[Update: Nepali journalists are organizing a protest rally in Kathmandu now (10:30 AM) to raise the issue of Biredra Sah abduction.]
Umarawati Devi Sah, wife of missing journalist Birendra Sah, with son Bibek and daughter Bidhya wears a weary look at a meeting with a Kantipur journalist at a guest house in Kathmandu on Monday. Umarawati arrived in Kathmandu seeking help to trace the whereabouts of her husband who was abducted nearly a month ago. Pic by Narendra Shrestha via the Kathmandu Post.
According to a news report published in today’s edition of the Kathmandu Post, the Maoists have already killed journalist Birendra Sah. “The Maoists shot Sah dead the day after he was abducted,” told an unidentified source to the Post. The source, whose identity withheld by the Post “for obvious reason” said Maoist cadres Ram Ekwal Sahani and Kundan Faujdar approached Sah and his journalist colleague Ram Dev Das, who is the FNJ district member in Pipraha market of Bara on October 4.
“They (the Maoist cadres) asked the journalist duo to follow them to cover news of timber smugglers whom they claimed they had caught red handed,” the source said. The Maoist cadres then took the journalist duo to a nearby jungle from where Kundan made a phone call. They then returned to Sakhuwa village where another Maoist cadre Hareram Patel and ex chief of the Maoist people’s government, Lal Bahadur Chaudhari, were waiting for them.
Chaudhari then told Das that Sah was in the Maoist’s “red book” and asked him to return home. Chaudhari also said Sah was abducted under the party’s directives. When Das insisted that he wouldn’t return until the Maoists released his friend Sah, some Maoist cadres, beat him. Das was later taken to Ganjabhawanipur by a local Junga Bahadur Sah for medical treatment.
Outcry over Sah’s abduction: Twenty five days have passed. But Maoists haven’t yet made public the status of journalist, Birendra Sah. That has irked the journalist fraternity, angered Human Rights community and even UN bodies have shown grave concern. Following national and international outcry for Sah’s immediate release, the Maoists on Sunday formed a three-member committee to investigate the abduction. (more here)