnu Pathak, the highest number of cases (15) were registered in Bardiya, followed by nine and six in Banke and Kathmandu respectively.
The commissions will probe the cases before forwarding them to a special court. “We’re planning to start preliminary investigation from the second week of May,” said Jha. Based on inputs from the districts, the commission expects to receive 40,000 to 50,000 complaints in the period.
Around 16,000 people were killed, 1,400 were disappeared and 20,000 tortured in addition to the 25,000 who were displaced during the Maoist People’s War.