Freedom Forum's representative for Province 3 Ashok Dahal reported that journalists Rajesh Bhandari and Madan Babu Bhandari were issued death threat by a police person for reporting about his alleged connection in gold smuggling in Kathmandu on March 25. Rajesh Bhandari is affiliated with www.ratopati.com- an online news portal- and Madan Babu Bhandari is affiliated with Kathmandu based Sushasan weekly and www.suvadin.com online media.
“A police person working at the crime investigation division, who was close to me, shared information that Assistant Sub Inspector of Nepal Police Balkrishna Sanjel told his colleagues to shoot him if he wrote news about him (police person),” said representative Dahal quoting reporter Bhandari.
Then, the journalists have complained at the metropolitan police crime investigation division of receiving death threat from Assistant Sub Inspector of Nepal Police Balkrishna Sanjel.
Journalist duo had published the news story about the internal investigation of the police for alleged connection of Sanjel with the gold smuggling racket on Ratopati.com and Shuvadin.com online news portals.
According to Dahal, Madan has been also receiving treat from the same police through various channels. “The ASI Sanjel has been sending threatening message to Madan that he would shoot indirectly through other individuals” he further informed.
Sanjel was irked by the journalists for the news connecting him to a gold smuggler Chudamani Upreti. According to the news reports, police has formed a four-member committee to probe Sanjel’s contact with the racket.
Freedom Forum vehemently condemns the death threat issued to journalists. One can seek help from Press Council regarding the contents of the news published in case of any reservation. It is gross violation of press freedom that the security person responsible to provide security to the people is threatening journalists of life. Journalists' right to free reporting must be respected and protected.
Hence, FF urges the concerned authority to immediately investigate the case and ensure the security of the journalists.