Newspaper distributor at Himalaya Times national daily Nhuchhe Ram Khusu was manhandled while distributing newspapers at a public office in Bhaktapur on December 28. Bhaktapur lies in Bagmati Province.
The daily has reported that distributor Khusu reached office of Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) to distribute the newspapers. As he handed the newspaper to the Member Secretary at the Council, Jeev Narayan Kafle, Kafle fumed with anger, abused Khusu and media house verbally after reading news critical to him.
Following this, Khusu provided the contact number of his office to Kafle to talk on the issue but Kafle took Khusu under control and ordered his staffs to collect all the newspapers.
The staffs also tried to seize the newspapers from the vehicle but Khusu stopped them.
"I am just a minor staff at the office, I even do not know what the news is about so what is the point in locking me in the room!", the daily quotes distributor's Khusu as reacting.
Freedom Forum vehemently condemns the incident as it is gross violation of press freedom. There are alternate ways to express dissatisfaction over the published news. Harassing an innocent staff of the media over critical news reporting show how intolerant and unaware the state authority is towards criticism, press freedom and citizen's right to information.
Hence, FF strongly urges the concerned authority to immediately apologize for manhandling a media person and commit towards ensuring free reporting atmosphere in future.
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