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Police arrest suspect accused of attack on journalist

(FNJ/IFEX) - On 26 August 2011, police arrested Bikash Rai, the main suspect accused in an attack on the Samkhuwasabha-based journalist Kishor Budhathoki. Budhathoki, a correspondent for the "Annapurna Post" newspaper and Vice Secretary of FNJ's Sankhuwasabha Chapter, was attacked in Sankhuwasabha on 11 August. A team of 13 police officers, led by district police office Sub-Inspector Shyam Raut, arrested Bikash Rai at the home of one of his relatives, Rana Bahadur Rai.

"He was sleeping when we raided the house," said Inspector Mahendra Raj Karki. Bikash Rai, who was to be taken to the district court in Chainpur, admitted his involvement in the attack on Budhathoki. His accomplice, Rupak Rai, is also in police custody.

Budhathoki is undergoing treatment at the Biratnagar-based Nobel Hospital. Doctors have said he will be kept in hospital for another two weeks.

"The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) believes that press freedom will only be guaranteed when those responsible for this attack are punished," said FNJ President Shiva Gaunle.

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