Attack on journalist Bista draws flak

KATHMANDU: Various media organisations today said that their attention has been seriously drawn to the brutal assault on Tika Bista — the Rukum correspondent of the Rajdhani national daily — by an unidentified gang yesterday.

They have demanded to the government to ensure journalists' security and take stern action against the culprits.

Issuing a press statement today, Working Women Journalists (WWJ) condemned the attack on Bista. Besides a thorough probe into the incident, the WWJ asked the government to bear all the treatment expenses.

Likewise, Sancharika Samuha also voiced the same. In a press release, it stated that the incident was another shocking attack on woman journalist after the murder of Janakpur-based journalist Uma Singh.

"We urge the Unified CPN-Maoist to carry out a serious investigation as she was frequently threatened by the party cadres over her news prior to the incident," read the statement.

Press Chautari Nepal termed the attack on Bista as "one of the latest examples of Maoists' dual character of assuring press freedom and freedom of expression by the leadership and violating the same by their cadres".

"Assault on Bista by Maoists for writing news is not only inhumane and criminal act but also their old mentality to play with blood and bullet,” it said.

It also added that Bista had been threatened for her life by the Maoist cadres from the last two weeks.

Bista, the former vice-president of Press Chautari, Rukum, was found in an unconscious state on a steep hill in Khalanga, where the assailants left her assuming she died yesterday. Following primary treatment, she has been brought to the Capital for further treatment.

FNJ imposes Khalanga bandh

Rukum: Protesting the brutal attack on journalist Tika Bista by unidentified gang, Rukum chapter of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) imposed Khalanga bandh today.

Journalists also took out rally in Khalanga and demanded that the authorities immediately unearth the reality behind the incident and arrest those involved in the gruesome attack on the female journalist.

The rally, which went around the local market, later converted into a corner meet at Pushpalal Chowk.

Speaking at the corner meeting, various speakers condemned the attack on a journalist Bista. They also chastised the government for not providing security to the journalists.

Various media organisations, including local chapter of Reporters' Club, Press Union, Press Chautari, Revolutionary Journalists' Association, and other human rights organisations expressed solidarity to the protests.

An unidentified gang had chased Bista while she was heading to a hospital to see a relative yesterday. After snatching her mobile and notebook after stopping her on the way, they thrashed her and pushed off a cliff near Khalanga. Later, she was rescued by police.

After gaining consciousness, the victim said that a gang of three masked men had assaulted her. However, she said she could not recognise them.

Bista is the former vice-president of Press Chautari, Rukum, and local correspondent of the Rajdhani daily.