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Publisher badly beaten; one assailant arrested

(FNJ/IFEX) - Lokshari Kuwar, editor and publisher of "Morning Bell" daily, was captured and attacked by a group of people on 2 May 2007 in Dhangadi, Kailali, a western district of Nepal.

According to Birendra Rawal, president of Press Chautrai Nepal, three "hooligans" - Ganesh Chand, Lalit Kuwar and Prem Kalel - brutally beat Kuwar. He sustained serious wounds to his head and neck; two teeth were broken. He is being treated at Seti Regional Hospital.

Rawal said that an investigation of the incident is underway. He also said that Kuwar might have been attacked for disseminating news on timber smuggling, prostitution in the area, and the illegal import and export of goods from the Indian border. Prem Kalel, one of the assailants, was arrested and is in the custody of ward police.

The FNJ has condemned the incident and urged the government to find and punish the guilty and to ensure the safety and security of journalists.

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