Conflict victims disappointed at TRC’s snail-paced work

  • transitional justice
- PRAKASH ADHIKARI, SURKHET

Oct 15, 2017-Conflict victims here say the Truth and Reconciliation Commission office though was established four months ago, it has failed to address a single case. 

According to the TRC office, more than 10,000 complaints were registered from 10 districts of Province 6. 

The office had planned to investigate into 1,000 complaints within three months, but there has not been much progress except recording of statements of some of the 

victims. 

More than a decade has passed since then rebel Maoists and the government signed a peace deal to end the decade-long civil war that claimed more than 17,000 lives. More than 1,400 people were disappeared and thousands were displaced. 

 “What should the victim get--truth or justice? To decide that investigation should be performed on time,” said conflict victim Tara Devkota of west Surkhet. “If the commission continues to work in this pace, conflict victims won’t be able to get justice in their lifetime,” said Devkota. 

When the TRC office was established four months ago, conflict victims had hoped that their long wait for justice would end soon. But they say the TRC’s pace of work has disappointed them. 

The TRC has assigned joint attorney general of the High Court as an investigation officer at the provincial office. Law practitioners Bibas Basnet and Kaushila yogi are working as investigation officials. 

Even the representatives and investigating officials of the commission admitted that the investigation process is moving ahead slowly. 

Madhavi Bhatta, a member of the commission, said that the geographical remoteness is the main challenge in Province 6. “It is very difficult to call victims from remote districts. Even the representatives face difficulties in recording statements, collecting evidence and notifying the victims. It will be costly to call victims to record statements from Karnali districts,” said Bhatta. 

“We have to provide psychosocial counselling as well to the victims while recording statements. So, it takes a long time even to record the statements,” said one of the investigative officials.

Published: 15-10-2017 08:09

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