NEW DELHI — Amidst anger in Nepal over the Indian media’s coverage of the devastating earthquake, the Indian government has confirmed that Nepal is urging all foreign search and rescuer workers, not specifically those from India, to return home.
Nepal has said most of the rescue work is over and the remaining operation can be handled by local workers, reported the Associated Press.
“Nepal has not just asked the Indian team to come home, now that search and rescue operations are almost over, rescuers of over 34 countries have all been now asked to withdraw. The next phase is that of reconstruction and India will move an army engineering unit to Nepal,” said Vikas Swarup, Official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs.
The Indian media is facing flak for its coverage of the earthquake disaster in Nepal with complaints in the social media that it was treating the tragedy as a "public relations exercise" on behalf of the Indian government, reported PTI.
By Sunday evening #GoHomeIndianMedia, which was created on Twitter for slamming the Indian media, was the top trending hashtag in Nepal with more than 60,000 tweets on the topic.
India's special 'langars' provide food to more than 32,000 people over last three days. pic.twitter.com/bg6MdQMYla— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) May 4, 2015
In Nepal, Information Minister Minendra Rijal has said the major rescue work in the urban areas of the capital Kathmandu and surrounding areas has been completed and there was no need for experts.
They came to the decision after a meeting of the emergency relief committee late Sunday.
Since the April 25 earthquake, 4,050 rescue workers from 34 different nations have flown to Nepal to help in rescue operations, provide emergency medical care and distribute food and other necessities. At least 7,276 people were killed and 14,267 injured in the quake.
On Monday, hundreds of people visited Buddhist shrines and monasteries in Kathmandu to mark the birthday of Gautama Buddha and to pray for the country.
At the Swayambhunath shrine, located atop a hill on the northwestern edge of Kathmandu, hundreds of people chanted prayers Monday along with monks and nuns, as they walked around the hill where the white iconic stupa with its gazing eye is
The festival of Buddha Purnima marks the triple events of Gautam Buddha's life: his birth, his enlightenment and his attaining a state of Nirvana that frees believers from the circle of death and rebirth.
The government said the death toll from the April 25 earthquake in Nepal has climbed to 7,276, including six foreigners and 45 Nepalese found over the weekend on a popular trekking route.
Nepal's Tourist Police reported that a total of 57 foreigners have been killed in the quake, and 109 are still missing, including 12 Russians and nine Americans. (With inputs from PTI and AP)