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Police arrest journalists Bhandari, Bhatta over news

The District Police Office (DPO) Kanchanpur arrested senior journalists in the district- Khem Bhandari and Ganesh Dutta Bhatta-on June 17 merely for publishing news, informed Freedom Forum's stringer in Province No 7, Mr DR Pant.

Bhandari is the publisher and editor of the Bhimduttanagar-based Manaskhanda daily while Bhatta, the executive editor.

Stringer Mr Pant added that police arrested Bhandari and Pant for the investigation under the Some Public Offence and Punishment Act.

A complaint was lodged by the family of Puja Nath and Kanchan Nath of Shuklaphanta municipality.

Some days back, the daily had published the news about the arrest of Puja and Kanchan stating that they were detained by the police for creating commotion in public on alcoholic stupor and they were to be tried under the Public Offence Act.

Khemraj Nath, the father of Kanchan had filed the complaint against the daily for 'hurting' social life of his daughter and sister with the publication of the news about their arrest.

Bhandari is the former chair of Minimum Wages Fixation Committee.

Freedom Forum vehemently condemns the arrest of the journalists merely for writing news. The police arrested the journalists as if they were criminals. If anyone has the complaints about news, he/she can complain it at Press Council Nepal.

Similarly, the invocation of the Some Public Offence Act by the police in this case is the gross misuse of the authority.

Freedom Forum therefore strongly urges Nepal Police to immediately release the journalists unconditionally.

For more information,
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
Post Box No: 24292
Phone No. 4102030, 4102022
Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np