MIN RATNA BAJRACHARYA
The government still has not taken adequate steps to try and understand the Shrestha family's pain and anger. After the murder came to light, that anger turned to fire and spilled out into the streets. There is still a delay in forming an investigation committee, there has been no prosecution for those PLA involved and implicated in the murder. All the blame has been put on one low-level commander. There have been no discussions with those concerned, or even with Shaktikhor commander Bibidh.
But this time, what should be actually investigated is the role of UNMIN in this atrocity. Twenty-four hour monitoring and surveillance of the 28 cantonments is UNMIN's responsibility. Shrestha was ferried to and from the cantonment twice in a month. Besides being brutally murdered, his body was disposed of around the area, and UNMIN didn't catch on. This incident is bigger and more extreme than the Maina Sunuwar killing and the Bhairabnath tortures(sic), and the murderers are signatories to the peace agreement and the largest party in the new government. Prachanda's role, as supreme commander of the PLA, should not be disregarded. UNMIN are equally at fault with the Maoists. What remains to be seen is how UNMIN chief Ian Martin tries to save face and defend his responsibility and duty. UNMIN cannot escape this time just by blaming the Maoists for violating the agreement.
Because of the delay in investigation, UNMIN and the government's depression and the Maoists' audacity, whatever evidence of the torture remained inside the Shaktikhor cantonment has now been destroyed. In this case, let the investigation not be just a farce. If it is, then the public will have to prepare itself for yet another conflict.