Freedom Forum is outraged over the another heinous crime against media entrepreneur in Nepal that has put the country in the more risky zone for journalists and media workers. Chairperson of Tulsipur FM (100.2 MHz), Devi Prasad Dhital alias Hemraj was shot dead by an unidentified group on July 22 Thursday around 8:45 PM in the mid-western Dang district of Nepal. The ghastly murder has again stunned the media fraternity of Nepal, showcasing Nepali media workers are still under the sword when they rightly discharge their duty.
A group of unidentified assailants shot dead Dhital while he was en route to Tulsipur from Fulbari VDC of Dang district on a motorcycle. He had sustained three bullets in his chest during the attack. Meanwhile, pillion rider sustained minor injuries. Fatally injured, Dhital was rushed to Rapti Zonal Hospital in Tulsipur for treatment after attack. The motive behind the attack is still unknown. According to security sources, Police have launched a massive manhunt to track down the culprits who fled the scene immediately after the incident. However, no body has been arrested yet. No one has claimed the responsibility for the attack.
Dubbing this incident 'a serious blow against press freedom and freedom of expression', Freedom Forum strongly condemns the terrible murder of media entrepreneur who has been contributing to people's right to access to information through radio in community.
Dhital is the third media entrepreneurs who lost life for promoting journalism in Nepal during the last six months. 'The sequel of murder of media entrepreneurs one after another surely brings psychological effect on entire media sector that consequently increases the tendency of self-censorship eroding the essence and significance of free and professional media', said Freedom Forum Chairperson Tara Nath Dahal. He added the incident is the testimony to the the deteriorating law and order situation of Nepal and the government's apathy to ensuring safety of working journalists has increased frustration among media workers. The Forum urges the government to investigate into the incident in a credible manner and bring guilty to book soon so as to fulfill own duty to create favorable environment for journalists to work without any interruption and trauma.
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