Freedom Forum is alarmed over the escalating cyber trolls against comedian duo Madan Krishna Shrestha and Hari Bansha Acharya, popularly known as Maha Jodi, for their views against the arrest of media mogul Kailash Sirohiya.

A day after the arrest of Sirohiya, Chairperson of Kantipur media group, Kantipur Television had interviewed various experts and media professionals including comedian duo for their views on arrest of Sirohiya.

During the interview, they had expressed concern over government’s move to arrest media owner Sirohiya. It had violated media freedoms and panicked media fraternity, they viewed.

However, since they gave views against the government move, they became victims of cyber trolls. In the wake of mounting cyber harassment, they were bound to retract their views.

On May 27, Shrestha and Acharya appeared in a short video, saying, “They should not have been spoken on the matter sub judice in the court.”

This incident clearly indicates that cyber harassment has been intensified to suppress the critical views against the Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane, who has allegedly involved in the misappropriation of cooperative funds. The Kantipur daily had carried a series of news reports on it, and to the vengeance, the government arrested Chairperson Sirohiya, while he had already showed readiness to cooperate with the State agencies in the issues relating to his citizenship.

Moreover, the followers of the Home Minister Lamichhane’s party- Rastriya Swatantra Party- have launched coordinated campaign to castigate and discredit media including the social media pages of Kantipur media.

“This incident that intimidated noted comedians duo reflects increasing cyber hostility against FoE practitioners and critical thinkers. Suppression of FoE with attacks on journalists and artists irrespective of media is quite undemocratic. Erosion of FoE status is an erosion of democracy. The trolls must stop, and an atmosphere conducive to FoE be created,” asserts Taranath Dahal, Executive Chief at Freedom Forum.