Nepal industry bigwigs accuse parties of force

As the Maoists prepare to intensify their anti-govt agitation, Nepalese industry bigwigs have alleged that the party is forcing businessmen to fill its coffers.

Kathmandu: As the Maoists prepare to
intensify their anti-government agitation, Nepalese industry
bigwigs have alleged that the party is forcing businessmen to
fill its coffers, a charge denied by the party.

The Prachanda-led Maoists have said they would intensify
street protests to topple the government if it refused to heed
its demands by May 1.

Surendra Malakar, president of Nepal Chamber of Commerce
claimed businessmen and industrialists have been threatened
by a "forcible donation drive" launched by the Maoists.

"We were ready to give donation as per our capacity, but
we are opposed to forceful donation drive," he told.

The Maoists are said to have asked money from Rs 100,000
to five million per businessman, a source said.

B L Mittal, a reputed businessman of Kathmandu, said the
donation drive has become a fresh nightmare for businessmen
who have already received threats from different armed groups.

The CPN-Maoists have however denied that they were
forcing anyone to donate money to their party.

Officials of the Golcha Group of Organisations said their
offices were allegedly vandalised yesterday after they
refused to pay donation asked by the Maoists.

"They have demanded Rs 5 million from us," said Diwakar
Golchha, a renowned industrialist and also a member of the
Constituent Assembly.

Security was also tightened for various businessmen after
they complained of threats from Maoist cadres.

President of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce
and Industries (FNCCI) Kush Kumar Joshi said the business
community is terrorised.

The Maoists, who have allegedly taken over some private
properties to temporarily house thousands of their cadres who
have travelled from all over the country to take part in the
mass agitation, have also reportedly asked the business
community to arrange.

The Maoists have said they would launch an indefinite
strike from May 2 if the government does not resign by May 1,
when the party was planning a massive rally in the capital.

Meanwhile, security has been stepped up in Kathmandu in
the wake of the announcement of intensified agitation by the

Home Ministry has changed the police chief of Kathmandu
and more policemen have been deployed in key areas ahead of
the Maoist agitation.