Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
A question




I reached Janakpur the day after Uma Singh was murdered. Her body was kept inside the premises of the district development committee. Media workers from there gathered alongside locals. Huddled in a corner were women journalists who were working in Dhanusa. Monica Jha, a media employee, had tears in her eyes. She had been a close friend of Uma's and she too had been dealing with frequent death threats.

Everyone looked scared, but the women journalists seemed, unsurprisingly, the most shaken, thinking about how they would continue their careers in the media. Most of their families wanted them to leave their jobs. Their sense of loss was deepened by the fact that Uma had been such a campaigning, courageous reporer.

A local of Dhanusa, an active journalist and the chairman of the Journalists Umbrella Organization, Dharmendra Jha was doing his best to lift the spirits of the local journalists. Asking them not to be too affected by her murder, he said, "We will make the government hunt down the murderers of Uma. We must continue our work without fear."
I had met Uma at a discussion program about violence against women in Lahan. At that time, Uma had warned a friend and me to stay safe as people were attacked there for no reason other than for being in the public realm. It makes me wonder: was Uma's murder purely an attention seeking ploy?



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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