On 11 September state-run Gorkhapatra and Rising Nepal printed a news items that I was in the payroll of the Maoists. Their evidence was that my name was in a diary found in the possession of Maoist leader Udaya Regmi (Uttam Hamal) who was among seven Maoists killed by vigilantes in Naumule and Salleri on 5 September two days after the ceasefire. Among their possessions was Rs 300,000 extorted from businessmen and a diary belonging to Uttam.
Even though the authorities are trying to use that diary and the state media against me, anyone who knows me knows it is not true. It is just an effort to scare me and comes at a time when Gorkhapatra has been enagaged in a vilification campaign against my paper, Kantipur. Since December, security forces in Dailkeh have prevented me and reporters here from going out to the villages to report and to use a cordless phone. They have threatened to kill us and now the state-run media has been roped into accusing us of being Maoists. It's not that I didn't know Uttam. He was the Maoist source for my articles. Last year, he even asked me to find tapes for his video camera and I used various excuses to refuse. He tried to insist but I said they weren't available in Kathmandu. That's the extent of my dealings with Uttam. In fact, I am a victim of the Maoists, who looted a cordless phone worth Rs 70,000 from me. There is no way I could be in their payroll.