Chitra Choudhary

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Choudhary was an advising editor at the weekly Nawa Paricharcha and the former editor-in-chief of Yugayan, both published in Tikapur, a town in the far-western district of Kailali. He was also the principal of the National Lower Secondary School in Patharaiya School. He was arrested at the school on the morning of December 6, 2001, and brought to the Tikapur police station, where Sama Thapa, editor of Yugayan, was also detained. Both journalists were later transferred to the regional police station in Shangadhi, the district headquarters of Kailali.

Authorities arrested them under the provisions of a sweeping anti-terrorism ordinance introduced in November 2001 that criminalized any contact with or support for the Maoist rebels. Choudhary, who had written articles supportive of the Maoist rebels, also spent time detained at the army barracks in Dhangadhi, according to a local human rights monitoring group.

Thapa was released without charge on April 4, 2002, “because they could not get any proof of his affiliation with the Maoists,” said one journalist. Choudhary was still detained at the end of 2002 at an undisclosed location, according to the Center for Human Rights and Democratic Studies, a Kathmandu-based press freedom group.