Freedom Forum welcomes the arrest of the main accused Bam Bahadur Khadka in the case of Journalist Dekhendra Raj Thapa. Among 4 fugitive accused of murder, Bam Bahadur Khadka resident of Dullu Municipality Ward-6 Cheudipusakot has been finally taken into custody. This order was given by District Court after the District Police Office Dolakha held him and presented in the court on 3rd March 2020. Dolakha lies in Bagmati Pradesh.
According to FF's sources, Chief District Police DSP Hari Bahadur Oli said, Khadka was arrested from Kailali District and brought to Dolakha District. Local reporter to the Radio Nepal, journalist Thapa was abducted and subsequently killed by the UCPN-Maoist (then CPN-Maoist) cadres on August 10, 2004. He was abducted from Chhanna Bazar of Bhawani VDC on June 4, 2004.
Dekendra's wife, Laxmi had filed FIR in the District Police Office, against several Maoist cadres on August 29, 2008. Five accused in this case were arrested and held in custody but the other four were on the run. Among the four, Khadka has been caught.
"Ignorance on this issue for a long time had cultivated the trend of immunity on the crimes against journalists; it is commendable that it is finally addressed. The arrest of the accused will certainly encourage journalists to be devoted in their profession and revive their trust in a safe and secure journalistic environment", said Taranath Dahal, Chairperson of the Freedom Forum, adding that it was a welcome move after long battle waged by victim's family and the media persons of the country. Freedom Forum, therefore, urges the court to hold a fair trial in the administration of justice in the future as well.
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