ROLPA, March 15: A huge number of families in Rolpa who had sought the whereabouts of their family members disappeared during the decade-long Maoist conflict have come to know that the complaints they had filed at the commission concerned have themselves disappeared. While a total of 132 complaints were filed at the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons’ (CIEDP) from Rolpa three years ago, the commission does not have more than 98 complaints with it now. The rest have disappeared! With this, the affected people’s hopes for justice have turned bleak.
The commission itself is not quite clear about how there are lesser files of complaints available than earlier recorded. The disappearance of some of the files came to the fore only recently as a two-member team of the commission is now in Rolpa for investigation.
Dhan Bahadur Rokka of Rolpa, a local journalist, disappeared in 2002. The Maoist rebels had abducted him and his family members have not met him since then. His wife Dilkumari filed a compliant regarding this three years ago. According to the family, the registration number of the complaint is 1511 which is no more in the list.
“When we filed the compliant seeking his whereabouts, the registration number was 1511. We thought they must be working on our complaint. But now we don’t find it in the list,” Rokka’s daughter Pabitra lamented. “This has made us least assured of justice. It is the height of negligence from their part,” she added.
Other families have also reacted in the same way after noticing that their complaints are missing. They have expressed anger and disappointment.
According to Yubaraj Subedi, chairman of CIEDP, the matter will be investigated and where and how the complaints have gone will be found out soon.
“Some 132 complaints were filed at the disappearance commission. It has come to fore that 32 of those were later sent to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Later, the TRC sent only three of those back to us,” he said. “But we are investigating where the rest of the files have gone,” he added.
On this, the affected families have stated that the commission should not have sent the files to the TRC without even consulting with them. The transferred files, according to them, are a testimony to nothing but an indifference toward the victims.
“The files were sealed. They might have gone missing somewhere as the terms of those commissions expired and were extended again. We have to look at it very seriously,” said Subedi. “If we fail to find the lost files, complaints could be filed once again,” he added.
The stories of those who died or went missing during the conflict are generally tragic. In Rolpa, there are dozens of conflict-hit families still struggling for survival. They are in crisis both in terms of financial stability and emotion. Amid not so impressive progress in their place, they have now and then questioned the purpose of the bloody war and have sought at least minimum level of support and cooperation from the government.
“If we could be assured that the establishment is serious about our problem and it is trying hard to find our disappeared family members, we would feel a little better. But then, they don’t care. Then it feels very unfair,” said Rokka’s daughter Pabitra.
Also according to another conflict victim from Rolpa, Shree Rokka, the missing of the complaints has given a very negative message. “We are the affected people. This news has hurt us further. Without our knowledge, they sent the files to the other commission. This is sheer negligence toward the conflict victims,” she said.
Meanwhile, member of CIEDP, DR Gangadhar Adhikari maintained that necessary steps would be taken to find out the truth. “Everyone should get justice,” he said. “Our commission has started collecting details of the missing files starting Friday,” he added.