Rajib Raya Kurmi, a reporter associated with NTV Mahottari was manhandled by police constable Rajendra Bahadur Basnet on 4 June in Mahottari district. Mahottari district lies in Province No 2.
As per Province 2 Representative for Freedom Forum, Rajan Singh, reporter Kurmi was manhandled while he was clicking the picture of another police officer Rakesh Raya, who is said to be taking bribe from a smuggler. Police officer Raya is alleged of taking bribe at Samshi Rural Municipality.
Constable Basnet who saw reporter taking pictures of his colleague caught reporter by the neck and asked him to delete the photo immediately. Later Basnet released the reporter after Kurmi showed his journalist identity card, claiming that taking pictures was his right.
Thereafter, Basnet again fumed against reporter Kurmi saying he was ready to bear any consequences.
Quoting reporter Kurmi, representative Singh said, "Reporter had reached near the border point to report on Police officers' alleged involvement in the smuggling at Samshi-Mahottari. Reaching on the site, he himself witnessed police officers in uniform were taking bribes from the smugglers and thus, clicked for the pictures."
"Unaware about the incident, Chief District Officer Baburam Shrestha has said that he will promptly investigate upon the case and will punish the police officer if found culprit", informed representative Singh.
Freedom Forum condemns the security personnel behaviour towards journalist which is sheer violation of press freedom. Investigating and bringing forth the social evils through media is the the duty of journalists however, such incidents show how journalists are risking their lives through their profession. Hence, FF strongly urges the concerned authority to investigate and take immediate action upon the case.
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