TRC begins probe into war-era cases from Surkhet

Published On: June 5, 2017 01:00 AM NPT By: Nagendra Upadhyaya

SURKHET, June 5: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has started the probe into the cases of rights violation committed during the decade-long Maoist insurgency from Province 6.  

A three-member probe committee headed by Joint-attorney general of the Surkhet High Court has started investigation into over 10,000 complaints of province 6 from Sunday. The committee includes advocate Bibas Kumar Basnet and Kaushila Yogi as its member. 

Over 10,000 cases of rights violations are registered with the TRC in Province 6.  Officials said investigations into 1,000 complaints will be completed within three months. "We have instructed the committee to complete investigation into over 1,000 war-era cases within three months," said Madhavi Bhatta, a member of TRC, "All conflict victims will get justice within a year." 

The commission is establishing its provincial offices to expedite investigation into the war-era cases. "It is not possible to investigate cases of rights violations from Kathmandu.

That's why we have begun provincial level investigations," said Bhatta adding, "We want to deliver justice to the victims at the earliest.  

She said the TRC is also planning to expand its presence to the district level based on need. Stating that giving justice to the conflict victims was their utmost priority, Bhatta said the commission will not grant amnesty to those involved in rape and sexual violence. 

"Killings in war can be taken as a common phenomenon but there will be no amnesty in cases of victims of rape and sexual violence," she said stating that the TRC Act has clearly spoken for justice to such victims. 

At the function, the newly-elected mayor of Birendranagar Municipality, Dev Kumar Subedi said those guilty of the war-era crimes should be booked according to the nature of their crimes. "Those involved in heinous crimes should not be excused at any cost. As the elected peoples' representatives, we are ready to play our constructive role," said Mayor Subedi. 

Nanda Shrestha, who lost her husband during the Maoist insurgency, complained that she has been denied justice for years. "We are in a big pain. Please start the transitional justice process considering our woes," said Shrestha. 

Another conflict victim Pratap Poudel, who was victimized by the state, demanded to ensure representation of conflict victims in the commission. “It will be easy to investigate the war-era cases when representation of both the victims and perpetrators is ensured," Poudel said stressing the need for reconciliation in settling the war-era cases. 

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