A group of drunk locals threatened and attempted to attack senior journalist Sarpa Lal Giri on July 13 at 6:00 pm in Bajura. Journalist Giri is editor/ publisher of Bajura Aawaj weekly and chairperson of Bajura- based Radio Budinanda 96.5 Mhz. Bajura, a far-western district lies in Province No 7 of Nepal.
During a conversation with Freedom Forum's media monitoring desk, journalist Giri said, " It was Thursday evening, I was on the phone, a group of 8 to 10 drunk local men encircled me chanting- it's time to flog journalists, so we will finish you off today. I urged them to release me but they did not; later locals aggressively attacked upon them. Then, they ran away and I was safe."
Immediately after that, a person named Gokarna Giri shouted saying he would kill me, added Giri.
Following this incident, some local political cadres attacked a Radio Budinanda 96.5 Mhz on July 14 (Friday) at 11:00 pm.
Talking to Freedom Forum, Radio's Managing Director Anil Shahi said, "While all our staffs were about to close the station and leave for home, a group of Nepali Congress party cadres started throwing stones on the building. Even though we escaped major injuries, station's electric circuit has been damaged. Hence, the station is closed."
"A complaint has been lodged in the nearby police station, but the perpetrators have not been arrested yet. Now, I am going to meet Deputy Superintendent of Police to urge him accelerate the investigation," added Shahi.
Due to the attack, media house suffered loss of around Rs 300,000 thus, affecting 11 media persons working there.
On FF's question about the reason for attack, journalist Giri said that the place was always hostile to media; hence this is conspiracy to suppress the media and keep under control.
Freedom Forum draws serious attention of concerned authorities about the attack on media house as well as media persons. FF therefore strongly urges concerned authorities to immediately arrest the attackers and take action to protect press freedom and reduce impunity.
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