Journalists and the Opposition have strongly condemned and asked the government to immediately rescind its Emergency-like decision to ban Hindi news channel NDTV India for a day for airing "strategically sensitive details" during the Pathankot terror attack.
This week, when reporters asked Juniour Home Minister Kiren Rijiju about the encounter of eight SIMI men in Bhopal, he told reporters that the "habit" of questioning the authorities and the police "should stop".
On Friday, NDTV India's news anchor Ravish Kumar for PrimeTime hosted a special show where he employed two mime artistes to help explain what a person of 'authority' would prefer being questioned about.
He also commented on the decision of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that directed the news channel to go off air from midnight of 8 November to midnight of 9 November for allegedly breaching broadcast norms in its coverage of the 2 January terror attack on the IAF base in Pathankot.
Kumar also asked some poignant questions on the show like: When did authority and police rise above questioning? Authority means accountability. Without it, power becomes something else altogether. When we cannot ask questions, when we cannot speak freely, what can we do?
On Thursday, NDTV expressed shock over the order, saying that the channel's coverage was "particularly balanced" and is examining all options in this matter.
According to the panel's report, the channel had revealed some sensitive details of the airbase while relaying news from the spot during the attack.
Later, NDTV issued an statement and said it is examining all options.
"After the dark days of the emergency when the press was fettered, it is extraordinary that NDTV is being proceeded against in this manner. NDTV is examining all options in this matter," it added.
With inputs from agencies