On Thursday, amidst the ongoing tensions between India and Nepal, the cable operators in Nepal have banned the broadcasting of Indian news channels except for Doordarshan in their country.
Addressing a press conference, Nepal Information and Broadcasting Minister Yuba Raj Khativada had claimed that the Indian media was telecasting news that jeopardised the sovereignty and self-respect of Nepali citizens.
Nepal’s Multi-System Operators have decided to put a ban on Indian news channels reportedly on account of their ‘unfounded’ reports on Nepal over the last few days.
Some Indian channels ran shows on Oli being ‘honeytrapped’
The decision to ban Indian news channels also came after a few media networks ran episodes featuring speculations about an alleged ‘relationship’ between Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and the Ambassador of China to Nepal, Hou Yanqi, earlier this week. Some news reports had suggested the premier could have been “honey-trapped” by the ambassador.
Nepal Communist Party raises a strong objection to Indian media reporting on Oli
The reports alleging Oli’s cosy relationship with the Chinese Ambassador had garnered widespread criticism in Nepal and the spokesperson of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) criticised such reports.
Senior Nepal Communist Party spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha had too alleged that the Indian media was spreading “baseless propaganda” against Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli. Echoing similar sentiments, chief advisor to Nepal PM Bishnu Rimal had condemned the news reports from India pertaining to KP Sharma Oli, stating that it violated basic ethics of journalism.
Baseless propaganda by Indian media against Nepal govt and our PM has crossed all limits. This is getting too much. Stop with the nonsense, said former Deputy Prime Minister & Spokesperson of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Narayan Kaji Shrestha: Nepal media— ANI (@ANI) July 9, 2020
As per reports, the ban is not official and has been brought in by cable operators. Nepal’s Nepal’s information minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada, when asked whether the Nepalese government is mulling a ban on Indian channels, had stated that it would be better if Indian media practises self-restraint. Nepalese social media handles had trended #BackoffIndianMedia recently.
Nepal’s aggressive posturing against India
The ongoing tensions between India and Nepal come after the Himalayan neighbour on the behest of China, arbitrarily decided to amend its map to add some Indian territories as part of it.
The Nepal government headed by KP Oli decided to adopt a Constitution Amendment Bill, to pave way for changing the updated political-administrative map, which includes Indian areas of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura, in its symbol.
Perhaps acting at the behest of China, the Nepal Communist Party-led government in the country, had made irredentist claims against India by asserting that Nepal would “bring back at any cost” the Indian territories of Kalapani-Limpiyadhura-Lipulekh area.