Freedom Forum is dismayed to learn that Suman Malla, Station In-Charge of the Radio Mugu, was taken under control by the district police over the news the FM aired.
The incident took place in Mugu, a distant mountainous district in the Midwestern region of Nepal on December 14, 2012.
Talking to Freedom Forum's media monitoring desk, station In-Charge Malla said, "We aired news about growing supply of illegal weapons and use of children in it in the district few days back. But the district police turned hostile to me. The district police office took me under control for five hours."
According to him, the police officers also threatened him of filing a legal case. "Why did you air the news without our consent," a police officer asked him in an intimidating manner.
Moreover, he was singled out from the group of colleagues and grilled merely on his fair journalism.
The concerned authorities need to acknowledge the independence of media. The harassment is detrimental to independent media.
"The government must investigate into the case because the police intervention and harassment on a journalist, resembling the emergency period shows sheer lack of knowledge on government officials on free press and right to information. It has badly nipped in bud the practice of fair journalism in a remote district of Nepal," comments Taranath Dahal, Chairperson of Freedom Forum.