Timsina’s corpse was found on December 12, 2002, about one kilometer (1.6 miles) from his house in eastern Nepal’s Morang district, according to the Kathmandu-based Center for Human Rights and Democratic Studies. His body had bullet wounds.
Timsina had worked for the pro-Maoist weekly Janadesh before going underground soon after the government declared a state of emergency in November 2001. In fall 2002, he surrendered to government security forces.
Although the motive for Timsina’s murder is not clear, CPJ sources in Nepal believe he may have been killed by Maoist rebels, who suspected him of acting as an informant to the government after his surrender.
In November 2001, the government declared a state of emergency and introduced a sweeping anti-terrorism ordinance, which allows for the arrest of anyone “in contact with” or “supportive of” the Maoist faction of the Communist Party of Nepal, which the government has identified as a terrorist group. More than 100 journalists have been detained under the ordinance, including several Janadesh editors and reporters.
Maoists have also been responsible for attacks on journalists. Rebels killed newspaper editor Nava Raj Sharma in June, and later claimed that they murdered him because he was a government spy.