Radio Dhading building razedThe District Forest Office on Friday morning demolished the buildings of Radio Dhading, a community broadcaster, and the adjoining ‘Sneha House’ that sheltered women in need, inside the Amarawati Community Forest in Neelkantha Municipality.
Harihar Singh Rathour
The District Forest Office on Friday morning demolished the buildings of Radio Dhading, a community broadcaster, and the adjoining ‘Sneha House’ that sheltered women in need, inside the Amarawati Community Forest in Neelkantha Municipality.
The DFO said both the buildings had encroached upon the forest land. Shankar Shrestha, news coordinator of the radio station, said forest guards had misbehaved with programme presenters and technicians. “They tore down the building with a bulldozer at around 4am,” he said.
Damodar Aryal, one of the members of the radio management committee, said transmitters, mixer, computers and laptops were destroyed in the process. Radhika Sapkota, executive director of Sahayatri Samaj, said the DFO had not notified the Sneha House staff beforehand. However, the radio had been asked to vacate, she said.
The DFO briefly detained the Nepal Electricity Authority Dhading chief Satya Narayan Gami on Wednesday after he refused to sever power supply to the buildings. Local organisations condemned the act. Media persons, human rights organisations and NGOs protested in Dhadingbeshi, the district headquarters. They demonstrated in front of the District Administration Office and the DFO.
The National Human Rights Commission expressed its concerns over the move. The rights watchdog on Friday received a complaint that the DFO and security personnel had demolished the buildings of Radio Dhading and the one sheltering a four-month-old, six helpless women and five staffers.
The NHRC has dispatched a team for investigation. In a statement, the NHRC urged the government to make necessary arrangements for immediate resumption of the radio service and relocation of the displaced women and infants to a safer place.