Maoists attack media house in Nepal

December 21st, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Dec 21 (IANS) Activists of Nepal’s ruling Maoist party Sunday attacked a media house in the capital, assaulting staffers, including journalists and the chief executive officer, ostensibly over a report carried by one of its publications that criticised the Maoist labour unions.Activists of two Maoist trade unions - its hotel and restaurant labour union and media and press union - were said to have been part of the gang of nearly four dozen people who stormed the office of Himalmedia in Lalitpur, disrupted a staff meeting and began assaulting the people present in the meeting hall.

Himalmedia CEO Ashutosh Tiwari, Kunda Dixit, the editor of a weekly English magazine Nepali Times, and nearly a dozen more people were injured in the attack.

The assault was said to have been provoked by an article in the Nepali fortnightly Himal Khabar Patrika, that criticised the Maoist trade unions’ highhandedness in shutting down industries and warned it would badly affect investors.

Since the past few months, the media house has been involved in a tacit war with the Maoists, who have been alleging that some employees were laid off unjustly.

Since then, an office vehicle was torched by the Maoists, copies of Himal Khabar Patrika set on fire and staff members reportedly threatened.

The attack was condemned by the Federation of Nepali Journalists, Nepal’s biggest and most powerful network of journalists.

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