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HRW urges Nepal Government to release 2015 Terai Violence Report

ANI | Updated: Oct 03, 2019 14:19 IST

Kathmandu [Nepal], Oct 03 (ANI): The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the Nepal government to release the report of the Lal Commission, which investigated deadly violence of the 2015 Terai Movement.
The Lal Commission was formed under former Supreme Court judge Girish Chandra Lal to investigate into reports of violent clashes between police and protestors during Terai Movement of 2015.
"Selective leaks in the media are causing confusion about the findings. The government should instead release the full report and explain how it will respond to the recommendations," Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director of HRW said on Wednesday.
"Victims and their families placed their faith in government commitments to an independent investigation, and there can be no possible justification for keeping the findings under wraps," Ganguly further added.
The HRW raised its concerns over the release of the report after media reported that it contains crucial information to provide justice to victims and could help prevent similar violence in the future.
In leaked reports to the media, the commission has stated that the police "did not fulfil their important duty" to protect members of the indigenous Tharu community from mob attacks.
The commission also has concluded that the use of lethal force against protesters in the eastern Terai region could not have occurred "without the direction and orders from the local administration." The commission said that the killing of bystanders and protesters involved excessive use of police force.
The report that was presented to the government in December 2017 had said that it included cases of 66 people killed during the violence, including 10 policemen.
The then government under Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had received the report from the Commission. It has not been released since then as Deuba had to vacant post for KP Sharma Oli as he was set to succeed over the post after being elected with a two-thirds majority.
"The commission, composed of highly respected senior officials, struggled to produce independent findings despite a lack of cooperation from state authorities, and Nepal needs to show that it takes the findings of human rights violations seriously," Ganguly said. "The Nepal police's international partners should also review the findings and satisfy themselves that basic human rights commitments are being upheld."
The disgruntled Madhesh based parties who led the protest in 2015 has been demanding for the release of report numerous times in the parliament and even halting the procession.
The Lal Commission was up in September 2016, and its six-month tenure was extended twice.
In addition to Lal, the other members of the commission were Deputy Attorney General Surya Koirala, advocate Sujan Lopchan, former Assistant Inspector General of Police Navaraj Dhakal, and Home Ministry Joint Secretary Narayan Prasad Sharma Duwadi.
They investigated 3,264 complaints registered with the commission. (ANI)