Cable operators in Nepal ban private Indian news channels, Doordarshan exempted

Foreign channel distributors in Nepal decided to ban privately-owned Indian news outlets after criticism of their coverage of the Nepalese leadership.

File photo of Nepal’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada (Picture Courtesy: Twitter @Jaguar_Invest)

Nepal’s cable operators on Thursday imposed a ban on all private Indian news channels.

This move comes in the wake of massive online criticism of the channels over their coverage of Nepal which citizens claimed portrayed Nepalese leadership in a bad light.

A final call was made by foreign channel distributors Multi-System Operators (MSOs) to block all news channels with the exception of India’s national news network, Doordarshan.

The decision effective from Thursday evening came after Nepal’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada during a press interaction said, “Nepal may seek political and legal remedies and also mobilise diplomatic channels against reports of Indian media attacking Nepal’s sovereignty and dignity.”

Outrage against Indian media reports in Nepal was witnessed after certain news channels put out shows that indulged in character assassination of Nepalese leaders, including Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, and of the Chinese envoy to Nepal, Ambassador Hou Yanqi.

However, no official order has been issued by the Nepalese government in this regard as of yet.

India and Nepal are currently engaged in a diplomatic scuffle after the Nepalese Parliament passed an amendment to include three disputed areas in a new map of the country.

This move prompted sharp reactions from New Delhi and resulted in Kathmandu initiated a diplomatic dialogue to resolve differences between the otherwise amicable neighbours.

Members of the Nepalese leadership even demanded PM KP Sharma Oli’s resignation after he accused India of attempting to topple his government.

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