From The Nepali Press
Nepal Samacharpartra, 31 August
FROM ISSUE #263 (02 SEPT 2005 - 08 SEPT 2005) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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It all started while reporting at Khudunabari when a group of Maoists led by Jhapa district leader Shyam and student leader Prabin Mishra met us and forced us to walk with them to their secret hiding place. We walked for nearly 168 hours. We had to walk even at night. We slept in the jungles covering ourselves with raincoats. On the first night, we halted at a small hut. But as soon as the people in the hut heard our murmurs, they put off the lights and locked their door. Prabin banged on the door and managed to get it open after declaring that we were Maoists. There was only a poor old mother inside. Prabin asked her to cook for 14 of us. But she said a group of eight Maoists had finished her food and there was nothing to eat. At around 4AM, the Maoists woke us up and made us walk in the rain. After we crossed Soyak village and reached Jitpur of Ilam, it was daylight. We then realised that most of our companions were young Maoists between 12 and 22 years. None of them were armed. Diya, Astha, Sajita, Kamala and Aakash were all school girls and boys. By then, our feet were bleeding. We again walked the whole day and the following night the Maoists realized that we could no longer walk and decided to let us go. The rebels had planned to take us to one of their secret hiding places where Maoist central leaders were also planning to attend animportant function. We are ready to bear any suffering in the name of journalism but we cannot tolerate such inhumane behaviour.