'Journos are equally responsible about peace process'
Shiva Gaule, chairman of the Federation of Nepali Journalists headed a four-member fact-finding mission to study the matter in Dailekh. Republica talked to Gaule. Excerpts:
You recently returned from Dailekh. What did you find there?
Journalists are working under immense psychological pressure from the authorities. Even security officials concede that they can´t provide security when journalists are outside the district headquarters. It is only after the Supreme Court verdict on Tuesday that journalists in the district heaved a sigh of relief.
What conditions have the FNJ set for concluding the protests?
We have been demanding that all those involved in Dekendra´s murder must be brought to book. Let the law take its course. There shouldn´t be any interference. We are ready to accept the court´s verdict.
The prime minister and Maoists have been arguing that cases like Dekendra´s murder are to be dealt with through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and that journalist bodies including FNJ have taken up the issue at a wrong time. What do you say?
Criminal laws can´t be deactivated under the pretext of handing over such cases to the TRC which hasn´t even seen the light of the day. Being indifferent to cases of serious human rights violations would be against the interim constitution and the Comprehensive Peace Accord. The ruling leaders needn´t teach journalists about their duty. Journalists are equally responsible and sincere about concluding the peace process.
Other journalists have also been murdered. What will be the impact of the ongoing struggle of journalists on those cases?
At least 34 journalists were killed and four others have been disappeared. Once we succeed in bringing those accused of Thapa´s murder to book, it will pave the way for bringing others involved in several other journalists´ murders and disappearances to book.