Maoists ban Indian films in Nepal

6/14/2004 12:00:00 AM
Nepal's Maoist rebels have imposed a weeklong ban on the screening of immensely popular Bollywood films in four districts to allegedly protest the arrest of rebel leaders in India.   
The ban, from June 15-21, has been imposed in Makwanpur, Dhading, Nuwakot and Rasuwa districts, a local daily reported Sunday.

Tamang Swayatta Krantikari Janaparishad, an outfit affiliated to the Maoists, has called the ban on the Indian films. The outfit has given a call against the plying of Indian vehicles in the districts, the Kathmandu Post reported.

A statement by Mohan Bahadur Karki, a leader of the outfit, said the move was to condemn the arrest of a Maoist leader in India.

Indian police arrested over a dozen Nepalese Maoist leaders, including Hit Bahadur Tamang, in Bihar state earlier this month, on the eve of Indian External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh's two-day visit to Kathmandu.

In the past, the arrest of another senior Maoist leader, Mohan Vaidya, at Siliguri in West Bengal had triggered attacks on Indian vehicles and a ban on Hindi films by a pro-Maoist women's group.

India's mega-billion Hindi film industry is the mainstay of Nepal's cinemas with the country's film industry, popularly called Kollywood, unable to meet the demand for new releases.