MAY 19, 2005
Posted: June 7, 2005
A group of 40 armed men thought to be Maoist rebels stormed the private FM radio station in Attariya, a village in the far western Kailali district, 375 miles west of Kathmandu. The group looted the station’s broadcasting equipment, computers, and furniture valued at US $40,000, and then fled, local officials told reporters. No one was injured.
The station had been on the air for one year, during which it aired critical news stories about the Maoist insurgency, according to local reports. Ghodaghodi FM was the region’s first community radio and was run by a group called Backward Society Education (BASE).
This was the first reported incident of rebels attacking an FM radio station. The Maoists did not claim responsibility for the incident, but have attacked telecom centers and television towers in other remote areas of the country since they began fighting to overthrow Nepal’s monarchy in 1996.
Since King Gyanendra declared a state of emergency on February 1, Nepal’s more than 50 FM radio stations have been severely restricted, and banned from airing news reports.