foreigners forced to pay unauthorised 'tourism tax' to Maoists

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Kathmandu, Oct 5 (UNI) Foreign tourists underaking mountaineering expeditions to the Himalayan ranges have alleged that the Maoists were extorting money from them in the name of ''tourism tax''.

The tourists who were on mountaineering expeditions to Dhaulagiri peak and others on the way to visit upper Dolpa, at Darbang bazaar in the district were forced to pay taxes to the Maoists.

Area police post Darbang said the cadres of Young Communist League (YCL), a Maoists youth wing, forcibly collected 15 US dollars from each tourist giving them the receipt of Magarat Mukti Morcha, Kantipur reported.

According to locals, the Maoists collected the tax citing they were going to maintain the route to Dhaulagiri base camp at Naur cliff.

Earlier, during the Maoists' armed rebellion, they had extorted money from foreign tourists.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Ramkripal Shah at district police office said they had already asked Maoists not to collect the tax.

''I have informed Maoist district in-charge Govinda Poudel over the matter,'' Mr Shah said adding that they will definitely stop such tax collection.

The number of tourists in the region have increased significantly this year.


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