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Nepalese journalist suffers injury to his right hand

Journalist Narayan Adhikari recovering in Bharatpur Hospital, Nepal
Journalist Narayan Adhikari recovering in Bharatpur Hospital, Nepal

Freedom Forum

On 21 November 2014, Narayan Adhikari, a correspondent for the National News Agency of Nepal from Chitwan district, was attacked by an unidentified person with a sharp weapon.

According to Adhikari, an individual who was following him on a motorbike assaulted the journalist at around 7pm while he was returning home from his office. Adhikari suffered a fracture to his right wrist and is undergoing treatment at the Bharatpur Hospital, in Chitwan.

Talking to Mr. Narayan Ghimire, Media Officer of Freedom Forum, the journalist said that he was not given a reason for the attack. "It was dark, and a man on a motorcycle thrashed my right hand with a rod-like weapon twice. I tried to flee, but once again he struck me from behind. After I shouted for help, people in the surrounding area came to my aid. I could not ascertain fully the number plates of the three motorcycles that followed me and fled after the attack."

The Superintendent of Police at the District Police Office, Sahakul Thapa, said, "No exact cause behind the attack on journalist Adhikari has been identified yet. However, our efforts are on to find the truth and mete out action on the culprits. Some persons were arrested in suspicion based on information about the motorcycles' number plates, but still there is not ample proof. We're in need of additional evidence that leads to an effective and thorough investigation."

Fellow journalists, including Basanta Parajuli and Bimal Khatiwada, said the attack may have been intended to injure the hand Adhikari uses to write stories. They added that it was unquestionably because of his reporting though the culprits are yet to be ascertained.

Adhikari was expected to be discharged from the hospital on 24 November.

Adhikari has been actively working in the media for over a decade and the symbolism of the attack on his 'right hand' is noteworthy. He has reported on a number of issues, from administrative misconduct to economic and social irregularities in various sectors in the district.

Freedom Forum considers this a serious security threat to the journalist. The organisation condemns the incident vehemently and calls on the police and relevant authorities to immediately take action against the attackers. The government must create a favorable environment for journalism by putting an end to the state of impunity.

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