According to Radio Nepal, Kathmandu police have arrested President of Reporers’ Club Rishi Kumar Dhamala in connection with his affiliation to the Ranavir Sena (an underground armed outfit). Dhamala daily invites political leaders to his Reporters’ Club in Kathmandu for discussion on various hot issues.
Police sources have indicated that Dhamala has been arrested not as a journalist but as a suspect accusedly involved in criminal activities.
Some mainstream journalists in Kathmandu told this reporter that Dhamala has close ties with influential leaders of major political parties.
Reports say two other journalists Birendra KM and Ram Shubhak Mahato were arrested on February 1 on information that they were affiliated to the Ranavir Sena. Both of them are Terai-based.
Previous media reports in Kathmandu indicated that the Ranavir Sena (literal translation: War Hero Army) blasted bombs in Kathmandu with a key demand to restore monarchy as well as Hindu kingdom.
Identified and unidentified armed groups have already murdered several journalists in the Terai region of Nepal. The Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), an umbrella body of Nepali journalists, has expressed a serious concern over the growing threat to journalists in the Terai. One central member of the FNJ told this reporter that journalists both in the Terai as well as in Kathmandu feel more insecure due to some other journalists suspected of getting indulged in criminal activities.