Why were our kin disappeared? Killed? Conflict victims’ families

September 2, 2018 03:00 AM Bhim Chapagain


ILAM, Sept 2: On September 29, 2002, Khadananda Adhikari of Paanchthar’s Yangwarak Rural Municipality-1, Chyangthapu was shot dead while walking. His family members saw the brutal scene of him being shot by 36 bullets. “Why was my husband killed?” questioned his wife Homa, adding, “I have been asking this question for the past 12 years but have received no answer.”

Losing her husband was painful but the inability of tracing the reason behind his gruesome murder is even worse. “We won’t stop questioning about the incident just because the government offered us some money as relief,” said Homa.

Yuvraj Dhungel of Jhapa keeps asking what had his son done that compelled someone to kill him. It has been 13 years since his son who had gone to Kathmandu has been missing. “We have no idea about his whereabouts. I can’t stop my tears especially during festivals,” said Yuvraj. He urges the government to provide the evidence of his death if he is not alive, so that they can at least perform his last rites.

Similarly, Sitadevi Chapagain of Ilam still does not know why her father-in-law was sliced half with a sharp weapon years ago. After the death of her father-in-law, they were displaced from then Namsaling VDC. “We don’t want much from the government. We just want to know the reason of his murder and our displacement,” said Sitadevi. She has been awaiting answer for the past 12 years.

Almost 12 years after the comprehensive peace agreement, victims of the enforced disappeared are wandering places seeking reason for the murder of their loved ones. 

“Why our family members were abducted and murdered ruthlessly while going to school, collecting fodder, working in fields, in their sleep?” is the question that keeps haunting them.

Chandramaya Rai of Paanchthar’s Falelung-5 laments that no one has been able find a reason why her husband was shot dead while working in his field 14 years ago. With tears rolling down her cheeks, Chandramaya, 61, said, “He died on the spot after receiving a bullet. But I have been dying every single day since then.” The government provided a relief of Rs 1 million but that did not bring any smile to her face. “That is the money that I received at the cost of my husband,” she added.

The government has formed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission for the Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) to investigate the cases of conflict victims. While these organizations claim that they have been doing their job, the victims’ families do not seem much satisfied with their work. 

Altogether 3,093 complaints have been filed at the CIEDP and 62,000 at the TRC so far. The government has provided relief to the victims’ families but they say that just money will not keep them quiet until they get a valid reason for the death of their loved ones.


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