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Community radio chairman gunned down in western Nepal

Published on Friday 23 July 2010.
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Reporters Without Borders is appalled by yesterday’s cold-blooded murder of Devi Prasad Dhital alias Hemraj, the chairman of community radio Tulsipur FM, in the western district of Dang. Shot in the chest, he died after being rushed to a hospital in Tulsipur. Police arrested a man suspected of being one of the killers.

“We urge the local and national authorities to assign enough police officers so that the suspects can be arrested quickly and a thorough investigation carried out,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Those who decided to silence the head of Tulsipur FM know that Nepal’s community radio stations are influential and play a key role in disseminating news and information.”

Dhital was shot yesterday evening while travelling on a motorcycle. After bringing him down with their first shot, his killers shot him two more times in the chest.

The ministry of home and as well as the information and communication ministry condemned the incident and promised to arrest those responsible. Businessmen’s associations paralysed activity in Dang by calling a marketplace strike in protest against his murder. The Federation of Nepali Journalists sent a mission led by its secretary-general, Poshan KC, to carry out an investigation.

The third media owner to be killed since the start of the year, Dhital was also a local activist of the ruling party Nepali Congress. The motive for his murder is not yet known. He leaves a wife and two daughters.

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