Owner of CMC Aqua Beverage Company in a Kaski district, Kapil Kiran Shrestha, misbehaved with journalist Hemraj Adhikari, Station Manager of Fewa Television, on July 10 in Pokhara. Shrestha also snatched the camera from the journalist and broke it.
As per the information sent by Freedom Forum’s Representative in Province No 4, RajanUapadhyay, journalist Adhikari was collecting the information and capturing a video of a market monitoring.
Journalist Adhikari was making a news story about monitoring whether the drinking water bottling from the Company maintained quality. Journalist Adhikari had reached the site along with the team of District Monitoring Unit. Assistant Chief District Officer, Ganga Bahadur Chhetri, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Rabindraman Gurung and Chairperson of Consumer Forum Kapilnath Koirala among others in the monitoring team.
Om Rana, Superintendent of Police of Kaski, informed that Shrestha was arrested immediately after the incident and investigation was underway.
“It is sad that the company was distributing substandard drinking water in the market causing harm to the public health,” journalist Adhikari said, adding that it is responsibility of a reporter to expose such malpractice.
Posting a status on his Facebook, journalist Adhikari has questioned, "Aren't we, journalists, allowed to expose such malpractices with factual information to the public?"
Freedom Forum condemns the incident that obstructed on journalist's right to free reporting. It is the sheer violation of press freedom and freedom of information. FF, however, welcomes the initial action taken by the police to arrest the company owner Shrestha. The journalist is in need of due compensation to the damaged camera.
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