25 ‘hurt’ in Gorkhapatra Sansthan scuffle

Kathmandu, August 9:

Agitating journalists associated with the Gorkhapatra Sansthan today accused members of the Gorkhapatra Sansthan Employees’ Organisation 2063 BS (GSEO) of attacking them. Demanding the reinstatement of 49 journalists, who were sacked recently, the journalists were staging a sit-in at the gate of the Sansthan.

The two sides had a scuffle at around 11 am.

A journalist, Tribhuvan Chandra Wagle, claimed some 25 journalists were hurt when members of the GSEO, affiliated to the CPN-Maoist, attacked the agitating journalists. The agitators had closed the main gate of the Sansthan for two hours beginning 10 am.

However, adviser to the GSEO, Bishnu Khanal, said no such incident took place there. He accused the agitating journalists of threatening lower-level employees of the Sansthan.

Demanding the reinstatement of the 49 journalists and sacking of the ‘royalist’ editor of the Gorkhapatra daily, Bijay Chalise, the journalists have been staging an agitation since last Tuesday.

Wagle said representatives of the Press Union, Federation of Nepalese Journalists, Trade Union Congress and National Network of Weekly and Fortnightlies were present during the sit-in to express their solidarity. Acting president of the Gorkhapatra Sansthan branch of the FNJ, Bhakta Thapa, said four journalists were hurt in the scuffle. He alleged that outsiders were used to attack the journalists. Protesting the attack, the journalists have submitted a memorandum to Speaker Subas Nembang, Thapa said, adding that the sit-in will continue.