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Journalists attacked by protesting farmers

(FNJ/IFEX) - On 31 August 2009, protesting farmers clashed with journalists in Bharatpur, Chitwan. The journalists had gone there to report on the obstruction of traffic by the farmers, who were protesting a hike in the price of milk.

The farmers started quarrelling with and abusing the journalists, saying they had not written "PRESS" on the motorcycles they were riding. The journalists in reply said that they did not write "PRESS" on their motorcycles because the protestors had only called for an obstruction to traffic and it was not a general strike.

When the argument escalated, the journalists were forced to run towards a nearby army barrack to save themselves from the fury of the farmers who were ready to attack them. After a few hours, when the journalists felt that the situation had calmed down, they came out of the barrack. However, as soon as they stepped out, the farmers started pelting them with stones and sticks. The journalists were forced to retreat to the army barrack once again to seek shelter.

Four journalists, namely Dependra Baduwal from Kantipur Publications, Surya Prakash Kandel from "Annapurna Post", Ramesh Kumar Poudel from "Nagarik" daily and Prakash Gyawali from Avenuews Television, had to seek refuge in the army barracks for two hours. They were rescued by members of the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force.

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