HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Radio Mirmire (89.4 Mhz) has become a victim of bad blood between UCPN-Maoist factions.
The Anamnagar-based FM station, a Maoist mouthpiece, stopped its broadcast this morning due to a bitter dispute between the station management and journalists aligned to the Maoist party’s establishment faction that has Maoist Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Baidhya as its leader and the hardliner faction that has party Vice-Chairperson Mohan Baidhya at the helm.
A group of mediapersons with Shredhar Neupane, chairman of the Federation of Nepalis Journalists Radio Mirmire chapter, as the leader, had padlocked the FM station, which goes on air between 10 am and 5 pm, last night, accusing the management of not addressing their demands.
“We have not received salaries for months,” the group said in a press statement, though Station Manager Ghanashyam Shrestha, who represents the Baidhya faction, refuted this claim. “All staff have receivecd payment. In addition, each staffer has received Rs 1,500 Dashain bonus,” Shrestha maintained.
The FM station was unlocked in the presence of FNJ Chairperson and police personnel this afternoon. In a press statement, Station Manager Shrestha said they are in no position to run the station immediately as a transmitter, three computers, two hybrids (telephone system for live programmes), eight hard disks and internet modems are missing.
Shrestha accused former chairman of the radio station, Bishnu Sapkota alias Jugal, of stealing the properties, though Inspector Sudhir Shahi of the Singha Durbar Police Station said they have not received any report to this effect. Repeated attempts to contact Neupane and Shretha for comments failed.
While FNJ central member Damodar Timilsina commented that the tussle between the supporters of Dahal and Baidhya is to blame for the station’s shutdown. It is said that rift in the FM station has further deepened after the station manager refused to broadcast live the public speech of Maoist Chairman Dahal from Nepal Academy last month.