Correspondence To Police Demanding Legal Action Against the Assault Of INSEC Representative
The District Attorney’s Office, on September 21, has decided to forward the complaint regarding the assault incident on INSEC Saptari representative and journalist Manohar Kumar Pokharel to the district police office for further action.
District Attorney Gokul Bahadur Niraula stated that the District Police Office, Saptari declined to register the complaint in accordance with section 5 (2) of the Civil Criminal Procedure Code 2017, Consequently, the district attorney’s office forwarded the complete complaint, accompanied by a letter requesting necessary action.
Section 5 (1) of the Code stipulates that if the concerned police office refuses to register a complaint, the complainant has the option to file the complaint with the public prosecutor’s office or a higher-level office. Similarly, in section 5 (3), it is specified that such a complaint or information shall be registered and acted upon by the concerned Police Office in accordance with subsection (3) of section 4.
Pokharel proceeded to the District Police Office demanding action against ASI, Rajeshwar Mahato, 40 for assaulting him on August 10. However, when SP Narendra Kumar Karki declined to register a complaint, the victim Pokharel subsequently visited the District Public Prosecutor’s office.
Raju Paswan, the Provincial Coordinator of INSEC, explained that they had to approach the Public Prosecutor’s Office because the District Police Office in Saptari refused to register the complaint or take any action even after a month and a half had passed since the incident.
INSEC Provincial Coordinator Paswan, along with victim Pokharel, visited the District Police Office to file the complaint. They were accompanied by Baidyanath Jha, an INSEC member and Press Freedom Fighter, Awadhesh Kumar Jha, a former central member of Nepal Journalist Federation, Dinanath Yadav, a Member of the Saptari Branch of the National Association, as well as advocates Rajkumar Mahaseth and Kumar Prasad Thapalia from the Advocacy Forum.
No internal action has been taken against Mahato , even though he has been in detention since August 1. This is despite the fact that he self-confessed to the assault on July31, and there is CCTV footage showing his involvement in the abuse of Pokharel.
Jha, Former central member, the Federation of Journalists, expressed his concern that the police did not even accept the complaint filed by the victim, which is within his rights according to prevailing laws.
The Supreme Court issued a mandamus on June 9 regarding the abortion case involving Akbar Ali from Rajbiraj Municipality-2. This mandamus was used as the basis for a letter sent to the Police Office, which was registered on July 23. Even though the letter had been registered, Pokhrel and other witnesses visited the office on July 31 after Akbar informed them about the police’s inaction. It was during this visit that the assault incident occurred.
The victim explained that while the case was being settled, Mahato verbally abused and threatened him, then went into the office. Within a matter of minutes, Mahato returned and physically assaulted the victim. The victim was treated at Gajendra Narayan Singh Hospital Rajbiraj.
The Federation of Nepalese Journalists staged a week-long protest against the police assault. On August 15, an agreement was reached between CDO Bhupendra Thapa, SP Karki, and the Federation of Journalists to initiate legal proceedings against the accused, Mahato, in accordance with existing laws.
Pokharel expressed his belief that the police will file a complaint on the recommendation of the public prosecutor’s office and proceed with the necessary action and justice will be served.
In response to the incident, the National Human Rights Commission, Forum Asia, INSEC, Nepal Journalist Federation Saptari, Madhesh Pradesh Central Office, Mass Media Authority Janakpurdham, various journalists, human rights organizations, War Unit Saptari, High Court Bar Association, Community Service Center Saptari, and six political parties active in Saptari have issued press releases demanding action against the culprits.
Madhesh Province Office, Janakpurdham
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