Missing journalist’s ‘remains’ found in Nepal

November 28th, 2008 - 4:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Nov 28 (IANS) A month after a Nepali journalist working for a Maoist daily went missing, what could be the remains of his body were found Friday in a remote forest.Jagat Prasad Joshi, himself a Maoist activist, had spent eight years underground during the 10-year People’s War launched by the Maoists from 1996 when the party was banned, its publications shut down and its leaders hunted down by security forces.

Joshi worked for the Janadisha daily, a Maoist mouthpiece that was shut down by the government during the insurrection, and revived after the restoration of democracy two years ago. He was also the president of the Revolutionary Journalists’ Association in Kailali district in farwest Nepal, where he lived and worked.

Joshi went missing since Oct 8 while on the way to Kathmandu from Kailali. Eight days ago, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders had urged Nepal’s Maoist-led government to investigate a series of recent attacks on journalists, that also included Joshi’s disappearance.

On Friday, Joshi’s clothes and identity cards were found in a forest in Kailali. Also strewn nearby were bones and what looked like other human remains, police said.

The discovery follows the murder of a journalist, Birendra Shah, in south Nepal by the Maoists and the disappearance of a third, Prakash Thakuri, also from the farwest. The Maoists are also alleged to be behind Thakuri’s disappearance.

One year after he went missing, Thakuri’s body is yet to be found.

The discovery of Joshi’s body comes within 48 hours of the finding of two teens’ bodies on the outskirts of Kathmandu valley.

The bodies of school boys Ritesh Rauniyar and his bosom friend Ashish Manandhar, also 15, were found in a forest in Thankot, the gateway to Kathmandu, Wednesday by grass cutters.

The two teens had been missing since Nov 15. The discovery of the bodies triggered public anger Thursday that resulted in demonstrations in the city with protesters bringing traffic to a standstill.

There were similar protests earlier this month when the bodies of two young men were found buried on the bank of a stream in Dhading district, close to Kathmandu.

The two men, both Kathmandu residents, were believed to have been killed by the Maoists.

Two years after the end of the Maoist insurgency that killed over 14,000 people, violence and lawlessness have erupted afresh in Nepal despite the Maoist-led government’s pledge to restore law and order.

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