Former President of the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) Ganesh Thapa and his son Abihshekh misbehaved with journalist Prakash Timilsina while asking for his statement over an allegation on Thursday, 16 July.
Editor of the www.hamrokhelkud.com , specialized online news portal for sports, Timilsina had called Thapa at 5:15 pm asking the latter's statement over using an employee of ANFA as his housemaid for years.
Talking to Freedom Forum's representative Ashok Dahal, Timilsina said, "After following courtesy I asked him whether the allegation was true. He first accused me of not reporting about other corruption scandals in ANFA". "Suddenly, he shouted on me saying he was recovering from an illness and my phone call panicked him more. He didn't stop on that adding I was guided by his rivals and tried to kill him at the time of bed rest. He even told me that I should take responsibility if he died," Timilsina added.
Representative Dahal further informed that minutes after conversation with Thapa, his son Abhishekh had called Timilsina and used abusive words accusing the journalist of panicking his father. Thapa's son had even visited the office of the online media and misbehaved with Timilsina accusing him of trying to kill his father.
"I didn't have any ill intention besides doing my duty. They misbehaved me for questioning over an irregularity," Timilsina shared with Dahal.
However, Thapa has claimed that journalist Timilsina provoked him even though he declined to comment over the issue twice realizing 'bias reporting' from the media. "There wouldn't have been any dispute if he had ended the call after I declined to comment on the issue. But he insisted and provoked me," Thapa has posted on his Facebook.
Freedom Forum is concerned over the incident as it is sheer violation of press freedom. Journalist has every right to report on the public issues and ask for the statement of the concerned authority. While one has right to choose not to respond to their question, abusing and harrassing on-duty journalist is condemnable. Such incidents may create fear among fellow journalists. Hence, FF urges the concerned authority to respect journalists and their right to free reporting thus, ensuring safe reporting atmosphere.
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