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Inebriated Government Official rough up journalists

Yet again, Freedom Forum has been concerned over an incident of press freedom violation that occurred at Tanahu, a hilly district in the western region of Nepal on January 4, 2012.

Inebriated Assistant Chief District Officer (CDO) at Tanahu, Rajendra Prasad Ghimire manhandled editor at the Setimadi daily in the district, Dambar Bahadur Adhikari and editor of the Madiseti Prabaha Omkar Acharya in course of making news over the alleged financial irregularities in the distribution of medicine against elephantiasis.

In a telephone conversation with the Media Monitoring Desk of the Freedom Forum, editor Adhikari said, "We were at the District Health Office to make news about the elephantiasis, but found both chief district health officer, and assistant CDO Ghimire drunk at the former's quarters. Assistant CDO Ghimire suddenly spoke foul on us. He accused us of going there to beg money with chief district health officer."

He added that as the responsible government officials were drunk and treated ill on them, they return without making news.

It shows how irresponsible the government officials are towards the rights to journalist and ignorant of press freedom, and also to the public service. Similarly, it indicates the government officials who are assigned to provide service to the people are obstructing the news source thereby violating the press freedom. Also, the financial irregularities in the government bodies indicate the corruption rife there.

Therefore, Freedom Forum urges the concerned authorities to take stringent action against the drunk officials who mistreated the journalists and avoided the information.