Journalists throughout the country sparked protest and demonstrated the gesture of aggression at the killing of JP Joshi ‘Pandit’ of kailali district following his skeletal remnants and belongings such as mobile, identify card, clothes were found in the forest of Malakheti-3 in Kailai on November 28, Friday. Organizing protest programme continuously in several parts of the country, the enraged and disheartened journalists demanded the government form a judicial probe commission and take stern actions against the culprits. Similarly, they demanded to stop the serial attack and murder of journalists and ensure complete press freedom situation in the country.
Under the protest programme, groups of media workers, civil society leaders, human rights defenders and local people submitted memorandum to the Prime Minister through respective Chief District Officers in various districts on December 1 and 2.
The irate locals and relatives of deceased journalist continued to demonstrate demanding the arrest of the murderer of journalist Pandit. Due to the strong protests from various walks of life, the far-western region came to a standstill.
The two individuals, including businessperson of Attariya bazaar Lokendra Raut, against whom the FIR was registered, were arrested. Rau had been absconding after journalist Pandit’s remnants were found.
The carcass of Kailali-based journalist JP Joshi ‘Pandit’ has been found in Malika Community Forest along the bank of the Godabari River in Mlakheti VDC of Kailali district this morning, according to the field report of Freedom Forum’s Representative, Shiva Raj Yogi. Journalist Joshi went missing for the past 50 days whose whereabouts had become a serious concern to his family members, locals and journalists at large.
His dead body was found beyond recognition as the skeleton of different parts of the body was dispersed in the gap of 20-30 metres, journalist Yogi informed, adding, “Parts of the body have been found scattered in different places of the forest. Likewise, his mobile set with the number 9848427720, Indian driving license, clothes, pen and cap were also found in the area”.
His wife Basanti Joshi was holding the wears and other things found on the spot being overwhelmed in an outburst of tears saying, “These all things are of my husband whom I lost before one-and-half month”.
After the finding of corpse body of Joshi, locals, relatives, and journalists have brought the vehicular movement in the Mahendra highway to a standstill in protest of the killing and announced agitation till the culprits are brought to justice. The situation there is tense and gloomy now.
It is also informed that the suspected businessperson and Maoist cadre of Attariya Lokendra Raut has absconded this morning, and the police have intensified the search. Earlier, Joshi’s wife Basanti has been alleging Raut of making her husband disappeared.
On the other hand, while speaking at a street press conference organized by local journalists on November 27, Joshi’s brother Puishpa Raj Joshi suspected CPN (Maoist) Kailali District In-charge Hari Chaudhari 'Utsav' for the disappearance of his brother citing that his brother had been targeted after he wrote article on Janadisha Daily against the demand of Tharu autonomous state, Yogi added.
Journalist Pandit was the Editor of Dhangadhi Edition of Janadisha National Daily closed to ruling party CPN (Maoist) and Chairperson of Association of Revolutionary Journalists, Kailali Chapter. A local resident of Malakheti VDC -3 Malika tole, in the district, Pandit is also a member of the CPN-Maoist Kailali District Committee.
Freedom Forum strongly condemns the brutal incident of killing journalist for fulfilling petty interests and urges the government, human rights bodies and civil society to take efforts to investigate into the incident and to take stern actions against culprits. It is another heartrending incident and crime against journalist and is the culmination of press freedom violation in Nepal, stated Freedom Forum Chairperson Taranath Dahal, calling for support and solidarity of national and international stakeholders to take this issue up.
President of Association of Revolutionary Journalists, Kailali Chapter, JP Joshi Pandit has gone missing since October 8. The 30-year old journalist is the editor of Janadisha National Daily , far -west edition .
Informing his family that he was going to Kathmandu, JP had left his home on October 8 and his whereabouts are still unknown since then. Worried over her husband’s status, Bashanti Joshi has appealed to journalists, human rights and the police to help find JP.
A local resident of Malakheti VDC -3 Malika tole, in the district, JP is also a member of the CPN-Maoist Kailali District Committee and personal secretary of Minister for Labour and Transport Management Lekh Raj Bhatta.
Freedom Forum expresses its serious concern on the missing of journalist and called on all concerned sides, including the government, CPN (Maoist), human rights organization and FNJ to take necessary initiatives to search for JP.
Likewise, Freedom Forum has expressed serious concern over the manhandling of FNJ Sindupalchok chapter member Dinest Thapa and Sindhu Prabhaha weekly journalist Netra Poudel on November 12, Wednesday. Banda organizers had manhandled Thapa and Poudel who were at the venue to collect news of the Arniko Highway Banda.
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