Indian channel says sorry to Nepal envoy over boundary gaffe

July 11th, 2008 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Aarushi Talwar

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, July 11 (IANS) An Indian news channel that raked up a controversy in Nepal after its logo showed the Himalayan nation as part of Indian territory has apologised to Nepal’s ambassador to India, saying that it was “an inadvertent error” and it regretted causing “pain to people”. “There was no intention, even remotely, to do anything on our part to hurt the sentiments of any individual, caste, community, citizen or sovereign nation,” the India News channel said in its letter of apology to Nepali ambassador to India Durgesh Man Singh.

“It is regretted that it has caused pain to the people,” the letter added.

The Hindi channel said it would do everything possible to strengthen the friendly relations between India and Nepal.

The apology is the first major diplomatic victory for Singh, who was recently posted to New Delhi after a long delay.

However, the apology was actually wrested by a private Nepali television station that spotted the mistake last week and began campaigning for an apology.

Newly launched Sagarmatha TV showed the logo used in India News’ “Yeh Mera India” programme, in which the map of India showed Nepal to be part of Indian territory.

It was an all the more sensitive issue with Nepal since the show was about the murder of Aarushi Talwar, the 14-year-old Indian schoolgirl from Noida. India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is blaming three Nepalis for the crime.

There have been protests from Nepal and no less a crime expert than Charles Sobhraj has said that the results of the narco tests conducted on two Nepali suspects would not be admissible as evidence in any Indian court.

Sagarmatha TV said it was a conspiracy by the Indian channel to undermine the sovereignty of Nepal. Under fire, the Indian TV station said it had fired the graphics designer who made the error and also rang up the Nepali station to apologise.

It also said that since the logo was not part of any news reports, it had been overlooked.

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