Nuwakot's reporter with the Annapurna Post daily, Dev Chandra Bhatta, was manhandled by police officers while reporting on a vandalism of a microbus in front of the District Election Office, Bidur on May 9. Nuwakot, a hilly district lies in Province 3.
During a telephonic conversation with Freedom Forum, reporter Bhatta shared,"While reporting about the vandalism on a bus (Ba 1 Ja 9084) which took place despite the presence of a dozen of police persons on duty in front of Election Office, two of the officers Sharada Kharel and Sushmita Shrestha seized my camera speaking foul words on me at 8:35 pm. They even threatened of smashing my camera if I took more pictures."
Even after identification, along with three more fellow journalists, namely Ramhari Gajurel (ratopati.com), Rakesh Dangol (Friends FM 90.9 MHz) and Jagadish Khanal (Radio Jalapa) were also manhandled the same night by police persons, said Bhatta, adding, "The police women might have been angry fearing the disclosure of their irresponsibility as the incident occurred despite their presence in the site."
A verbal complaint about the case was made with Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ganesh KC at Central Regional Police Office, Hetauda.
Freedom Forum is seriously concerned over such incidents of press freedom violations on the run up to the local level elections. During this period, free reporting is the prime right of the journalists. Hence, FF urges concerned authority to make the assailants aware of the journalists' rights.
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