Freedom Forum condemns threat issued on journalist Balram Pudasaini of www.tukhabar.com an online news portal operated from Makwanpur district. The incident occurred at Makwanpur district on 16 July 2019 that lies in Province 3 of Nepal.
According to information sent by FF's representative for Province 3, Rammani Dahal, journalist Pudasaini was threatened by the Ram Prasad Ghimire, Chairperson of one of the construction consumer committees at Gadhi Rural Municipality over a piece of news written by the journo. The news about the use of low-quality construction material to construct the road in the area was published on tukhabar.com where journo has hinted on the possible corruption done by the committee. The concrete on the road has already started wearing off within some time of construction.
Questioning the news published, Chairperson threatened journo over a telephonic conversation using rough and abusive words and asked him to delete the news immediately. The news was published after the detail investigation upon the issue and conversation with Ram Prasad Ghimire and Chair of the rural municipality Bidur Humagain.
The threat issued to the journo is vehemently condemnable. It is the duty of a journalist to write news on the issue of public concern such as corruption. Challenging the journo and threatening them for doing their job is against the notion of press freedom guaranteed by the Constitution of Nepal. This kind of trend to threaten the journo should be stopped and security officials should take legal action against the one involved in crime as per the complaint lodged.
In the latest turn of event, security officials at Makwanpur have arrested Ram Prasad Ghimire remanded into custody for 10 days after the complaint from the journalist.
While most of the incidents of Press Freedom violations go unheard, it is a good initiative from Nepal Police to take action against the perpetrators involved in the crime.
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