Questions have been raised about the police administration in Rautahat after it was revealed that police had indeed hidden illegal drugs in the motorbike of two journalists, who were then arrested in Gaur, Rautahat, a few days ago.

Last Monday, the owner of Rautahat Express and journalist Mohammad Mojibullah and his colleague Shekh Gulab of Rajpur Municipality were arrested with 105 of nitravet tablets by mobile police in civvies when the journalists duo was coming out of a hotel in Ward 1 of Gaur Municipality at about 8:00pm.

The fraud came to light after the Federation of Nepali Journalists Rautahat chapter in the course of its investigation found a revealing CCTV footage. The footage showed two locals Dhiraj Yadav and Jitesh Yadav planting some drugs in the journalists' bike where it was parked.

Further investigation showed that the two had planted the drugs in the bike on the instruction of Assistant Sub-inspector Udaya Shankar Yadav and Constable Manoj Sah.

A statement issued by the FNJ chapter and signed by FNJ central member Shiva Bahadur Puri, chapter Chairperson Premchandra Jha, Secretary Madan Thakur, Vice-chair Prabin Kumar Sharma and Adviser Sanjaya Karki, said the police's dirty design to arrest journalists had raised serious question about police action.

FNJ has also sought immediate release of the journalists wrongfully charged of drug peddling and demanded that the police personnel involved in the dirty plot be made public. The organisation has warned of a phase-wise agitation if this demand is not met.

Rautahat Police Spokesperson DSP Narayan Prasad Chimariya said investigation was under way. "The CCTV footage has shown that the journos were framed. But as our investigation is on, we will disclose our findings soon," he said. According to sources, the policemen involved in the shenanigan have been recalled to the Province Police Office in Janakpur. The locals who had planted the drugs have been detained.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 22 2021, of The Himalayan Times.