Scribes dread due to Maoist terror in Nepal district

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Kathmandu, May 30 (UNI) While people all over the Nepal were jubilant over the announcement of Republic, journalists of Kailali district were worried about their security and seeking a safe place to spend the night due to the terror of Maoists, local media reports said here today.

''Worse, they could not cover the ''historic news'' in yesterday's edition as they halted publication following frequent threats and attacks on journalists by Maoist cadres,'' Kantipur quoted local reporters as saying.

''We decided to close our publication as the unruly mob of Maoists, in the name of people, might attack our publication houses,'' Karunakar Pandey, Editor of Nepal Times daily, said.

''Their fear worsened after local journalist Lakki Chaudhary was beaten up by Maoists on Monday and Tuesday over a news report published in a local Tharu tabloid, in which he had exposed an alleged fund embezzlement of the local lake and temple of Urma VDC,'' he said.

The volatile situation worsened further on Wednesday after three people were killed when police opened fire on demonstrators at Dhangadhi, he said.

An indefinite curfew order, which was prompted by the Wednesday incident, was still in place there yesterday, he said.

The district chapter of Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) resorted to protests after Mr Chaudhary was beaten up by Maoists and another journalist, Hemanta Poudel, editor of Sudursandesh daily, was threatened by them, he said.

''As the local administration was about to issue arrest warrants against the assailant Maoists, the incident took a U-turn as demonstrators rallied against journalists and three people were killed in Wednesday's protest,'' said a local journalist.

''The curfew for two straight days also marred celebration of republic declaration,'' he added.

Meanwhile, the FNJ has decided to send a six-member fact-finding mission headed by its secretary Ramji Dahal to Kailali to investigate the incident.

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