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Bollywood prevails, Nepal Maoists withdraw ban


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Immensely popular Bollywood flicks Wednesday staged a unique victory in Nepal when a Maoist-backed cultural outfit withdrew its weeklong ban on the screening of Indian films here.

The Tamang Swayatta Krantikari Janaparishad had imposed a ban on the screening of Indian films and movement of Indian vehicles in four districts of central Nepal from June 15 to 21 to protest the arrest of a top Maoist leader in India.

Even as transporters -- who ferry goods and people across the porous India-Nepal border -- braced to face economic losses due to the ban, the state-run radio here Wednesday announced that the outfit has withdrawn the ban.

The outfit is demanding the release of Mohan Vaidya alias Kiran, a politburo member of the Maoists, who was arrested in India's Bihar state in March while recovering from a cataract operation.

The 52-year-old rebel is now in prison and has been charged by Indian authorities with waging war against India.

The outfit had asked theatres to boycott Hindi films until the demand for Vaidya's release was conceded by India.

This is not the first time that Bollywood has become a target for anti-India campaigns by the rebels in Nepal.

Earlier, two outlawed organisations linked to the Maoists had called for an indefinite boycott of Indian films against the arrest of a top rebel leader in the Indian state of West Bengal.


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