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Journalist attacked by security personnel after being invited to police base camp

(FNJ/IFEX) - Gyanendra Khadka, vice president of FNJ's Bhojpur chapter and a reporter for the "Nepal Samacharpatra Daily", was attacked by a group of security personnel at around 8:00 p.m. (local time) on 10 July 2007 in Bhojpur, a district in eastern Nepal.

According to Sahimaan Rai, president of FNJ's Bhojpur chapter, Khadka was attacked by a group of about six armed police personnel while he was returning from a farewell gathering for Inspector Yogya Bikram Basnet. The inspector had invited Khadka to the gathering at his quarters inside the Armed Police Force (APF) Base Camp, temporarily set up to monitor the constituent assembly poll.

When Khadka reached the main gate of the base camp, a group of armed police personnel attacked him. They beat him and kicked him in the head saying, "You will now get to taste the power of the police." During the attack, Khadka sustained injuries to his head, face and back and two of his teeth were broken.

The reason for the attack is not yet clear. It is suspected that the attack may be linked to "past grudges", Rai told FNJ. Since the assailants expressed hostility toward journalists during the attack, FNJ believes the motive may have been to send a warning to the journalist and others to be more careful in their reporting.

FNJ has condemned the attack and urged the authorities to investigate the incident and punish the guilty immediately. FNJ has also asked the government to protect media personnel in the area.

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