Baidhya asked to quit fast-unto-death

Kathmandu, November 20:

People from various walks of life today requested the chief editor of Bimarsha vernacular weekly, Rajendra Baidhya, to withdraw the 10-day-long fast-unto-death, which he is staging in New Delhi.

Speaking at an interaction organised here today by the weekly to discuss about his hunger strike for press freedom and total democracy in the country, Sundar Mani Dixit urged the people concerned to solve the political crisis through dialogue and discussion which Baidhya is demanding for.

“He has lighted up the flame and now it’s our turn to further kindle the fire,” he said urging Baidhya to end the hunger strike.

Gopal Thapaliya of the South Asian Free Media Association said all journalists from the SAARC region have come to know that “the King is the real barrier for press freedom in Nepal”.

Former vice-chancellor of the Tribhuvan University, Mahesh Kumar Upadhyay, said restoration of democratic process is a long and continuous process; therefore fast-unto-death is not advisable.

Treasurer of the Nepal Human Rights Organisation Dr Sri Ram Baskota, student leader Gagan Thapa, NC-D spokesperson Dr Minendra Rijal, UML leader Siddhi Lal Singh, CPN ML leader Tanka Rai and spiritual leader Gulab Ji Maharaj also requested Baidhya to end the strike and be ready for further peaceful protests.

“When there are options like huge demonstrations, we should not take such steps,” Rai said.

Vice-president of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, Shiva Gaunle, said the government should be responsible if anything untoward happens with Baidhya.

Baidhya was sent to Delhi by the security forces from Dhaka while he was trying

to stage fast-unto-death, demanding press freedom and total democracy in Nepal. He, then, started hunger strike at Jantar Mantar of New Delhi.