Incident Reports

Journalists demand withdrawal of case against Gaule, Devkota


Nepalgunj/March 4, Akhtiyar ko nirdeshan ma lagaaiyeko jhuto muddha khaarej ko maag gardai patrakaar haru andolan ma. (update) The District Attorney Office, Banke, has dismissed the case against two journalists filed upon the directives from the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority. District Attorney Surenra Jang Sahi said that the case was dropped as there was not enough evidence to look into the case and it was a professional duty of a journalist to video record any cases. A public offence case against journalists Tilak Gaule of Sagarmatha Televison and Chekranath Devkota on Mountain Television on February 9 after they recorded a video while CIAA was arresting Banke Police chief DSP Suman Kharel while he was taking bribe in Nepalgunj . While CIAA refuted directing the police to file the claims, journalists Gaule and Devkota said that the case was filed against them after they refused to submit the tape as demanded by the anti-graft body. --------------- Various organisations representing Nepali journalists have demanded withdrawal of the public offence charge filed against Banke-based journalists Tilak Gaule and Kshetranath Devkota. The Banke chapter of Press Chautari Nepal on Tuesday staged a sit-in outside the Banke District Administration Office and submitted a memorandum to the chief district officer, demanding withdrawal of the case. Likewise, a meeting of the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), Banke, decided to boycott all formal programmes attended by prime minister, ministers and senior police officers until the case is dropped. They also warned of protest if their demand is not addressed. Nepal Press Union and Radio Journalists Network have also condemned the incident and demanded an immediate withdrawal of the ‘false case’. On February 9, Banke police had filed the public offence case against Gaule of Sagarmatha TV and Devkota of Mountain TV for recording a video footage of a team from the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) arresting Sub-inspector Suman Kharel of Banke District Police Office while receiving bribe in Nepalgunj . It is said the case was filed based on the instruction of the CIAA. Meanwhile, FNJ Chairman Mahendra Bista has said that the CIAA should withdraw the charges against Gaule and Devkota to prove that it has no role behind the incident. Addressing the eastern regional gathering of FNJ in Biratnagar on Tuesday, Bista said Gaule and Devkota were charged, though they did had not violated any law. Other than the media houses they represent, Bista said, Gaule and Devkota have no obligation to provide the footage to anyone else. The FNJ chair claimed the case filed against the two journalists was a mockery of the rights to freedom of speech and expression. The FNJ will fight this injustice, Bista said. अख