Kathmandu, May 15 (IANS) Splinter groups of Nepal’s Maoist movement — which once waged a decade-long civil war under the banner of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist — have started coming together to unitedly take up cases registered against them during the period and which are now hounding them.
Maoist rebels launched an armed insurgency against the multiparty parliamentary system and the monarchy in 1996 that lasted till 2006 — and ended with the Comprehensive Peace Accord signed on November 21, 2006.
According to the peace accord, two transitional justice mechanisms — the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CEDP) — were set up which invited complaints from victims of the decade-long war to find out the truth and deliver justice to the survivors.
It was agreed that all war-era cases would be dealt by the TRC and not by regular courts.
After the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) became the single largest party in the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections, internal power politics forced the party to split into six factions.
The splinter groups were pressing the government to address all war-era cases through the TRC and CEDP and not by regular courts.
These Maoist splinter groups are now making a common cause on the issue with UCPN (Maoist), whose chairman is Pushp Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda.
Maoist leaders claimed that their unity process will be completed within a week and that they have prepared an 11-point joint strategy paper for the unification bid.
A Maoist leader Dev Gurung said that after various lower courts and the Supreme Court started digging out various civil war-era cases against Maoist leaders, various Maoist groups were forced to come together and unite under the UCPN (Maoist).
There was international pressure, including from various human rights organisations, that serious cases of human rights abuses should be handled by courts while others could be considered for pardon.
Over 6,000 complaints were registered with the TRC within a month after it called upon victims and survivors of cases like murder, arson, rape, loot, extortion, torture and others.
Prachanda and other senior party leaders, then government officials and various senior officials of the security agencies have been accused of wrongdoings in many cases.
In April, the six splinter groups of Nepal’s Maoist party demanded withdrawal of civil war-era cases against UCPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and other leaders from regular courts and repeal of the Supreme Court verdicts, saying there was a conspiracy to derail the peace process.
The six factions had also announced a joint legal desk to study the civil war-era cases and make recommendations to the government.
(Anil Giri can be contacted at email@example.com)