Phidim, December 30
Chief District Officer Purushottam Ghimire of Panchthar warned journalists after they made public the financial irregularities in relation to money taken from foreign job aspirants in the course of submitting application for passport at District Administration Office.
CDO Ghimire threatened Jitendra Bhandari, district reporter of Image Channel and Rastriya Samachar Samiti and Lekhnath Khatiwada, publisher of local Mechi Post Weekly over telephone today morning. Ghimire, who had been backing his co-workers ever since the news report on anomalies in revenue from application fee came to light, said the report had been published with ill-intention, journalist Bhandari said.
Ghimire also indirectly warned Mechi Post Publisher Khatiwada saying that they were also keeping a close watch on journalists. He had advised Khatiwada to publish news only after verifying its authenticity. However, Ghimire claimed that he had telephoned the journalist just to clarify the matter. “It is not a threat at all,” he claimed.
The anomalies came to light after Surendra Dahal, a staff from Passport department, received Rs 10,000 from Anjit Darji of ranitar-1 of the district and deposited only Rs 5,000 on December 22. The Commissions for the investigation of Abuse of Authority Western Regional Office Itahari started investigation into the incident from Tuesday.
Federation of Nepali Journalists Panchthar expressed its concern about the CDO’s warning.
A version of this article appears in print on December 31, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.