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Intimidator apologies after complaint; journalists harassed for reporting irregularities in community school  

Reporter Ranjan Adhikari received numerous threats for reporting on irregularities of a school in Kaski district on July 22. Kaski district lies in Gandaki Province of Nepal.  

Reporter Adhikari is affiliated with https://www.gandaknews.com/, an online news portal.  

Reporter Adhikari shared with Freedom Forum that he and colleague Ganesh Baral from www.pokharanews.com news portal had published a news story on irregularities of a local community school based on the complaints of parents in their respective portals on July 21. Following news publication, a local named Shree Krishna Shrestha calling himself husband of the school's principal Nirmala Manandhar repeatedly called on reporter Adhikari's mobile and asked him to meet.  

But reporter Adhikari refused to meet him as he was not directly related to the news published. Thereafter, Shrestha started to threaten the reporter in the name of his 'political recognition', informed reporter Adhikari. 

After receiving numerous threats and calls from Shrestha, reporter Adhikari filed a complaint at the District Police Office on July 24.  

Adhikari further said even the police refused to initiate investigation on time- they took Shrestha under control after a week on July 31.   

However, Shrestha was released the other day on August 1 after he apologized with the reporter for his misbehavior and stated not to repeat the mistake in future. 

Freedom Forum condemns the incident because it is sheer violation of press freedom. Despite availability of the alternate ways to complain for dissatisfaction over published news, many incidents of threats and harassment to journalists for doing their job have been recorded, which is unfortunate in deed.  

Reporting on the issues of public concern is the prior duty of journalists. However, it is welcoming at the same time that Shrestha apologized for his misbehavior with the journalists.  

 FF also welcomes the police's initiative- though late- to address safety of journalists.  

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Thapathali, Kathmandu