Kathmandu, Mar 26 : Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist (CPN-Maoist) Chairman Prachanda has accused the local media of writing against Maoists and being lured by foreign money. Addressing a programme in Itahari, Prachanda thundered: What are these journalists writing? What do they think of themselves? Writing news against Maoists by pocketing foreigners' money? Who gave such right to these journalists?
He further accused the media of not giving enough coverage to the killing of a dozen Maoist cadres, and for highlighting petty interventions by the Young Communist League (YCL).
According to NepalNews, journalists walked out of the venue, objecting Prachanda's criticisms. Subsequently, the Sunsari Press Union, the Itahari Press Club and the Press Chautari, issued separate statements, deploring Prachanda's remarks against the media and saying they were uncalled for. Meanwhile, the Maoists have enforced a shutdown in Rupandehi, Nawalpasari and Kapilvastu Districts to protest the alleged clandestine import of arms from India. Main bazaars, educational institutions and highways in these three districts have been closed.
Butwal particularly remained tense YCL cadres clashing with riot the police during a demonstration.
The Maoists are angered over the "mysterious import of arms" by the police at a time when Nepal is preparing for the April 10 Constituent Assembly elections.
Maoist cadres also organised protests in Kathmandu against the alleged import of arms, which if true, breaches a comprehensive peace agreement between them and the ruling Seven Party Alliance (SPA)-led Government headed by Prime Minister G.P.Koirala.
Prachanda told reporters in Biratnagar that he had asked the Nepal Government to clarify about the arms import episode.
Home Minister Krishna Sitaula has said that the Government will sort out the issue at the central level.