The agitating political parties in the southern plains of Nepal have lately come up with the intimidation on media, dictating them not to disseminate news of other political parties.
On 27 October, the agitating political parties which have almost paralysed normal life with continuous strikes, asked local journalists in Bara district not to give space to the news, and the best wishes message of other parties on the festival occasions.
Talking to Freedom Forum, editor of a local Kripa daily, Kamal Adhikari Upadhyay, said the agitating political parties affiliated to the Madhesi Front organized a press conference on Tuesday and asked all media in the district not to disseminate the news, and best wishes message of the political parties except them. They reasoned that other parties' news and message of best wishes would weaken their protest.
It is a gross violation of press freedom as the political parties have made attempts to suppress media with their guided content. It has scared the journalists.
Difficulty in circulation of newspapers
Meanwhile, due to the prolonged agitation along the southern plains of the country, the circulation of newspapers has been badly hampered.
The obstruction in the supply of essentials including the petroleum products to Nepal from India border by the agitation parties have made the media face tough time to reach its newspapers to its readers, complained journalist Dipak Ghimire from Lumbini, a city in the southern plains of the western part of Nepal.
Newspapers cutting pages
Moreover, the newspapers in the capital city have cut their pages owning to the possible shortage of printing paper and ink for the blockade is prolonged in the country's border to India. The blockade is created as the agitation of regional political parties in southern plains of Nepal is continuous.
Freedom Forum, therefore, strongly urges the agitating political parties not to interference with the free media. The suppression on media is against democratic norms- against people's right to freedom of expression, press freedom, and of information. They are urged again to respect other's rights while struggling for their own rights. Curtailment of media freedom can not be imagined in any democracy.
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