A journalist with the Radio Karnali Awaz, Arjun Bohara, was attacked by a group of teachers in the night of June 8. Radio Karnali is broadcasted from Humla which lies in Province 6 of Nepal.
Talking to Freedom Forum's stringer in Province No 6, Laxmi Bhandari, reporter Bohara describes the incident as, "It was 9:55pm. I was ready to close the office after the airing hour was over. All of a sudden a group of five school teachers barged into the office and began vandalizing the assets in the technical room. The drunken teachers not only smashed computer, laptop and printer, but also beat me."
He added that Netra Bahadur Shahi, teacher at a local Man Sarobar Secondary School, hit him on the head with an iron rod causing injury. However, he escaped the major injury in the attack.
The Karnali Awaj further informed that Shahi's team included Paljor Lama, Resham Raj Rokaya, Nara Bohara and Hira Bohara.
Journalist Bohara argued that he might be attacked because of the news the FM radio aired on the irregularities in the construction activities. However, the attackers, as he said, were blaming the FM radio of not paying the teachers running an educational program for students focused on exam preparation in the radio.
Freedom Forum condemns the incident which is a gross violation of press freedom. The incident depicts how hostile the atmosphere is for the Nepali media. The concerned local authorities including the security offices need to bring the assailants to book. Despite being aware people, teachers attacked the media, which is quite abhorring one. They must be aware about the value of press freedom for informed citizenry and the democracy.
Also, if there was any disagreement on the payment, it could be solved internally, rather than attacking the journalist.
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