Election officer forcefully grabbed the camera of Rautahat based- correspondent with Mountain Television Rakesh Yadav and deleted the pictures while reporting vote count on September 19. Rautahat lies in Province No 2 where third phase of local level poll has successfully concluded on September 18.
Talking to Freedom Forum, Reporter Yadav said, "The situation was tense at the place of vote count of Garuda Municipality following the dispute among political representatives. At 8:30 pm, when I reached the counting place, security officers did not let me enter. Then I started reporting from outside the room. Meanwhile, a woman Inspector asked me to shut the camera."
He further said, "I argued that I was taking pictures at other vote count places as well, then why not here! Thereafter, Assistant Election Officer approached me saying no one was allowed to click at vote counting center. But I did not stop reporting."
With this argument, Election Officer Nabin Kumar Joshi asked reporter Yadav to delete the pictures. He forcefully grabbed the reporter's camera and deleted all pictures.
Freedom Forum draws serious attention of the concerned authorities towards such hostile behavior of election officers on journalists. This is a sheer humiliation of journalist and violation of press freedom and citizen's right to information. As there is nothing to hide from media, the behavior of election officers to intimidate reporter was misuse of power and ignorance of press freedom. FF urges the concerned authority to pay a heed to free press, thus ensuring the atmosphere conducive for journalists at this prime time.
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