The Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons has made public a name list of 2,886 individuals reportedly disappeared during the decade-long insurgency.
The name list is based on the complaints the commission received till date. The commission is still receiving the complaints from the conflict victims in remote districts through the post.
Publishing the name list on its website (www.ciedp.gov.np) the commission on Monday requested the public, civil society, political parties, rights organisations, government bodies, national and international organisations for additional information and evidences, if any, related to these individuals. Last month, the commission had dispatched letters to all the applicants requesting additional information related to their case within 15 days of receiving the letter to substantiate the claims made in the complaints. “This is also aimed at gathering additional information and evidences in the case from people other than family members,” said CIEDP Chairperson Lokendra Mallick.
According to him, it is the final call to furnish details of the case. Based on the details of the case, the commission is set to begin a detailed investigation into those complaints.
The commission started verification of the incidents as it received doubled the number verified by the government. The Peace Ministry, which provided compensation for the conflict victims, has maintained a record of 1,475 disappeared persons, while the National Human Rights Commissions has recorded around 900 cases. An updated report of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Nepal Red Cross Society has put the number of missing persons at 1,334.
Victims, however, have claimed that there had been instances of destruction of evidence and threat to the witnesses from the perpetrators. “The commission should have drafted a policy, then set up a mechanism to ensure protection of evidence and witnesses before making public the name list of the victims,” said Ram Kumar Bhandari, chair of the National Network of Families of the Disappeared and Missing. As the incidents of disappearance are directly linked with security forces, Bhandari said, it is highly likely the victims get threats and insinuation to drop the cases. “The commission should act responsibly. The NHRC should to monitor the investigation.”