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Threat and Attack on a Team of Journalists in Banke

Freedom Forum is deeply concerned over the incident of attempt to physically attack a group of journalists in Banke district in the mid-Western region of Nepal on December 25, 2010. Journalists on duty were subjected to assault on the day of bandh enforced by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry at Kohalpur in Banke.  

Attempts were made by the unruly group to attack journalists while the later were travelling to another spot at Raptipari of the same district for covering the news. The unruly group took advantage of the overcrowded traffic at Kohalpur Chowk and gheraoed a vehicle traveled by journalists and started chanting slogans against media, said Jhalak Gaire, Chairperson of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), Banke chapter.

However, bandh enforcer FNCCI, Banke chapter refuted the allegation of their involvement in such act of preventing free movement of journalist making it clear that they had no intention to attack journalists. Meanwhile, local leader of Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninists), Basanti Adhikari, admitted took responsibility of the incident and expressed regret and promise not to repeat such action in future. State Committee Member of CPN (Maoist) Balaram Kafle and Mamber of Young Communist League (YCL) Banke, Giridhari Subedi, are among those identified for involving in such unruly act. 

Freedom Forum requests all the persons affiliated with any political parties not to invlove in a crime against free press and respect citizen's right to freedom of expression. We call upon concerned authority to take immmidiate action against those involved in anti press activities.