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Maoists take over resort in Chitawan National Park in Nepal

Maoist cadres have seized a wildlife resort in southern Nepal`s famous Chitawan National Park, which is home to endangered animals like one-horned rhino and Royal Bengal tiger, according to the owner of the property.

Updated: Nov 18, 2010, 00:19 AM IST

Kathmandu: Maoist cadres have seized a
wildlife resort in southern Nepal`s famous Chitawan National
Park, which is home to endangered animals like one-horned
rhino and Royal Bengal tiger, according to the owner of the
property.

The takeover of the management of the resort by Maoists
came at a time when its owner had decided to shut it down due
to heavy financial burden and threats from the former rebels.
The Baghmara Wildlife Resort, Chitawan, was taken over
forcibly by the Maoists` trade union on Monday, the owner,
Shivaram Suwal, said.

"Maoists have been creating troubles for the last three
years and we had decided to close it (the resort) down three
months ago," he told PTI over phone.

"We did not have a workers` union at the resort and three
years ago, the Maoists had opened a union making one of the
staff -- who faced action after he attended the office under
the influence of alcohol -- as coordinator," he said.

At the advice of his family members, Suwal wanted to sell
the resort which was running in heavy losses.

"However, Maoists did not permit us to close it down and
instead took over the control (of the resort) forcibly," he
said.

Suwal said he had decided to close down the resort in the
wake of the threats from the Maoists and financial losses,
though Nepal was gearing up to organise the Nepal Tourism Year
in 2011 aiming to lure one million tourists.

"We had held discussions with the Hotel Association Nepal
and also sent a letter to the Tourism Ministry explaining the
reason for the closure before making the decision to sell the
property," he said.

PTI