India takes Al Jazeera off air in Kashmir map row 


April 22,New Delhi :Indian authorities have taken Al Jazeera television news network off the air for five days citing what they call the repeated broadcast by the Qatar-based channel of “wrong” maps of the disputed Kashmir region.“The ban has been imposed for five days and it was done on instructions of an inter-ministerial committee, who took cognizance of an incorrect map of India in which the channel showed parts of Kashmir in Pakistan and China,” an Indian official told AFP on condition of anonymity on Wednesday.

The order comes amid a simmering censorship row in India over a series of recent bans that have sparked accusations of a growing climate of intolerance under Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi.They include a ban on screening a BBC documentary on the fatal gang-rape of a student that sparked mass protests in Delhi.Al Jazeera India bureau chief Anmol Saxena said the channel has “made representations to the ministry” and was hopeful of having the order revoked.

According to local media reports, Al Jazeera breached India’s broadcasting code over the maps shown in 2014 and 2013 which on some occasions also did not include the Lakshadweep and Andaman islands.Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan but both claim the whole of the region and have gone to war twice over its control since partition in 1947.New Delhi imposes tight restrictions on all printed maps, insisting they show all of Kashmir as being part of India.

The government in 2011 ordered The Economist magazine cover up a map of disputed borders in Kashmir. The news weekly placed white stickers over a diagram of the borders on 28,000 copies on sale in India.“Eventually India might realise how idiotic this looks,” the magazine’s South Asia bureau chief Adam Roberts tweeted over the order against Al Jazeera.

The Oslo Times

Source: AFP

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