Nepal dailies receive threats after media baron's murder

Kathmandu: Nearly a week after controversial Nepali media tycoon Jamim Shah’s murder in a VVIP area of the capital, journalists in two of Nepal’s biggest media groups have received death threats, police said.

The Kantipur Group, Nepal’s biggest private media organisation, Saturday went public, saying its managing director and the editors of its two dailies, Kantipur and its sister publication in English, The Kathmandu Post, had received threats by phone and email.

“Stop immediately the kind of news coverage you have been giving to Jamim’s killing,” a male caller told Kantipur editor Sudhir Sharma on phone Thursday, the dailies said in a front-page report Saturday.

“Or else you will face serious consequences within 15 days,” the caller added, speaking in a mixture of Hindi and English, the reports said.

The email sent to them, a copy of which has been obtained by IANS, also threatened journalists working for another daily run by a different media group.

The other popular media group in Nepal that brings out the Himalayan Times daily and a sister publication in Nepali, the Annapurna Post, also received similar threat calls, police said.

While the two dailies declined to comment on the threats, the chief of metropolitan police, Ganesh KC, said surveillance at the threatened newspaper offices had been beefed up after they reported the threats to police.

“We are ensuring there will be no untoward incident,” the official told IANS.

The threats come after Jamim Shah, who headed private television station Channel Nepal and a cable television network, Space Time Network, was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne assailants in Kathmandu’s embassy area Sunday afternoon.

Though the red-faced government formed three separate probe teams to apprehend the killers, there has been no breakthrough so far with the two men suspected to have fled Nepal.

Shah was alleged to have links with Karachi-based underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, wanted by the Indian government for several bomb blasts in Mumbai, as well as Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

His killing was owned up by a man calling himself Bharat Nepali, who is said to have been a former aide of Indian mobster Chhota Rajan. However, there has been no official confirmation of the involvement of Nepali.

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