KATHMANDU, Jan 9: The Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) on Wednesday staged protests in the capital against the prime minister´s remarks on the arrest of Maoist cadres accused of involvement in the murder of journalist Dekendra Thapa.
FNJ also handed over a memorandum to the prime minister asking him not to influence the ongoing investigation into Thapa´s murder.
Addressing the mass at New Baneshwar, FNJ President Shiva Gaunle urged the prime minister not to intervene in the investigation until the murderers are brought to book.
He also urged the government to form a high-level probe committee to investigate into the deaths of 33 journalists and the disappearance of three other journalists. “The culprits should not be given impunity in the name of peace process,” said Gaunle.
The FNJ has also decided to stage nationwide protests on January 11 marking the anniversary of the murder of journalist Uma Singh. Meanwhile, journalists in Itahari and Rajbiraj also protested against the PM´s recent remark on the arrest of Maoist cadres accused of involvement in Thapa´s murder.
FNJ and PJ Club, an umbrella organization of photojournalists working in Nepal, jointly organize a protest program at New Baneshwor. (Keshab Thoker)
Issuing press statement on Wednesday, various human rights organizations have said that the prime minister´s remarks, especially following confession by the accused of the murder, have disrupted the investigation. They have urged the government to uphold the rule of law and respect press freedom.
PM´s comment distorted: PM secretariat
Meanwhile, the prime minister´s personal secretariat has expressed serious concern over the media coverage in relation to the PM´s remarks on the ongoing investigation into Thapa´s murder.
A press note issued by PM´s personal secretary Biswodeep Pandey said the prime minister´s comment was “distorted” by the media.
The prime minister had meant that the proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission would implicate the guilty and punish them, the statement read. The prime minister is firm in his commitment to put an end to impunity and bring the perpetrators to justice, the statement added.