TRC takes exception to Dahal’s deal with Madi blast victims

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 6, 2017-The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has taken serious exception to a deal signed by CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal with some victims of the Madi bomb blast, saying that the action infringed upon the transitional justice body’s jurisdiction.

On June 6 2005, then Maoist rebels had ambushed a passenger bus at Bandarmude of Madi in Chitwan, killing 38 people and injuring 72 others. 

The incident is the worst single attack that claimed the most innocent civilian lives during the insurgency. 

The area where the worst atrocity against civilians took place lies in Chitwan Constituency-3 from where Dahal is contesting the federal parliament elections. 

Dahal on Sunday signed a deal with four victims of the blast—Krishna Tiwari, Mangali Pun, Bikash Lamichhane and Hari Nyure—agreeing to provide free treatment, employment and lifelong allowance for those with disabilities. The agreement envisions a committee comprising three members from victims’ families, as many from the Maoist Centre and one from the Madi Municipality to recommend benefits for the victims. 

Issuing a press statement on Tuesday, TRC Chairperson Surya Kiran Gurung said the agreement reached on Sunday between Dahal and the victims undermined the jurisdiction of the TRC. The TRC has said the deal aiming to settle the issue by the two parties by providing compensation is against the norm of transitional justice and the provision of the TRC Act 2014. 

“The commission condemns the act and calls on all the stakeholders to refrain from such actions,” the TRC statement reads, urging the government to ensure security for the victims. 

Victims’ groups also have condemned the agreement. 

Issuing a press statement, Conflict Victims Common Platform, an umbrella body of 17 organisations of conflict victims, said the deal is but tantamount to using conflict victims to serve [an individual’s] personal political interest. 

It has also asked all the parties to respect victims’ right to justice. Similarly, the Bandarmude Victims Committee, an association of the Bandarmude victims, has claimed the deal was an outcome of monetary influence motivated for personal gains in elections. In a statement, Mukti Nath Neupane, chairperson of the Bandarmude Victims Committee, accused Dahal of failing to create a justice-friendly environment and trying to woo voters through the agreement.

Published: 06-12-2017 07:28

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