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Gangsters barge into multiple media houses, threaten journalists over news reporting

A gang of hooligans entered media houses in Chitwan and threatened journalists on August 21 for publishing news. Chitwan lies in Bagmati Province of Nepal.

Managing Director of Chitwan Post daily Govinda Aryal told Freedom Forum that few dailies had published news today on a bus accident due to negligence of a college’s driver. The news stated that the driver was under influence of drug while driving, and it was major cause of accident.

Then, at around 10:30 am, six goons led by son of the college owner Rohan Bhandari reached the daily’s office and started threatening staffs. “They shouted- who reported the news? Give me the news report and I will show you”, said Aryal adding, “I requested them to lodge complaint at Press Council if they had any problem with the news. If the Council asks for the report I will show it to the Council but I neither need to give it to you nor is it your right to threaten this way.”

“Thereafter, they left the office and went to the office of another Narayani online media and threatened the same way”, informed Aryal.

Narayani Online’s chief editor Raju Chaudhary has also issued statement on the incident.

The news was published according to the information provided  by the District Police Office, Chitwan and Chitwan Medical College. They wrote a letter to the District Administration Office requesting action on the case and safety, according to Director Aryal.

Freedom Forum condemns the threat issued to journalists. Instead of filing complaint at Press Council Nepal- which is a legitimate way, barging into media houses and threatening journalists for publishing news is gross violation of press freedom. Such act has panicked media franternity. FF urges the local authority to be vigilant for the security of journalists.


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