KATHMANDU: Nepal’s cable and satellite television providers have stopped airing Indian news channels, with one operator saying that the move was in response to public complaints against “objectionable” content broadcast about Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.
The two South Asian countries have been wrangling since India opened a new road in the disputed Lipulekh pass on their border in May.
The Indian channels went blank late on Thursday, days after one report on Zee News suggested Oli had close ties with the Chinese ambassador to Nepal, who has been meeting several leaders of Oli’s Nepal Communist Party.
“We felt a moral responsibility to block the channels after they aired objectionable content about our country,” Max Digital TV vice chairman Dhurba Sharma told.
Dish Media Network managing director Sudeep Acharya said his company pulled the channels after complaints from viewers.
Nepal’s Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada earlier condemned the broadcast for “character assassination”.
“We request all media, including those of our neighbouring country, to not broadcast news that damages our country’s image,” he told a press briefing.
The Kathmandu Post in a strongly-worded editorial accused Indian news channels of coming up with a “new – and invariably false – propaganda against Oli”.