Two journalists who filed stories critical of the Maoists in Dailekh have been warned that they will have their hands chopped off. The reporters, Bhupendra Shahi of Gorkhapatra and Kamal Neupane of the local Sushil daily wrote about Maoist extortion from businesses in the area. The reporters said they received this warning when they met up with local Maoist leaders last week. Last month, the Maoists abducted the Radio Nepal correspondent in Dailekh, Dekendra Raj Thapa.
Meanwhile, there has been outrage over the abduction of Nepal Samacharpatra correspondent and INSEC representative in Surkhet, Durga Thapa, by Maoists while he was on a reporting trip nearby. The Maoists say Thapa was engaged in 'anti-people activities' and have sentenced him to 25 days of hard labour. Among those who have lodged strong protests against the Maoists are the International Press Institute National Committee, political parties and human rights organisations. They said in a joint statement: "This is an unacceptable attack on human rights and the right to free expression."