Another journalist gunned down in Nepal

February 19th, 2009 - 4:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Feb 19 (IANS) A month after the brutal murder of a woman radio journalist in Nepal’s violent Terai plains, another journalist has been attacked in the southern lowlands in broad daylight Thursday with the gunmen managing to escape.
Gyanendra Raj Mishra, a radio journalist working for Garima FM, a private radio station in Birgunj town on the India-Nepal border, was shot Thursday afternoon near a crowded theatre.

The injured journalist was rushed to the Narayani regional hospital in Birgunj.

“It was a deliberate attempt at murder,” said Dharmendra Jha, president of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), Nepal’s most powerful umbrella of journalists that is still on a protest movement to get justice for murdered journalist Uma Singh, who was hacked to death at her own residence last month in Janakpur town.

“We condemn the dastardly attack that is intended to cower Nepal’s media into silence. However, we will not be intimidated.”

Jha said the FNJ’s representative in Birgunj, journalist Mahesh Das, has been asked to inquire into the attack on Mishra.

The FNJ is asking the government to arrest the culprits immediately and to bear Mishra’s treatment cost.

No one had claimed responsibility for the attack immediately.

Uma Singh’s murder, which triggered widespread public anger, was owned up by a little-known group that called itself the Terai Ekta Parishad.

Several people were arrested for the slaying, including her sister-in-law, who police allege ordered the killing over property disputes.

According to the FNJ, 29 journalists were killed in Nepal since 1996, when the Maoists began their “People’s War” in a bid to overthrow Nepal’s constitutional monarchy.

While the security forces were behind most of the deaths, the Maoists too have been culpable, even after they signed a peace pact three years ago and began leading the government after winning an election last April.

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