Security forces arrested Sharma, editor and publisher of Baglung Weekly, at his home in the midwestern town of Baglung. Authorities arrested him under the provisions of a sweeping anti-terrorism ordinance introduced in November 2001 that criminalized any contact with or support for Maoist rebels.
Local journalists and human rights activists said that Sharma was viewed as an independent journalist, though the paper often covered news about the Maoist rebels.
“Security persons suspect his newspaper is close to the Maoists because his newspaper covers pro-Maoist news,” one journalist from Baglung told CPJ. A delegation from the Baglung chapter of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists visited local administrative officials and vouched for Sharma’s journalistic credentials. However, he remained imprisoned in Baglung Jail at the end of 2002.