Kathmandu: In an echo of media curbs imposed in February 2005 when King Gyanendra seized power, the royalist government was trying to censor the Indian media as Nepal was thrown into fresh turmoil, reports said.Last year, after the royal coup, Indian news channels Aaj Tak and Star News had been closed down.This week, after opposition parties called a mass protest meet in Kathmandu Friday and the government clamped a daylong curfew on that day and banned all demonstrations in key areas of Kathmandu Valley, the ministry of information and communications took the two Indian channels off the air in certain areas, news portal Nepalnews.com said. A cable operator told the portal they had received verbal instructions from the ministry not to beam the two channels.
However, while the residents of some areas complained they were not receiving the two popular Indian channels, other areas had no trouble viewing them.
The portal also said Indian dailies arriving in Nepalgunj city in mid-western Banke district near the Indian border were being censored.
Reports about the arrest of Nepal’s top opposition leaders on the eve of the rally were being cut out, it said.
The Kathmandu Post daily reported that teams from Star News and CNN-IBN had their tapes confiscated and deleted by security forces when they recorded the house arrest of Madhav Kumar Nepal, leader of the largest communist party in the kingdom, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified (Marxist-Leninist).
However, till Saturday evening there was no official reaction to the reports