Nepali Journalist Arrested for Criticising Former PM Prachanda on Social Media

Dipak Pathak had compared Prachanda to Bill Gates in a Facebook post, and referred to him as 'Kill Gates'.

New Delhi: Nepali journalist and board member of Radio Nepal, Dipak Pathak, has been arrested for reportedly criticising on former prime minister and chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) Pushpa Kumar Dahal on social media.

According to news reports from Kathmandu, Pathak was arrested from his residence in the Jadibuti area of the capital city on April 30 morning. Nabind Aryal, SSP with the Cyber Bureau of Nepal, confirmed his arrest to Setopati, adding, “We have arrested him under the Electronic Transaction Act.”

He said, “We have received complaint against him. We have, therefore, arrested him with the permission of the court.”  Further investigation into the matter is on, he added.

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In a Facebook message on April 10, Pathak had compared Dahal, popularly known as Prachanda, with American industrialist and philanthropist Bill Gates, and called him “Kill Gates”.  He accused Dahal of making money “in the name of revolution”.

So far, it is not clear on whose complaint the police has acted.

Radio Nepal board member Pathak’s arrest has come two days after the government’s owned broadcasting organisation was in the news for taking down an interview with former prime minister and Janata Samajbadi Party leader Baburam Bhattarai after the Ministry of Communication and Technology sought a clarification on some of the words used he had used to criticise present Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli.

The removal of the interview has received considerable flak from members of the public on social media.