Monday, April 09, 2007

Panel wants retrospective law ending impunity

A task force headed by Appellate Court Judge Lokendra Mallik on sunday suggested the Supreme Court issue directives to the government to enact a retrospective law ending impunity and to punish security personnel involved in disappearing people in the past.
The task force today submitted its report to the SC after a five-month-long investigation on four missing persons.
The report said that the apex court must direct the government to form a high-level commission to find out the truth about people missing during the conflict and compensate families of the victims.
The task force indicted chief of the Central Division barracks of the Nepal Army in Hetauda, Lt Colonel Krishna Murari Neupane, of killing one Chakra Bahadur Katuwal.
The report says that Katuwal, a headmaster of a school in Okhaldhunga, was arrested and detained in the barracks and later killed by security men following orders from Neupane.The report also indicted late captain Dinesh Thapa, Deputy Superintendent of Police Hanuman Shah and Inspector Liladhar Paudel in the case. The panel also indicted former Assistant Chief District Officer of Okhaldhunga, Purusottam Adhikary, police inspectors Durga Lal Chaudhary, Kamal Prasad Giri and Chakra Basnet and 17 others in the case.
The panel said there is no hope of finding alive the three other missing persons —Rajendra Dhakal, Bipin Bhandari and Dil Bahadur Rai — who were arrested by the forces and kept in the Bhairav Nath Barracks.“There is no hope of finding them alive,” Judge Mallik told journalists.
The task force indicted Inspector Kush Bikram Rana of disappearing advocate Dhakal and Sub Inspectors Bijaya Pratap Shah and Durga Lal Chaudhary of disappearing student leaders Bhandari and Rai.
It further advised the government to initiate action against the officials by immediately suspending them from service.A division bench of Justices Khil Raj Regmi and Kalyan Shrestha had formed the panel some seven months ago.
“Justices Regmi and Shrestha have told us that they would study the report seriously,” Mallik said after submitting the report to the Justices.
The bench has scheduled for Wednesday a verdict on the habeas corpus case on the four missing persons.
The panel suggested the SC direct the Parliament and the interim government to enact the law to punish the guilty as per the international laws making such disappearances as crime against humanity. The report also advised the Supreme Court to issue judicial strictures to the government and the police to stop illegal arrest and detention.

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