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Journalists Still Under Tough Time

 

Freedom Forum Nepal is concerned over the anti-press incidents occurred in different parts of the country within a past couple of days.

Nepal Police manhandled and detained reporter for the Kantipur National Daily, Jaya Bahadur Rokaya, at the latter's house in Nepalgunj, the western Terai district of Nepal, on November 19.

'The police personnel roughed up me while I was opting for mediating a quarrel between Radio Nepal Technician Ram Chandra Budha and a police at around 8 PM Saturday in front of my own home', journalist Budha speaks to Freedom Forum Press Freedom Monitoring Desk.

Rokaya has his cloth torn apart and wrist lost in the incident. 'Police put me under bar for two hours without any reason', the journalist added.

Police declined to say anything regarding the detention of and mental and physical torture meted out to journalist.

In yet another incident, on November 20, an unidentified group thrashed a distributor serving with the eastern regional office of the Kantipur Publication, Abadh Giri, at Biratnagar in the eastern plain of Nepal.

The group thrashed him nearby Sairam Chowk in Biratnagar-4 at around 4.30 in the morning while carrying newspaper on a bicycle for the purpose of distribution.

He told they misbehaved and manhandled him saying, 'show us what is there in the cycle carrier and what contains the packet'.

The miscreants robbed his mobile, newspaper distributor Giri further informed.

Likewise, Deputy Superintendant of Police (DSP) at the District Police Office, Bhojpur, Nar Bahadur KC, made verbal abuses against correspondent Samacharpatra National Daily, Gyanendra Khadka and local journalist Buddha Prasad Tamang over the news published in the newspaper.

DSP KC issued threat to journalists claiming the latter are working in support of the armed outfit active in the region, taking up an issue of covering news about the bomb explosion in front of Land Revenue Office some days ago.

The police official threatened us for giving space to the news of the outfit taking responsibility of the bomb detonation, victim journalists said.

Journalist Khadka further said DSP KC was outraged for covering the news stating district-based political parties have accused the police administration of protecting unruly group of youths in its contracts.

Khadka is also the Vice-chairperson of Federation of Nepali Journalists), Bhojpur Chapter and Tamang is working as a reporter for local Silichung Weekly.

Condemning the incidents carried out in a bid to gag press and curtail people's right to get information, Freedom Forum urged the local administration to investigate into the incidents and take proper action to create congenial environment for journalists to work in an uninterrupted manner. The Forum also called for the sides concerned to resort to legal recourse if the media content is deemed unsatisfactory.