KATHMANDU, Jan 25: Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar on Friday said he would do all he can to provide security to journalists.
He made the commitment when a group of media representatives led by the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) President Shiva Gaunle drew his attention toward the worsening security situation in Dailekh district.
"I urge all journalists mainly from Dailekh district to rest assured about their security. I urge those who have left the district to return to work," said Gachchhadar. "I am even ready to provide one police to each journalist in Dailekh if needed."
"The home ministry has already directed the local administrations to make necessary security arrangement for the journalists in the district," said a statement issued by the home minister.
A day after the Maoist 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 fled the district Thursday night fearing for their lives.
Earlier in the day, a meeting of the Dailekh district chapter of FNJ had concluded that Dailekh was no longer safe for journalists.
Meanwhile, CPN-UML concerned over the safety of journalists in Dailekh, has termed the situation in the district as "the darkest hour for media freedom".