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Journalist's killing sparks protests
Reporters issue deadline to police, warn of further demonstrations if culprits not foundA small memorial to Yadav Prasad Poudel outside the offices of Avenues TV
- Chirendra Satyal, Kathmandu
- April 5, 2012
Yadav Prasad Poudel, 38, a television and newspaper reporter, was found dead outside a small hotel in Birtamod in eastern Nepal yesterday.
He had suffered fractures and internal injuries, according to doctors quoted by the English language daily Republica, who suggested that he had been thrown from the second floor of the hotel before being beaten and killed.
Witnesses told police that they had seen as many as six men arrive at the hotel on three motorcycles prior to the killing, local press reports said.
Pastor Kali Bahadur Rokkya, executive member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), said security for journalists remained a big problem.
âNot only in remote parts of the country but in in towns as well, journalists do not feel secure,â he said.
Rokkya added that in nearly five years of service in the NHRC, he has found âvery few political leaders who understand the concept of comprehensive human rights.â
Police in Birtamod said they have arrested as many as a dozen suspects, according to local media reports.
Despite a statement by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai in which he called the killing âan attack on democracy,â journalists marched in several districts to condemn the killing and call for a thorough investigation.
The National Federation of Journalists in Nepal has also formed its own seven-member investigating committee.
Bhaskar Rajkarnikar, founder of Avenues TV, where Poudel was a correspondent, further issued a warning to the government that it had 24 hours to identify the killers or face âintensified protests.â
Poudel, who was also a Jhapa district correspondent for the daily Rajdhani newspaper, is survived by his wife and two children.
Robert Mahoney, deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), condemned the âbrutal killingâ of Poudel.
âPolice must work quickly and immediately to ensure they identify the motive of this murder and bring the perpetrators to justice.â
Nepal ranks seventh on the CPJâs impunity index, which calculates the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each countryâs population, according to a statement issued this week.