NEPALGUNJ, Jan 25: A day after Young Communist League (YCL) cadres threatened to kill 10 more Dailekh-based journalists in the same way as Dekendra Thapa eight years ago, 22 local reporters left the district on Thursday night, fearing for their lives.
Earlier in the day, a meeting of the Dailekh district chapter of Federation of Nepalese Journalist (FNJ) had concluded that Dailekh was no longer safe for journalists.
Pushkar Thapa, Dailekh district chairman of FNJ, is among the displaced journalists. Dailkeh-based reporters of Nagarik daily, Kantipur daily, Avenues television and journalists working for local newspapers and FM radios have left the district.
Following the mass displacement of journalists, publications of two local daily newspapers and one weekly newspaper have been halted for an indefinite period. In Dailekh, Dhamaka and Tesro Aankha dailies and Sajha Pratibimba weekly are published. Similarly, Dhruba Tara and Panchakoshi FM radios have also gone off air.
On Wednesday, YCL cadres, who had earned notoriety as most-feared hooligans in the past, had warned that local journalists of Dailekh would meet Thapa´s fate. They had also vandalized the office of Tesro Aankha daily.
In 2004, Thapa, then a Radio Nepal reporter, was abducted and buried alive allegedly by a group of Maoist cadres. Of them, only five have been arrested so far.
Meanwhile, Nepali Congress on Thursday staged demonstrations and shut down the market for two hours against ´terror unleashed by the state´ in Dailekh.