Reporter accuses NTV man of sexually harassing her

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 26:

Sachchi Mainali, a radio programme producer and reporter at the Pro-Public, today accused Laxman Humagain, reporter with the Nepal Television, of sexually harassing her during a three-month training in the Netherlands.

At a press meet today, she said, “I cannot explain in words how Humagain harassed me and mentally and physically tortured during the period.”

The training on ‘Facts and Forms: Creative Ways of Informing People’ was organised by the Radio Netherlands Training Centre from September 20 to December 10.

At the press meet, she produced e-mails sent by Humagain and other documents to back her claims. According to her, Humagain started misbehaving with her from their first meeting at the airport by giving sexual gestures. He was repeatedly given written warnings by the coordinator of the training programme in Netherlands for his misbehaviour, she claimed.

She accused NTV director Durga Nath Sharma of not taking action against him even after receiving a formal complaint from the Dutch institute. “He instead warned my family members of the consequences with regard to my marriage prospects if I held a press meet.”

Sachchi is the daughter of famous comedian artiste Gopal Raj Mainali.

“I am aware of the consequences of this press meet on my future and my family’s prestige. But, I am fighting for the greater cause of the society, in which many women face similar harassment but most of such cases are never reported to the media.”

Kee Ruytenbeek, a Dutch human right activist living in Nepal for the last 15 years, said she had gone to Netherlands after knowing the issue through a friend. She counselled Mainali to first complete the training and approached Humagain. “He had even asked sorry and promised not to harass her after returning to Nepal.”

Despite attempts, Humagain could not be contacted for his comments.