Freedom Forum is seriously concerned over the continuous threats issued to Nepalgunj Bureau Chief of Kantipur National Daily, J Pandey by Terai Janatantrik Party-Madhesh in Banke district in the western plain of Nepal over the issue of news coverage. Journalist Pandey was repeatedly threatened of taking his life through phone calls and press conference over the news coverage entitled 'Five workers abducted' in July 7 edition of Kantipur.
Adarsha claiming himself to be Western Command In-charge of the group had been frequently issuing such life-threatening calls. The Terai-based outfit also warned journalist Pandey to not dare to write news against their party, adding if he continued covering such news, he would face the same fate of the murder of Janakpur-based media entrepreneur Arun Singhaniya.
Earlier, Chairperson of the Party Arjun Singh expressed dissatisfaction over the news via telephone. Threat issued again after his dissent remarks got published in the newspaper. This situation has also terrorized other journalists in the district. The group had also issued threats to FM radios airing the news of the Kantipur and other media.
Terming this incident 'cowardice' and 'deliberate action' against journalist's right to cover and disseminate news and views, Freedom Forum strongly demands with the government to fairly investigate into the incident and bring the guilty to book. The Forum regrets that the government of Nepal has failed to put impunity to end and ensure safety environment for journalists which demonstrated government's weaknesses to comply with its responsibility and commitment for the guarantee of freedom of press and of expression.