Senior Superintendent of Police Dibesh Lohani, an accused in Gold smuggling case, attacked the reporters with www.onlinekhabar.com (an online news portal) Dhruba Bhattarai and Ujjyalo News Network Suman Suskera while reporting on May 2 in Biratnagar.
Freedom Forum's representative for Province 1, Bikram Niraula reported that among those accused in gold smuggling case, the most hyped case in Nepal these days; SSP Lohani kicked the reporters while they were taking pictures of the accused. While leaving Morang District Court premises, SSP Lohani not only kicked reporters but also verbally abused them.
Representative Niraula further informed that the senior police officer also spoke foul upon reporter for www.bijmandu.com (an online business news portal), Ananta Neupane and correspondent for Blast Times daily, Anil Shrestha. Recently, the video of the assault has gone viral in social media recently.
It came to know from the Freedom Forum's monitoring archive that SSP Lohani had also manhandled journalists two years back in Saptari, a southern plain district of Nepal.
Freedom Forum has expressed serious concern and condemned the incident of assault on journalists while terming it a sheer violation of press freedom. The incident shows continuous hostility of security personnel towards media and journalists. Hence, FF strongly urges the concerned authority to take action against the perpetrator of press freedom and ensures physical safety to journalists. The organization also demands the state authorities to enable the environment for the journalists to exercise their constitutionally-guaranteed right to free reporting and serve for citizen's right to access information through media.