Nepal panels give one more month for submission of complaints

Kathmandu: Two commissions set up in Nepal to seek complaints of human rights abuses and forced disappearances during the Maoist insurgency from 1996-2006 have extended for a month the deadline for receiving such complaints. "We have decided to extend the time for registration of complaints by another one month," said Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) spokesperson Bishnu Pathak. The TRC, set up to seek complaints and probe cases of serious human rights abuses during the decade-long civil war, and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) had sought complaints from the affected persons around two months ago. Within this period, the TRC received over 33,600 complaints while the CIEDP got over 2,400 complaints. Among those against whom complaints have been filed with the TRC are former King Gyanendra Shah and former Prime Ministers Girija Prasad Koirala, Surya Bahadur Thapa, Lokendra Bahadur Chand, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai and Sher Bahadur Deuba. Complaints have also been made with the TRC against former security chiefs, including top brass of the Nepal Army. Over 13,000 people were killed and thousands others injured in the civil war waged by the Maoists in the Himalayan nation. Thousands were internally displaced while over 17,00 people disappeared, the government data says. Krishna KC, a former Maoist guerrilla and student leader, in his complaint to TRC Chairman Surya Kiran Gurung, demanded action against former King Gyanendra Shah and the five prime ministers over his alleged illegal detention by the Nepal Army for 810 days during the armed insurgency. Deuba and Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda have the maximum complaints against them from among high-profile Nepal politicians. No complaint has been received against former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.