Removal of Bhattarai’s interview from Radio Nepal draws flak

Kathmandu, April 27

Scores of people, including right activists and political figures, have taken to social media criticising removal of the recorded version of an interview with former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai from the online portal of Radio Nepal, today.

Bhattarai, a leader of the newly-formed Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal had appeared on a live programme called ‘Antarsambad’ on radio hosted by its news chief Nawaraj Lamsal. The interview, which was on air at 6:30am today, was later published on its news portal only to be removed shortly.

Former PM Bhattarai had called PM Oli a mythical demonic character ‘Bhasmasur’ in the interview.

After removing the interview from its archive Suresh Kumar Karki, executive director of Radio Nepal, issued a press release saying that the language used by Bhattarai and the views he expressed targeting PM Oli during the interview was ‘regrettable’.

“We are sorry that we could not edit the interview since it was a live broadcast. We want to assure that we will be more careful while selecting guests in the future,” Karki added.

This act irked many as they took to social media to criticise the act of Radio Nepal, which was apparently done under pressure from the government.

Lecturer of Journalism Shreeram Poudel took to twitter saying, “This means that the job of high level employees at Radio Nepal is at stake.” He also said that this case will lead to recorded programmes on Radio Nepal which should not be the case.

Other people took to twitter saying that the action was similar to absolute monarchy.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 28, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.