From The Nepali Press
Samaya, 5 May
FROM ISSUE #246 (06 MAY 2005 - 12 MAY 2005) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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In Rolpa and Rukum, the local villagers can listen to both government and Maoist news on radio. Hearing two versions of the same story reported differently by Radio Nepal and Maoist FM confuses them. "The government radio says one thing and the Maoists report it differently. We don't know whose report is genuine," said an ex-Indian army soldier in Gairigaun. While most of the villagers do not believe everything that the Maoist radio broadcasts, they are incredulous about certain reports aired by the government radio especially when they hear reports of certain incidents that never actually occurred. This is evident from the events of security forces' Operation Khara in April when the Maoists were supposed to have suffered a heavy blow at the hands of the Royal Nepali Army (RNA), which attacked them both from the air and the ground. The government media reported the killing of over 113 militants and the death of three security force personnel. On the contrary, the Maoist radio reported the death of 22 RNA soldiers and 18 Maoists. Three days after the Khara incident, the government radio said that 60 Maoists had been killed. "We were really surprised to hear their reports," said Prem Buda of Kotgaun, referring to the news last week about his village in which the government claimed to have killed 22 Maoists while the rebels reported the killing of 65 army personnel. "We neither saw the killing of Maoists or security personnel, unlike the news broadcasts (both by the government and the Maoists)," said Prem Buda. Many villagers like him claim that only three security personnel and six Maoists had been killed. There is no way to verify the reports independently.