Some locals burnt the copies of the Kantipur national daily in Kailali today- on February 6. Kailali lies in the Sudurpaschim Province of Nepal.
Freedom Forum's representative from the province Min Bam informed that a local businessman Padam Sapkota along with his friends burnt the newspapers following their discussion on a political leader Rabi Lamichhane. Sapkota burnt old editions of the newspapers archived in his and his friends' shop.
During a press conference held in federal capital, Kathmandu, on February 5, President of Rastriya Swatantra Party and Former Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane had accused Nepali media of defaming him, and publicly threatened the media.
Representative Bam also quoted Deputy Superintendent of Police Bed Prakash Joshi, Spokesperson at District Police Office, Kailali as saying,"We learnt about the incident from social media and no any complaints were registered at the police station on the case. Hence, no action has been taken yet."
Freedom Forum also talked to other journalists in the province about the incident. Senior journalist Dirgha Raj Upadhyay also confirmed the incident.
Freedom Forum is concerned over the incident. The incident may have been stoked by the Lamichhane's press conference. He, in the conference, had indicated various media and threated them for writing about him and claiming his defamation. He had also publicly discredited media.
Freedom Forum urges all sides concerned not to be swayed by the provocative remarks and assail media in response. Free and fair atmosphere is imperative for press freedom.
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