Maoists apologise to media persons

Kathmandu, October 16:

The CPN-Maoist today apologised for its security cadres “misbehaving” with media persons during the peace talks between the seven-party alliance and the Maoists at the Prime Minister’s residence at Baluwatar yesterday. A large number of Maoist cadres wearing star-marked red bands on their heads had created a human chain and prevented media persons from moving freely in front of the eastern gate of the PM’s residence.

The cadres had also threatened the media persons of intimidation and gheraoed them for sometime after the media community raised voice in favour of media freedom.

“We apologise for misbehaving with the media persons and civil society members by our security cadres in front of the PM’s residence at Baluwatar where peace talks were being held on Sunday and we will be cautious not to repeat such mistakes in the future,” said a press statement issued jointly by Hisila Yemi, co-in-charge of the Maoist’s Valley Special Bureau and Sagar, Brigade Commander of the Third Division, Valley Special Bureau.

Addressing a press statement, Yemi said that the party’s cadres had to tighten security outside the PM’s residence as they had been tipped-off of “sabotage” and “sudden attack” of the party leaders attending the peace talks.

Security had been beefed up as instructed by the party, said the statement, adding that the party respected the freedom of the press and vowed not to repeat such acts in the future.

Yemi also said that his cadres had briefly held Babur Kharel, a freelance journalist, for showing “unusual activities” at Baluwatar.

A photocopy of his accreditation card and hand written copies of his daily reporting about the talks to the King’s personal secretary Sagar Prasad Timilsina were also distributed to the media persons attached to the press statement.