SARLAHI, March 18: Journalists of Sarlahi on Sunday staged a sit-in in front of the District Administration Office (DAO) demanding that the culprits involved in the thrashing of Som Diyali, the station manager of Radio Sarlahi, Harion, be booked soon.
The protest was organized at the initiative of Federation of Nepali Journalists, Sarlahi. The journalists staged the protest in front of the main gate of the DAO for about half an hour starting from 1:30 pm. Though the District Court has issued an arrest warrant, the efforts taken by the local Police in arresting the main culprits have been disappointing, according to Bishwanath Thakur, District Chairperson of FNJ.
"It has already been 35 five days since the brutal attack and six days after the court issued the arrest warrant, but police have failed to bring the two major suspects behind the bar," said Chairperson Thakur. According to him, the interest shown by the police in booking those involved in violating press freedom and attacking journalists is upsetting.
"Today we just staged a peaceful protest but we might take to the streets with a series of protests if the culprits are not booked," he warned. On February 12, Diyali, who is also a member of FNJ was beaten mercilessly by two men. He had sustained serious injuries in his eyes, head, face and other parts of the body following the heinous attack.
He also had to replace three of his teeth. Reportedly, Irfan Dewan, 20 of Harion Municipality-11 had repeatedly called Diyali in Sukhepokhari for tea. Later, he was attacked in the same place. On March 12, a single bench of judge of District Court, Sarlahi, Shiva Prasad Khanal, delivered a verdict to release Dewan on bail.
Later, the court issued an arrest warrant against two main suspects, Samir Gurung of Bagmati Municipality-1 and Bhim Prasad Regmi of Harion Municipality-9.Chief District Officer Dron Pokharel and Chief of District Police Office, Gopal Chandra Bhattarai stated that the search for the accused at large has been intensified all over the district.