Survivors of Nepal insurgency fear crimes will go unpunished

Despite international pressure and government promises, including by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) themselves, Adhikari and thousands of other conflict victims are still waiting for information about loved ones who were among the 17,000 killed or hundreds who disappeared during the decade-long insurgency demanding an end to the country's now-defunct monarchy.

AP August 29, 2016 15:50:00 IST
Survivors of Nepal insurgency fear crimes will go unpunished

Kathmandu: The image of the teacher's body tied to a tree and riddled with bullets still haunts his son 14 years later.

Communist militants allegedly dragged the Nepalese man from the class he was teaching and then killed him for refusing to give part of his salary to fund their bloody rebellion.

Suman Adhikari has little hope he will get justice for his father's death not with the same Maoist fighters-turned-politicians controlling the Himalayan country's government.

Despite international pressure and government promises, including by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) themselves, Adhikari and thousands of other conflict victims are still waiting for information about loved ones who were among the 17,000 killed or hundreds who disappeared during the decade-long insurgency demanding an end to the country's now-defunct monarchy.

"The Maoists want everyone to forgive and forget whatever happened during the conflict, but that is not acceptable to us," said 40-year-old Adhikari, who works for a Kathmandu- based charity that works with the deaf.

Survivors of Nepal insurgency fear crimes will go unpunished

In this photo taken on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, Indira Adhikari, left, and Suman Adhikari are seen at their home in Kathmandu, Nepal. The mother and son have very little hope of getting justice for Muktinath Adhikari, who was dragged out of a classroom he was teaching, tied to a tree and riddled with bullets by alleged maoists for refusing to part with a portion of his salary to fuel their rebellion. Now the very same rebels are politicians controlling the nation's government and want everyone to forgive and forget what happened during the conflict. AP

Earlier this month, Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal became Nepal's prime minister, leading the poor and politically fractious country's ninth coalition government in 10 years.

His ascent to the top elected position completed the Maoist's political rehabilitation started in 2006 when they signed a UN-brokered peace accord to end their guerrilla campaign against authorities.

Meanwhile, Nepal is still beset by ethnic conflict and protests against its new constitution, and coping from widespread damage caused by earthquakes that killed thousands last year.

For victims of the old insurgency, the Maoists' rise was nothing to celebrate. Those hoping for resolution from a newly assembled Truth and Reconciliation Committee fear the Maoists will seek to sweep away post-conflict cases by delaying investigations, ignoring advice to prosecute or even legislating for a general amnesty that would absolve all crimes.

With the committee's mandate expiring in February next year, some of its 100 staff members admit they have neither the time nor the manpower to investigate the more than 53,000 complaints alleging human rights violations unless the government extends its mission. None of the cases have been resolved so far.

"In the time we have left, I don't think we will be able to deal with even a fraction of the number of cases we have in our hands," commissioner Madhavi Bhatta told The Associated Press.

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