Nepal Maoists Reactivate People’s Court
Posted by Ka Frank on February 20, 2010
This article appeared in the Himalayan Times on February 17, 2010.
Maoists reactivate people’s court in Sankhuwasabha
KHANDBARI: The agitating UCPN-Maoist has reactivated kangaroo court in Sankhuwasabha district, violating the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The number of cases registered in the kangaroo court far exceed those in the district court. There has been a flow of criminal cases in the district office of the UCPN-Maoist after it encouraged the locals to approach the party with their disputes.
The people’s court has begun giving verdicts, including physical punishment, said Dibyaraj Baral, Khandbari city in-charge of the Maoists. He claimed they had been receiving seven to 10 cases a day. He attributed the people’s faith in the people’s court to the “goodwill generated during the time of the people’s government” while Maoists were still at war with the establishment.
In not so distant past they used to hand over such cases to the police. Assistant in-charge Rajendra Karki claimed, “After the party announced that the people’s court will be resumed as part of their ongoing agitation, people have been flocking to us with their disputes.” He claimed that the cases that the police failed to settle were resolved by people’s court. Baral claimed that they had already settled more than 500 cases. Arjun BK of Tumlingtar said he went to the Maoists for social justice, as the “government’s judicial process is slow and expensive”.
UML district secretary Kawan Singh Rai said the Maoists’ move to settle the disputes through their court was a mockery of the state machinery. NC’s district president Taraman Gurung urged the Maoists to hand over all such cases to the police.
Sankhuwasabha CDO Satrudhna Pudasaini said the Maoists were not authorised to settle the disputes. He said, “The Maoists will be officially urged to send all the cases to the police.”
According to Yog Narayan Shrestha, Nayab Subba in the district court, Chainpur, the district court got only five to 15 cases in a month. Shrestha said the settlement of a case by any political party bypassing the court was illegal and unacceptable.
Assistant CDO Rajendra Sigdel told this daily that less than 20 cases are registered in the District Administration Office in a month. He said settling such disputes through kangaroo courts would only sully the political image of the Maoists, who had led the government not long ago.
Even district police office receives less than 25 cases of dispute in a month. DSP Shekhar Koirala expressed ignorance about the kangaroo court.