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Local radio station looted

Freedom Forum–Nepal deplores the attack and looting of equipment from Jana Awaz FM - a community-based in the far-western district of Kailali.

According to the information obtained by Freedom Forum, a group of about 20 masked men barged into the offices of the FM station on November 21, 2010, took three staff members under their control and looted equipment including computers, telephone sets and compact discs worth about Rs. 700,000.

Brandishing sharp weapons, the looters also took technician Tej Bahadur Chaudhary and employees duo Hem Bahadur Bhandari and Ramesh Chaudhary under their control before looting the equipments.

“They locked up us in the newsroom and took away computers, on-air mixer, recorder, telephone set and other radio equipments,” Tej Bahadur Chaudhary told Press Freedom Monitoring Desk of Freedom Forum.

The state-owned Radio Nepal reported that a little-known ethnic group, "Tharuhat Terai Janata Dal", has claimed responsibility for the attack on Jana Awaz FM. The group had earlier distributed pamphlets demanding, among other things, the use of the indigenous Tharu language in government offices.

Freedom Forum condemns the incident of looting the radio station. Freedom Forum demands the government to investigate the incident and bring the guilty to book at the earliest.