A reporter with the National News Agency (RSS) of Nepal, Purna Prasad Mishra, was taken under control for more than three hours by an owner of a school and pastor, Anka Dhoj Mote, in the capital city, Kathmandu, on June 17, 2014.
Mishra was taken under control by Mote's staffs while he was taking photographs of a church run under board of a school, Hope Imperial School, at Jorpati in the capital city.
"Why did you take the photo of this church? Who has given you the rights to make story on it? Who are you to photograph it, " reporter Mishra faced such flurry of threatening questions by the owner of the school and pastor Mote, and was grilled for over three hours despite Mishra said he was a reporter and making news about the church run on the school premises.
Mr Mishra further told the Freedom Forum's media monitoring desk that he along with the church pastor and staff were taken to the police station, Bouddha. Reporter Mishra told the police that he as a reporter was making story so he photographed the church hidden inside the school under the school's name.
Although he was released by the police some hours later, the pastor is learnt to have continued pressure on reporter Mishra to delete the photos of the church. "I'm afraid of possible attack from pastors' side as he has not stopped threatening me of physical action," said Mishra to the monitoring desk.
"Taking a journalist under control merely over reporting is condemnable. Even the police initially followed the suppressive way of the school owner which panicked journalist. Such grilling despite giving journalists' identity is a move to silence journalist, smother free press and deprive people of their right to information," observes Taranath Dahal, Chairperson of the Freedom Forum.
Freedom Forum therefore condemns the incident, and urges the security strongly to fend off the possible attacks on journalist Mishra. Also, the concerned ones need to know the value of free press in the democratic society.
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