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Information Seeker Detained

Freedom Forum has been shocked to learn that an information seeker was detained by police from a campus in the capital in the morning of September 5, 2012.

Mahendra Bhattarai, President of the Free Student Union at the Koteshwor Multiple Campus, Koteshwor was arrested by police under the direction of the Campus administration while he and his friends were staging relay hunger strike for five days against the corruption in the procurement of computers in the Campus.

Earlier, he had sought information with the Campus on various 80 issues related to different irregularities there. As the Campus has denied information, he has moved to the National Information Commission for making the Campus provide information as per the Right to Information Act 2007. In addition to denying information, the Campus administration suppressed the peaceful strike of the students thereby violating his fundamental rights.

It is the blatant violation of citizens' right to information, a fundamental right enshrined in the country's constitution.

The apprehension and detention has discouraged the information seeking, a process to make public agencies transparent and accountable to the people.

Freedom Forum condemns the Campus administration's ill-effort to suppress people's rights to information thereby hiding information and promoting corruption. The Campus must provide the information sought by Mr Bhattarai by abiding by the RTI Act 2007, and the police release him immediately.

Information seeker Bhattarai has been kept in Ward Police Office, Baneshwor, Tinkune.