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Two journalists receive death threats

(FNJ/IFEX) - A death threat was issued against the editor of "Janakpur Today", Brij Kumar Yadav, on 2 March 2010 by a criminal group that claimed responsibility for the murder of the chairman of Today Group, Arun Singhaniya. Mukesh Chaudhary, aka Arjun Singh, central chairman of Terai Janatantrik Party-Madhesh, called local journalist Ajay Anuragi and threatened to kill Yadav within a week.

On 4 March, a mission team led by Dharmendra Jha of the FNJ, evacuated Yadav from Janakpur.

In a separate development, journalist Manoj Kumar Gharti, of "Naya Patrika" daily, also received threatening calls from an unidentified person. The caller threatened to kill Gharti over an article on media entrepreneur Jamim Shah who was murdered in February. The caller spoke in Hindi and when the journalist asked the caller to speak either in English or Nepali, the line was disconnected. The "Naya Patrika" editor immediately contacted the Assistant Inspector General of Police and informed him about the case, but the police has not taken any action.

FNJ expressed great concern about the safety of journalists. Attacks and threats against journalists have been increasing day by day and the media fraternity has not been assured of security. FNJ demanded that the government wake up and respond to the deteriorating security situation in the country. The organisation urged the government to create a conducive environment so that journalists can work in a free and safe manner. FNJ called for a probe into the cases of Yadav and Gharti, so that those responsible are brought to justice.

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