OUTRAGED listeners have put an independent commercial Asian radio station under pressure to ban the word 'Asians' because they don't want to be associated with Muslims.

Sunrise Radio, based in Merrick Road, Southall, is being pushed by Hindus and Sikhs to identify subjects of stories more precisely and will review its policy at a meeting on January 28.

Many Hindu and Sikh callers have expressed fear that in many people's eyes, the word 'Asian' links them with events involving Muslims, such as the terror attacks on the USA in September and the race riots in the north of England last summer.

Chief executive Dr Avtar Lit said: "We have received many calls over the past three months from Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans and Bangladeshis asking us to be more precise with our news reports.

"The main reasons for this are the events of September 11 and the various riots last year in places like Oldham and Bradford. Hindus and Sikhs feel that Muslims are bringing the Asian community into disrepute in Britain."

Naresh Saraswat, priest of the Hindu Temple in Keel Drive, Slough, said: "I am in favour of this change. To many people all Asians look alike and our languages are similar, but Hindus are peace-loving and law-abiding. We don't accept the behaviour of many Muslims and are embarrassed to be linked with them."

Mohinder Chahal, secretary of the Sikh Missionary Society in Featherstone Road, Southall said: "Banning the word 'Asian' would be a step too far. We are all human beings and should try to love one another. Blame for terrorism should not fall at the feet of a nation but of terrorists."

Chairman of the Trustees of Harrow Mosque in Station Road, Shahid Akmal, said: "This is something Muslims have wanted for a long time. Muslims are incorrectly classified as Asians as there are Muslims all over the world, black and white."