A group of Nepali photojournalists has called for the release of an Indian photographer who is lodged in the country’s Jhapa jail for over seven months for allegedly carrying image printouts of $100 notes, which he would have “needed there for shooting a short film”.
Durlav Roy Chowdhury, 24, a resident of Salkia in West Bengal’s Howrah district, worked for different news organisations as a freelance photographer. He also has a YouTube channel named “Snipper Monk Travels”.
He was arrested from Chandrargadi Airport in Jhapa district while visiting Nepal from Kolkata via the Siliguri and Kakarbhitta entry points, according to a report in the National News Agency.
Chowdhury, who identifies himself as a National Geographic contributor on his LinkedIn page, was arrested during a security check at the airport just before boarding a Buddha Air flight to Kathmandu.
During the search, the police recovered 226 photocopies of US dollar 100 denomination bank notes from his possession, says the news report quoting a police officer.
Chowdhury was presented before the Jhapa District Court and later with the permission of the court, was put in the Jhapa jail on charges of carrying fake foreign currency.
Pradip Raj Wanta, president of the National Photo Journalists Group, has called for his release claiming that he is not linked to any fake currency scam.
It is learnt that Chowdhury arrived in Nepal in connection with the shooting of a short movie “Money is Nothing” to be broadcast on YouTube, he told the police during the investigation.