Rolpa conflict victims worried about the secrecy of their complaints

Published On: July 3, 2019 07:44 AM NPT By: Dinesh Subedi

ROLPA, July 3: Four years ago, assuring the locals of the confidentiality and secrecy of the details, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) collected complaints from the families of those killed and disappeared in the conflict era. However, as the authorities have done nothing much over these past four years, the victims' families wonder where and in what state the files of their complaints are.

As stated by one of the former TRC officials, the complaint-files of the victims are carelessly piled up at the TRC central office without any seal. According to him, all these files are unsafe. This is because the meeting of the officials has not been conducted since the Chairperson resigned. He further added that some of the cases are being forwarded to the United Nations slowly.

Even though the officials of the commission are doing no work at the moment, the government is still providing them encouragement allowance. The victims lament that they won't be able to get justice also because those who victimized them are in the government.

"We don't think we will get justice if the complaints of the victims are submitted to those who victimized them," said Shree Kumari Roka, who lost her father during the decade-long armed conflict, adding, "Those whose aim is just to reserve their seats in parliament can never work for public welfare." According to her, the negligence by the commission has raised questions on the confidentiality of the complaint files.

Senior advocate and constitutional expert Bhimarjun Acharya, too, expressed doubts over the secrecy and safety of these documents. "None of the commissions are working for the welfare of the victims. There are high chances that the complaints of the victims may reach the hands of victimizers. It will be quite unfortunate if that happens," said Acharya, adding, "If the officials of the commissions have some political background, that will increase the risks further." He says, the formation of the commission and collection of complaints was just a hogwash. 

The family members of nine victims who were burnt to death in the house of Bal Bahadur Roka of Lungri Rural Municipality-7 in March 11, 1999 are having a lot of tension at the moment. They are worried about the confidentiality of their statements.

Pratima Thapa of Libang-4 was pregnant when her husband disappeared. Her son who could not even see his father is now a 10th grader. She still has hopes that her husband will return one day to see his son. Now, she is living with her in-laws and son. Her husband was 20/22 year old when he disappeared. "I don't think poor people like us will ever get justice," she laments. The complaints filed by 3,038 victims of Rolpa at the TRC are currently at the risk of losing confidentiality.  

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