Freedom Forum-Nepal is seriously concerned over the news of holding one thousand metric tones of newsprint imported by the Kantipur Publication, a famous media house of Nepal, at Kolkata port of India for the last 26 days by Indian authorities.
"India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has taken control of the newsprint imported from Canada and South Korea and stopped its shipment to Nepal, saying that the 39 containers carrying the newsprint need to be “investigated," stated The Kathmandu Post's June 23 edition.
The news further claimed that no investigation, however, had been carried out despite repeated requests, nor had Kantipur Publications been given a clear explanation for the continued delay, which had meant heavy demurrage and possibility of the newsprint getting damaged.
Generally, the “seal” of containers, which travel by train from Kolkata, is opened upon their arrival at the Birgunj dry port in Nepal. Kantipur Publication's management said, “For the last one month, we have been asking them to expedite the investigation, if you have to. Despite our repeated requests, nothing has been done to resolve the issue,”
It is the matter of serious concern for the Indian government blocking newsprint at the port. The act to obstruct the import of press-materials is nothing but to covertly harass press freedom. Further it is to mention that as per the Nepal-Indian transit treaty, no consignment in transit can be held without explanation. The Forum urges the government to take diplomatic channel to solve the problem at the earliest and up the confidence of media house.