Yet again, Itahari Sub-Metropolitan City's Mayor Dwarik Lal Chaudhari misbehaved with Itahari based television journalist Rajan Katwal while inquiring him about status of preparedness to the COVID-19 in Itahari today (March 26, 2019). The incident took place in Itahari, Province 1, which is the eastern city of Nepal.
Journalist Katwal is associated with a local media- Arena Television.
According to FF's representative from Province 1, Bikram Niraula, journalist Katwal hosted a program related to spread of coronavirus and on the same issue he also talked to Mayor Chaudhari. At the time of crisis, instead of providing accurate information, Mayor Chaudhari aggressively responded to journalist and spoke foul words to him.
Freedom Forum condemns the verbal abuse by the Mayor while reporting about the pandemic which has instigated fear among public. Amid fear COVID-19 pandemic, journalist performing their duty to disseminate accurate information is praiseworthy. But, meting out harassment to journalist is violation of press freedom.
Mayor Chaudhary had already earned disrepute for his gross behavior with journalists last year.
Hence, FF urges the Mayor to respect journalists' rights and also help journalists share proper information in amicable environment at this time crisis.