A Pokhara-based journalist Himlal Poudel was manhandled and issued death threat by a Ward member of Lekhanath Municipality 21 Ram Badahur Gurung on April 13 in Pokhara. Journalist Poudel is associated with Janmabhumi weekly and www.janmabhumi.com, an online news portal.
Quoting journalist Poudel, FF's representative for Province 4 Rajan Upadhaya said, "While I was working in a cybercafé, ward member Gurung caught me by the neck and assaulted me for reporting on public interest issues. I have been continuously reporting on the misuse of aid to the underprivileged family for bee farming, delay in road construction and other issues.”
Following the death threat and manhandling, Poudel has filed a complaint at Chhorepatan Police Office, Kaski urging for his safety and action against the accused.
To this, Deputy Superintendent of Police Nabin Karki informed that they have arrested ward member Gurung on the basis of the complaint filed and the case is under the investigation, reported Upadhyaya.
Freedom Forum strongly condemns such incident against the journalists. It is a sheer violation of press freedom. Reporting and making citizens informed about public interest issues is the primary job of journalists. While the country has shifted to federal setup, local representatives are urged to respect press freedom and journalists' right to free reporting. Hence, FF strongly urges the concerned authorities to investigate the issue seriously and ensure safety for the journalists.
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