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Journalists receive threat of assault for reporting on sick cooperative

Editor-In-Chief at Purwasandesh daily Ganja Bahadur Dahal and his reporter Ghanshyam Bhandari have been receiving threat of attack for reporting news since October 1. The daily is published from Jhapa, Koshi Province.

Journalists duo received threat from a chairperson of a cooperation organization Sankalpa Lingden for publishing critical news about the cooperative organization. News with title- Cash of depositers missing was published on September 30 based on the information shared by one of the victims of the cooperative.

Editor Dahal shared with Freedom Forum that reporter Bhandari wrote the news on the basis of information shared by a victim to the reporters. “Following news publication, Lingden called on my mobile and asked why I published the news. He also asked me to meet him to sort out the matter”, Dahal said.

“I met Lingden on October 3 after his continuous threatening calls. In meeting he said either I call report Bhandari to apologize for reporting news or I will be kidnapped. I denied to call Bhandari. However, he did not do any harm to me”, added Dahal. It was learnt that Lingden had also sent messages warning other journalists that Dahal and Bhandari would be kidnapped if they didnot apologize. Again on October 5, Lingden sent a copy of a complaint lodged at area police office requesting to take action against journalists.

Freedom Forum condemns the threat issued to journalists for covering news. Harassing journalists for doing their job is a gross violation of press freedom. The concerned is urged to adopt legitimate measures for any discontent over news.

Lately, there are problems rife on cooperatives (saving and credit organizations) that they have not been able to pay money to the depositers owing to financial crunch. It has resulted in conflict between the cooperative runners/ owners and depositers. 

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