Al Jazeera has been taken off the
Al Jazeera has been taken off the air in India in a dispute over a map of KashmirGetty Images

Al Jazeera English claimed it is being censored by the Indian government after it had its broadcasts in India suspended for five days after showing a map authorities claim misrepresents the border region of Kashmir in a programme.

The ban was ordered earlier this month after the Qatar-based news organisation was found to have used maps showing sections of Kashmir as parts of Pakistan and China.

"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," the official told the AFP news agency.

Viewers attempting to watch the channel on Wednesday were greeted by a blue screen and the message "as instructed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting this channel will not be available," reports AP.

In a statement, Al Jazeera said the ban constituted "censorship", and the map was produced by "external software".

Al Anstey, managing director of Al Jazeera English, said: "We have been severely hampered for too long by constraints placed upon us when trying to tell Indian stories to the world. This is why I'm writing to the information minister seeking talks that will help us move forward in a constructive way."

The Kashmir region has long been the subject of a dispute between India and Pakistan.