India Today: Lucknow, October 3, 2012
The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), a radical faction of the ruling Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), led by Mohan Kiran Vaidya had threatened last week that supporters would attack cinema halls if they continued screening Hindi films.
Simultaneously, several Maoist groups owing allegiance to Vaidya established their camps in Nepal’s border area of Bhairahwan near Nautanwa in Maharajganj on the UP side and stopped all vehicles from plying between the two countries.
Vaidya had alleged that Hindi movies created hatred against Nepal. “They show Nepalis as servants only and portray us in bad light,” he said.
Raj Kumar Rai, president of Nepal Film Producers Association, was quoted as saying that cinema halls across Nepal will incur a loss of several crores. “Since most of the people go to cinema halls to see Hindi movies, they are now deprived of entertainment here. But since there was also a demand to encourage Nepali films, we have decided to agree to them and asked the cinema hall owners to show only Nepali films for 10 days,” he said. Indian authorities say that there were more than 500 heavy vehicles carrying films and other essential commodities which were stopped in Bhansar area of Belhia in Nepal. “The Maoists have been camping at Buddha Chawk in Bhairahwan. While a large number of SSB jawans and PAC have been deployed at Gate No 1 of Sonauli border (Nautanwa), a team of Intelligence Bureau has also reached here from New Delhi to take stock of the situation. But we don’t think we would be able to restore traffic in next two weeks,” a senior SSB officer told Mail Today on the condition of anonymity.
Hari Bahadur Pal, SP of Nepal’s Rupandehi district, who has been camping in Bhairahwan, told newspersons that they were trying their best to restore supply of goods from India to Nepal via Maharajganj border. “Maximum goods, including films, are supplied to Nepal from this road. But the Maoists have blocked it at several places including Narayan Ghat, Pokhra and Belhia. We hope to restore normal life soon,” he said.
He informed Mail Today that they were trying to make a temporary arrangement to unload goods from Indian trucks in Parsadi area of Rupandehi district in Nepal. From there supplies will be transported to the final destinations in vehicles bearing Nepali registration numbers.
Ashok Tiwari, additional SP of Maharajganj, said, “I visited the border and found that it was not safe to enter Nepal at the moment. The main demand of the protesters is to stop showing Hindi films in Nepali cinema halls. But in the due course of stopping vehicles which carry reels and digital cinema package, they are also stopping supply of essential items.”