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NHRC Report Card: Action recommended against 66 right violators

NHRC Report Card: Action recommended against 66 right violators

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recommended action against 66 individuals, including 37 Nepal Police personnel, in the fiscal year 2023/24.

Four superintendents of police (SPs), four deputy superintendents of police (DSPs), five inspectors, seven sub-inspectors, four assistant sub-inspectors, five head constables and three constables are among the police personnel that the national rights body has sought action for violation of human rights. 

The NHRC has also recommended action against one Armed Police Force (APF) personnel, four Nepali Army personnel, one National Investigation Department personnel and 12 civil servants, including seven chief district officers and four prison chiefs.

The rights body has also found 10 leaders and cadres of the erstwhile CPN (Maoist) guilty of human rights violation and recommended needful action. 

The NHRC published the list following investigation into 117 complaints, including those pending from the previous fiscal year. According to the half-yearly report of the watchdog, it took final decisions on 44 complaints and recommended concerned authorities for action and compensation on 37 cases. It also awarded a total compensation of Rs 1.47m to 21 victims and recommended action against 12 individuals.

The NHRC said that it conducted work sessions with high-ranking officials from relevant government ministries and civil society representatives during the period to discuss the implementation of recommendations. Likewise, separate discussions were held with the secretaries of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Finance to ensure effective execution of its recommendations.

The Aarti Sah murder case was one of the significant cases of human rights violation that was studied in the review period. Although the incident was initially labeled as suicide, the NHRC study found that the police investigation into the case was not inadequate. Police officers Bishwa Raj Khadka, Bed Prasad Gautam and Dinesh Adhikari were found guilty of reckless negligence while investigating the case.    

Since Aarti’s family members were also assaulted in police custody, the NHRC ordered the government to pay a compensation of Rs 150,000 to Aarti’s sister Manisha, Rs 100,000 to Aarti’s mother and Rs 50,000 each to Aarti’s brother and maternal uncle.

In another case related to reproductive health rights, the NHRC ordered the concerned authority to dismiss the official who denied maternal leave to differently-abled employee Sumitra Kautwal of the National Federation of the Disabled. The rights body also asked the federation to provide 90-day maternal leave to Katuwal and also pay her a compensation of Rs 100,000 for violating her right to reproductive health.

It also decided to write to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens, chief ministers of all seven provinces and chief district officers of all 77 districts to monitor the implementation of laws related to reproductive health in government and non-governmental offices.

Likewise, the NHRC has recommended the government to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 to Dr Ranjit Kumar Yadav who was arrested by Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police on a false charge of possessing fake license of the Nepal Medical Council. It also drew the attention of the Nepal Police and the Council to prevent similar incidents in the future.

It also recommended to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Finance, and the Nepal Rastra Bank to implement policies for sanitation of banknotes and currency before they are circulated in the market.

The NHRC also asked the Nepal Police to compensate 10 sexual minority individuals who were subjected to inhumane treatment by police personnel. It also asked the Nepal Police to communicate with all its units to respect the honor and dignity of sexual minorities.