Silenced Indian radio pirate gets offers of help

Published on Mar 31, 2006 02:52 PM IST

A Britain-based Indian doctor and an Australian are among many who have offered their assistance to Raghav Mahto.

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None | ByAgence France-Presse, Patna

An Indian electronics whiz in India who set up a pirate radio station for just one dollar has been offered support from abroad after the government shut him down, a report said on Friday.

A Britain-based Indian doctor and an Australian are among many who have offered their assistance to Raghav Mahto, who ran the private radio station called FM Mansoorpur, the Hindustan newspaper reported.

Mahtoi has already received overwhelming support from listeners to his broadcasts of Bollywood movie music who have offered to donate money to pay for a licence and keep him on the air.

FM Mansoorpur, named after Mahto's home village, was set up three years ago using bits and pieces from his electronics repair shop.

It was closed earlier this week by the federal government for not having a licence.

The move to close the station came after New Delhi invited bids in January for more than 300 new FM radio stations across the country.

Local officials were unsure of the cost of a licence but said it could be at least 100,000 rupees (2,220 dollars), a sum Mahto cannot afford.

According to the Hindustan, a British-based Indian doctor, another overseas Indian and an Australian are among those who have offered to help bring him back to the airwaves.

An estimated 4,000 listeners over a radius of 12 kilometres regularly tuned in to hear Mahto's extensive collection of Bollywood songs as well as messages from locals.

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