Friday, February 20, 2009

Uma Singh

A story from Ghana News on the murder of Nepali journalist and womens' right activist, Uma Singh:

"The first two weeks of the New Year brought the news of killing of a young woman journalist, suspectedly by the supporters of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), which is in power at Kathmandu now. The coalition government led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) faced serious criticism from the political parties following the murder of Uma Singh, on January 12. She worked for a private radio was hacked to death at her house in Janakpur area of southern Nepal by a group of unidentified armed men.

Known for her strong point of views on women's rights, caste and dowry systems and also for various political issues, the brave journalist was attacked by around 15 men armed with traditional Nepali curved knives (known as Khukhri). Uma, who was below 30 and the first female journalist to be killed in Nepal, was taken to the hospital, but soon she succumbed to injuries.

"Working in the most lawless part of Nepal, Uma Singh was fearless with her written and spoken word. She reported in particular against violence and discrimination against women. She did this with a sense of immediacy and professionalism in radio and print, and in three languages," said Kanak Mani Dixit, a veteran Nepali journalist. Uma's murder must push us to oppose the infrastructure of violence and impunity in Nepal, which has put innocent citizens in the line of fire. By extinguishing a journalist, the criminals have violated the public's right to know, Dixit commented.

The Federation of Nepali Journalists, an umbrella organisation of Nepal based journalists, claimed that Maoists were involved in the brutal murder of the journalist cum women rights activist. The federation president Dharmendra Jha spoke in clear voice that Maoists hands in the killing was suspected as her father (Ranjit Singh) and elder brother (Sanjay Singh) were also abducted and killed by them three years back."

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