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Murder of Freedom of Expression Practitioners Draws Serious Concern

Freedom Forum's serious attention has been drawn to the gruesome incident of bomb blast at Ramananda Chowk of Janakpur in the southern plain part of Nepal on Monday that took lives of four innocent people and injured other 28.

The explosion that took place while members of Mithila State Struggle Committee were staging a sit-in to pile pressure for Mithila state in course of the state restructuring of Nepal is a blatant violation of citizen's constitutionally guaranteed freedom to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

'The deliberate and organized incident of bomb explosion targeting the peaceful sit-in is an outright attack on civil and political freedom of expressing own thoughts and ideas and their right to assemble without arms', said Freedom Forum Chairperson Taranath Dahal.

All those killed in the bomb blast namely Ranju Jha, Bimal Sharan Das Kurmi, Suresh Upadhyay and Jhagaru Das were associated to theatre, an important means of freedom of expression. Jha was the member of Mithila Theatrical Council and also a renowned film and theatre artist.

Freedom Forum strongly condemns the incident against freedom of expression and opinion and demands the government immediately investigate into the incident and bring the guilty to book. The Forum calls for the government to make necessary arrangement for treatment to the injured and also expresses condolence to the grief-stricken family.

At a time when Nepal is passing through a significant process of constitution-making and state restructuring, the possible fear and horror triggered by such attack would silence people's right to free expression and reduce public participation in such crucial process.

The Forum expresses solidarity for civil society's struggle against such heinous crime in any pretext.