Gyan P Neupane, My Republica, 16th March 2017
Eleven years after the end of the decade-long Maoist insurgency, a government taskforce formed to verify more victims of the conflict has verified an additional 3,830 individuals who have suffered in various ways from the insurgency period.
With this addition, the total number of conflict victims has now reached 139,711. They suffered in various ways at the hands of either the security forces or the Maoist rebels. Some of them lost family members and others incurred property losses. Likewise, some family members were abducted or involuntarily disappeared.
According to the taskforce, which was formed on January 19, out of the total of 3,830 newly-verified conflict victims, 1,630 were mutilated or injured in other ways, 788 were abducted, 651 displaced, 485 suffered property losses, 125 were killed, 83 were disappeared and 68 children were orphaned.
The taskforce, which was coordinated by Ram Chandra Ghimire, handed over the list of newly-verified victims to Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Sitadevi Yadav, Wednesday. An earlier taskforce report submitted to the government in June 2013 had put the total number of conflict victims at 135,881.
A cabinet meeting on January 19 had formed another taskforce to vet the remaining 14,988 victims and establish their eligibility for benefits from state coffers as conflict victims. Of these, 3,830 have now been verified in the first phase. The taskforce will decide the eligibility of the others before the deadline expires, said Subhash Chandra Yadav, a member of the taskforce. Yadav, who is also spokesperson of the taskforce, said the panel has a 45-day deadline and it will complete its task within the given time.
“We have been processing all the data provided by the cabinet meeting for verification. And we are committed to finalizing the process within the given deadline,” said Yadav during a function in Kathmandu.
He informed that the taskforce cross-checked all information on the victims with previous reports submitted by different taskforces to the ministry and also updated the data in the information management system.
“During our investigations, we identified a few names which have been repeated in the list but we didn't find any fake victims,” he added.
Coordinator Ghimire informed that the newly-verified conflict victims will get their relief packages. Of the 135,881 verified victims, it is estimated that over 40,000 have so far received the relief, said Hari Gyawali, under-secretary at the ministry.
According to ministry officials, the government has been providing up to Rs 500,000 each to families with a member killed or disappeared. The government also provides scholarships and Rs 60,000 annually for the orphans and life-long monthly incentives of up to Rs 12,400 for the injured.