Four people have reportedly been arrested for the murder of journalist and women’s rights activist Uma Singh, who was stabbed to death in her home in the southeastern lowland city of Janakpur on 11 January.
At the same time, local news website Republica quoted state-owned Nepal TV on 12 January as reporting that an underground group had claimed responsibility for Singh’s murder but said it was done “by mistake.”
It has meanwhile emerged that death threats were made against another woman journalist in the southern Terai lowlands on the same day that Singh was killed.
The Kantipur news groups said its correspondent in the Terai district of Dhanusa, Manika Jha, was threatened on 11 January by a group of three or four people who broke the windows of her home and said she would be the next to be attacked. The eKantipur website reported that she has been assigned police protection.
“This wave of violence against Nepalese journalists requires a firm response from the government, which must assume its responsibility and adopt effective measures to protect journalists,” Reporters Without Borders said.
The Terai lowlands have seen a wave of violence since 2006, with many militant groups pressing for regional autonomy. Nepal’s newly-elected government, led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), has held talks with these groups but has not managed to put an end to the violence.