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Dharan Mayor Sampang uses force  to manhandle female journalist

Dharan Mayor Sampang uses force  to manhandle female journalist

Freedom Forum has been alarmed over Dharan Sub-Metropolis Mayor Harka Sampang’s gross misconduct and misuse of power to manhandle female journalist Sanjita Dhamala. Dhamala is a journalist at an online news media- purbelinews.com .

Reporter Dhamala shared with FF that during a public hearing event, she informed the mayor about public complaint of bribe seeking by people's representatives for recommendation of citizenship certificate in Dharan. The event was held on July 3. 

"Then, on July 5 Mayor posted on his Facebook page asking me to meet him in his office with whatever evidence I had. He wrote in way that discredited my profession", said Dhamala. 

Reporter Dhamala reached Dharan Sub-Metropolitan office to meet Mayor Sampang on July 5. He not only grilled the reporter Dhamala at his office chamber but also mobilized police persons to misbehave and manhandle her. They forcefully took the reporter out of the office at Mayor's order. Reporter Dhamala has bruises on her body and her eye glass broke during the incident. 

Reporter Dhamala told Freedom Forum that she would like to file a lawsuit against the Mayor for the harrassment and defaming her and media profession. Moreover, she sought cooperation from human rights agencies and fellow journalists.  

Sampang has been repeatedly speaking foul on journalists and discrediting media.

It is sheer irresponsibility and disrespect shown by a people’s representative towards media and journalist. This incident show growing intolerance on public officials towards media and journalists. The public agencies and officials are expected accountablity towards people and respect critical fews. Intolerant behavior is detriminal to free reporting.

FF deplores the manhandling and harassment of journalist Dhamala, and strongly urges Mayor Sampang to respect press freedom and journalists’ right to free reporting.

Similarly, security agencies and human rights bodies are requested to pay heed to her safety because the Mayor has been still posting negatively on the journalist. 

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