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Banda Organizers vandalize Press vehicles, manhandle Journalist

Freedom Forum has been gravely concerned over the anti-press incidents occurred in the capital city, Kathmandu, on December 19, 2011.

The Nepali Congress party had organized Nepal banda (nationwide shutdown) on the day in protest of the attack and subsequent death of Chitwan Chairman of Tarun Dal Shiva Poudel.

The banda organizers vandalized a vehicle belonging to the Nayapatrika daily with plate Ba 8 Cha 3719, and another one of Nepal FM (Ba 6 Cha 4400) in the capital city. The Nayapatrika vehicle was returning office after newspaper distribution while of the FM was on the way to drop the FM staffs.

Moreover, the demonstrators manhandled Pushpa Neupane, journalist with the Radio Mirmire and vandalized his motorcycle too.

Although the Nepali Congress had committed not to interfere with media persons and the press vehicles while announcing the banda, its cadres failed to maintain restraint and acted against press freedom, which the Freedom Forum, condemns and urges the concerned party to respect journalist's rights and citizens' rights to information.

Also, the party needs to provide compensation to the media offices which incurred loss with vandalisms.