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Maoist threat closes down private radio

world Updated: Apr 25, 2009 13:21 IST

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Radio Parbat, the only community radio operating in Parbat district of western Nepal has been shut down indefinitely due to threats by Maoists.

The FM radio went off air after cadres of the ruling Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) threatened to detonate a bomb, according to the radio staff.

A group of youths vandalised the main door of the radio's office and also warned of serious consequences soon after the Maoists staged a torch rally in front of the radio office.

"They telephoned us and threatened to bomb our office if we did not stop broadcasting," said Tulasi Ram Sharma, Vice Chairman of Rural Awareness Society that runs the radio.

Sharma said Maoists have been issuing threats against them alleging that they dismissed employees and did not provide them remuneration.

The Maoists have alleged that the radio management forcibly sacked its station manager Yaman Prasad Poudel and accountant Shanti Subedi.

However, Maoist district secretariat member Bishnu Lamichhane has denied charges that it has issued threats.