Poudel was found dead near the Purwanchal Sekuwa Corner Hotel in Birtamode, a central town in the Jhapa District of eastern Nepal, according to local news reports and a press freedom group representative. The journalist, who appeared to have been beaten and thrown from the hotel roof, suffered head injuries, a fractured right hand, and other cuts and contusions, the reports said.
Poudel covered local news for the Kathmandu-based Avenues TV, the national Rajdhani Daily, and the local Mechi Times. Several of his recent reports had alleged that hotels in the area were involved in prostitution, according to local English-language daily Republica.
Local press freedom group Federation of Nepali Journalists sent a delegation to Jhapa to investigate whether Poudel was killed in reprisal for his work, KC Poshan, an adviser to the group, told CPJ.
Police told reporters that several people were being questioned in relation to the attack--including hotel owners Somraj and Manju Dhakal, and Yuvaraj Giri, a business partner of Poudel's--but that they had been unable to determine a motive, news reports said. Poudel and Giri had discussed plans to start a new publication over dinner at the hotel that night, the reports said.