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Journalist manhandled by transport officials at Lahan

(FNJ/IFEX) - Ganesh Sah, a local correspondent of Sagarmatha Television station, was manhandled by the officials of the Sagarmatha Zonal Transport Management Office (SZTMO) at Lahan, Siraha, an eastern region of Nepal, on 21 June 2008.

Sah and other journalists went to the SZTMO after receiving a complaint by local residents that officials were involved in financial irregularities while issuing licences, said FNJ Siraha chapter president, Dineshwor Prasad Gupta. Sah was manhandled by the SZTMO officer Kamala Mahaseth, while taking photographs of the drivers' licencing test, informed Gupta.

Gupta also said that journalists Royantar Mandal and Bijaya Kumar Yadav were also threatened by the officials in a previous incident while they were collecting facts on the same issue.

Siraha-based journalists have asked Chief District Officer Bal Krishna Panthi to take action against SZTMO chief Jiwan Sharma and officer Kamala Mahaseth.

The FNJ denounced the incident and said that journalists have the right to disclose the truth and to inform the public about incidents negatively affecting the public's interests. FNJ asked the local authorities to punish those responsible.

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