KATHMANDU — Hardline Maoists ordered Indian-registered vehicles out of Nepal on Thursday and demanded that cinemas stop showing Bollywood movies in protest over New Delhi’s influence in the Himalayan nation.
The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), a breakaway faction that split from the ruling Maoist party in June, said the move would end Nepal’s dependence on its powerful southern neighbour.
“We have ordered all the Indian number-plated vehicles to leave Nepal. We have also decided to put a ban on Indian movies that spread hatred against Nepal and Nepali people,” Pampha Bhusal, the party spokesman said.
Although a fringe faction, the party exerts considerable influence and said it had supporters across the southern border preventing Indian-registered vehicles from crossing into Nepal, while allowing them to pass in the other direction.
Bhusal said the party had urged the Nepal Film Development Board, which regulates cinema in Nepal, to enforce its edict.
“We have asked them not to show the films. We will send our members to the cinema halls to enforce the ban,” she added.
Indian-registered cars are a rare sight in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu but are much more common on the streets of Nepal’s southern towns.
Police said however there had been no reports yet of vehicles being attacked or disturbances at cinemas.