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Prison diary



I was rushed to an army barrack soon after my arrest last year, where I was blindfolded, handcuffed and kicked to the ground. Then they put me in a sack, hung me upside down, beaten and submerged in water. Later, I found that there were different levels of torture. Those in Grade A were electrocuted. Detainees in B were choked and their bodies slashed while prisoners classed as C were hung up and beaten until they died and in some cases were raped, buried alive or shot to death. There were three or four detainee camps inside the Bhairabnath Barrack.

There, I met many individuals accused of working as Maoists but most of them were innocent civilians. Pradip Sarki, a driver, and Rajkumar Basnet, a bus conductor, were released after 10 months of torture. Kaluman Tamang was let go after 11 months of cruelty. Other detainees included Bhaikaji Ghimire, Krishnaraj KC, Ganesh Dhakal, Suryaman Maharjan, Resam BK, Sarita Sharma, Rambahadur Basnet, Jitman Basnet, Amrit Maharjan, Madhab Neupane, Tyalgen Sherpa, Gobinda Ghimire and Jujubhai Maharjan. The whereabouts of 500 others whom I came across are unknown. In addition, many prisoners like Surendra Khadgi, Anuman Shrestha, Madhab Adhikari, Kaji Gurung and Kamal KC are suffering from infections of their wounds and smelled bad. The army used to bring in 100-200 detainees a day and take them to unknown places the same night. Dipendra Pant, BK Shrestha and Pipal Shrestha were beaten to death in front of our own eyes. Renu Dulal was stripped naked and then beaten to death.

A pregnant Tamang girl was kicked until she bled to death despite her pleading to him to spare her unborn infant. Suchendra Maharjan's neck was slit and his head was squashed with a hammer while Bhim Maharjan's beating left him bleeding all over. Haribahadur Roka and Buddhi Lama were caned severely. Dhirendra Basnet, Puspa Basnet and Ashok Akela were beaten until they were half dead.

We found later that Nischal Nakarmi, Bhim Giri, Bhabnath Dhamala, Gokul Niraula, Nima Lama, Shantiram Bhattarai, Arjun Pokhrel, Rupak Adhikary, Deshbhakta Chapagain, Dileswar Limbu, Lila Acharya, Tejman BK, Arjun Maharjan, Surendra Thapa, Kamala Waiba, Astaraj Bajracharya, Sudarsan Rijal, Jalandhar Gautam, Kumar Dhakal, Arjun Neupane, Amrit Kandel, Prakash Lama, Madhab Adhikari, Rajendra Mali and Lila Pande were all squeezed into a truck and taken to Shivapuri forest where they were killed and buried. Evidence can still be found there.

Only 30 of us, including Krishna KC and Himal Sharma, are among the survivors who witnessed these events. The mental torture was also so extreme that we were not even allowed to go to the toilet without first being beaten. Every night we readied ourselves for beatings when we heard the soldiers rattle the doors with iron pipes. We learnt that representatives from the ICRC and other human rights organisations were looking for us. But just prior to their visits we were made to wake up and run barefoot to hide in the bunkers. This happened three or four times and many of us got sick. Two detainees, Khadag Dharti and Padam Nakarmi, died when they were forced to lie on the cold floor. One rainy night, 18 of us were crammed into a truck and taken to a forest where we heard the sound of insects. We were soaked and it was extremely cold. We were blindfolded and our hands tied so that we imagined this was the end of our lives. We were told to lie on the ground and then dragged by ropes tied around our necks. This went on for five nights and then we were taken back to the Bhairabnath.

(Bhattarai's testimony to Jana Aastha at Nakkhu Jail)


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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