‘Baseless, smear campaign’: Nepal lodges complaint against Indian media
Nepal’s cable TV operators had on July 9 removed all Indian news channels, except Doordarshan News, from their networks over the same issue, and Nepal’s envoy in New Delhi, Nilambar Acharya, had raised the media reports with the external affairs ministry.Updated: Jul 12, 2020 22:09 IST
Nepal has formally complained to the Indian government about coverage of the Chinese envoy’s meetings with senior Nepalese leaders in a section of the Indian media, describing the reports as baseless and part of a smear campaign.
The complaint was made through a note verbale or unsigned diplomatic correspondence sent by Nepal’s foreign ministry last week, people familiar with developments said on Sunday.
There was no immediate reaction from Indian officials to the development.
Nepal’s cable TV operators had on July 9 removed all Indian news channels, except Doordarshan News, from their networks over the same issue, and Nepal’s envoy in New Delhi, Nilambar Acharya, had raised the media reports with the external affairs ministry.
The complaint from Nepal’s foreign ministry said it had taken seriously the content of reports by some Indian media outlets, which were baseless and abusive towards the country and its leadership, the people cited above said on condition of anonymity.
Such reports went against public decency and were part of a motivated smear campaign that has hurt the feelings of the Nepali people, the complaint said. Relations between the two countries are based on understanding and mutual respect of each other’s interests and concerns, and the media plays a vital role in disseminating the correct information and advancing these ties, it added.
Nepal’s cable TV operators had said they were irked by objectionable and derogatory references to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Chinese envoy Hou Yanqi in the media reports. One Indian news channel had suggested the premier could be “honey trapped” by the ambassador.
The Chinese envoy in Kathmandu has had a series of meetings with the president and leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party, including Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, who are seeking the ouster of Oli. The move against Oli has come at a time when his government issued a new map showing the Indian territories of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura as part of Nepal, triggering a border row with India.