NHRC reminds govt to prosecute Godar massacreThe state security force killed five Dhanusha youths on suspicion of helping the insurgency in 2003
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has reminded the government about its recommendation to prosecute the security officers involved in extra judicial killings of five youths in Godar, Dhanusa, during the Maoist insurgency 13 years ago.
Sanjeev Kumar Karna, Durgesh Labh, Jitendra Jha, Shailendra Yadav and Pramod Mandal, of ages 20 to 25, were shot multiple times in their heads and bodies after they were detained on the suspicion of helping the insurgency in 2003. Their remains were exhumed eight years after the incident. They were identified based on DNA analysis.
The NHRC probe found direct involvement of two security officers— Chuda Bahadur Shrestha and Kuber Singh Rana, then a senior superintendent and a superintendent of police respectively— in the massacre. The district chief of Dhanusha at the time, Rewatiraj Kafle, and Maj Anup Adhikari were also found guilty.
The NHRC recommendation to punish the four officials has not been heeded till date. In fact, the then government under Baburam Bhattarai, one of the insurgency leaders of the Maoist party, promoted the indicted Rana to the highest police rank of Inspector General, in 2012.
Shrestha, meanwhile, was nominated as a member of the taskforce entrusted to finalise the transitional justice bill, only to resign from the job following public outrage.
The NHRC has once again renewed its call to the government to prosecute them for their crimes, as Friday marked the second year the victims’ families receiving the remains of their loved ones.
This is the chance for the government to offer hope to the families of those five youths and thousands of people who also lost their close family members and friends in the decade-long civil war between the state and the rebels, said Mohna Ansari, the NHRC spokesperson.
“Government taking action against the culprits of war-era crimes would be a massive step forward towards ending the state of impunity,” she said.
Since the NHRC was set up 16 years ago, only 14 percent of its nearly 1,000 recommendations has been implemented by the state. Most of them were related to providing compensation to the victims.
“Government has deprived the citizens of their rights for justice by condoning the grave rights violations instead of taking legal action against them,” the NHRC said in its statement on Friday.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP), formed to look into the war-era cases, have received over 55,000 complaints from the victims so far.
The two commissions have only seven months to investigate them.