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Journalist assaulted on his way to cover strike

(FNJ/IFEX) - A motorcycle belonging to Brij Raj Kusawa, news correspondent of Kalika FM, was vandalized by a group of assailants on 3 February 2008 at around 5 p.m. (local time) at Mahendra highway, Nawalparasi, a western district of Nepal.

According to Keshav Parajuli, president of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), Nawalparasi chapter, Kusawa was attacked because he belonged to the Madhesi community. The Madhesi armed groups of Terai are fighting for the independence of the region and have called a two-day Terai bandh (general strike) starting 3 February. The journalist's assailants assumed that he was a member of these groups and targeted him saying, "this is the bandh caller." His motorbike was vandalized while he was on his way to cover the bandh program.

Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has condemned the incident and urged the government to provide compensation for the journalist and to punish the perpetrators.

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