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Daily Newspaper Burnt

Freedom Forum's attention has been drawn towards an incident of press freedom violation occurred in Rautahat, a district in the central region of the southern plain of Nepal on October 11, 2011.

The sister organizations of the ruling Unified CPN-Maoist burnt some copies of the Kantipur national daily reasoning that it published the news about the alleged involvement of Minister for Land Reform and Management, Prabhu Saha and his personal secretary Siyaram Kushbaha in the murder of then Chairman of Hindu Youth Association, Kashi Tiwari.

According to a reporter for the Samacharpatra daily from Rautahat district, Sanjay Karki, the ethnic organizations affiliated to the ruling Unified CPN-Maoist, burnt down some copies of the Kantipur daily reasoning that the daily disclosed the news about Minister Prabhu Saha and his personal secretary Kushbaha who have been filed cases by the police on their involvement in the murder of Tiwari.

This way, the members of the organization or the cadres of the responsible political party which is at the helm are involved in the violation of press freedom. They have made ill efforts to suppress media freedom and journalists' right to make news freely about the social evils and crimes. Moreover, the involvement of the present Minister in the crime has not only slurred his image but also ridiculed the democratic values of the government thereby promoting impunity in the country.

The district police, with due investigation, has pointed to the involvement of Minister Saha and his personal secretary in the murder of Association Chairman Tiwari. However, the police administration is helpless before the political protection to the criminals because it has failed to arrest Minister Saha and his personal secretary Kushbaha in this connection. Rather, the Minister is found making efforts to elude the arrest and protect other criminals as well.

Freedom Forum, therefore, urges the Unified CPN-Maoist to teach its cadres respect media freedom and people's right to information. Similarly, it strongly urges the government to immediately arrest those involved in the crime disregarding the position as pointed by the police investigation in order to check rising impunity in the country.