Nepalese satellite channel surfers went through an extraordinary television experience yesterday (Tuesday, Nov 16) when a New Delhi based Nepali language network aired shocking footage of deadly fighting between Royal Nepalese Army and Maoist guerillas. The video taken by a local journalist depicted armed guerillas, mostly young, in victorious mood after their fierce and four-hour long gun fight with security forces in a busy highway that links Kathmandu, the capital city, with the rest of the county.
The broadcast was first of its kind in the 10-year long insurgency that has claimed more than 10 thousand lives so far. Five government soilders died in the incident. By the end of the day, the video was already in most of the talks in the streets of Kathmandu.
When they wake up in the next morning, they find themselves reading about the same incident, even better described this time in words, in on of the country’s most widely circulated newspaper. Kantipur carried an appealing report by the same scribe who captured those images for Nepal One Television.
Almost all Nepalis are affected by the civil was in one way or the other. Those who have been able to save themselves from the warring sides have been have been forced to leave their village, thus being refugee in their own country. The war itself is not that new to Nepalis. They have been reading and hearing about the ongoing war in the newspapers, televisions and radios. But yesterday, they saw on TV what they have been reading or hearing. Such footage was never seen in any Nepali television.
The gravity of the footage was such that one of the largest Cable service providers today dropped of the channel from its distribution. The move by Space-Time Network is not surprising since it operates a satellite channel that rivals Nepal One. Some reports suggest that Space-Time bowed under the pressure of Army to send Nepal One off air, at least in the most important and influential Kathmandu market. (detail will follow soon)