Lawmakers condemn newspaper burning

Published On: October 5, 2018 04:30 AM NPT By: DIL BAHADUR CHHATYAL /PUSHPA RAJ JOSHI

DHANGADHI, Oct 5: Lawmakers from both ruling and main opposition parties have opposed the act of setting ablaze Nagarik daily and other newspapers at Attariya of Kailali while being ferried from Nepalgunj for distribution on Wednesday.

A mob had set ablaze various dailies—Nagarik, Republica, Kantipur, The Kathmandu Post and Annapurna Post for their converge of the provincial government's decision to fix its capital. The provincial government had decided to establish provincial headquarters in Godawari, at the cost of clearing a huge forest area.

Days after the decision of the provincial government, newspapers had run critical news against the decision. The mob set blaze the newspapers, reducing them to ashes to express their anger against the newspapers.

The act to burn newspapers has been criticized in the region. Locals, teachers, students, entrepreneurs and politicians condemned the act saying that the move was against press freedom.

Speaking at the provincial parliament on Thursday Nepali Congress provincial lawmaker Ran Bahadur Rawal said the anti-press freedom act was aimed at squeezing press freedom.

“Newspapers like Nagarik daily have been playing an important role to create awareness among the general public. Nothing can be a more cowardice act than to burn newspapers,” said Rawal adding, “It's a ploy to shrink space of free press.”

He condemned the act of burning the newspaper and asked the government to book those involved in such act.

Nepal Communist Party's provincial chief Tara Lama Tamang also opposed the act of burning newspapers. “People can deliver their differing views. But burning the newspapers to silence differing views is a bad act,” said Lama.

Lama said he was deeply saddened by the incident.

As of now, the local police has been unsuccessful to book the guilty. Although it has not yet been confirmed, locals suspect the police of overlooking the case following the pressure from ruling NCP.

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