Centre imposes 48-hour ban on two Malayalam channels MediaOne TV, Asianet News for coverage on Delhi riots
Delhi Police and Home Minister Amit Shah, as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have come under pressure with the opposition charging they failed to act swiftly enough to contain the violence.
The ministry said that as per the rules 'no programme should be carried which contains attacks on religions or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups'.
The ministry said Asianet had referred to the attacks as 'communal violence' and its anchor/correspondent had said 'the centre gave silent consent for the violence'.
The notification against MediaOne TV focused on a phone-in of a Delhi-based correspondent who claimed 'vandals had fired at an anti-CAA protest site from a rooftop and around five anti-CAA protesters were injured'.
New Delhi: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B Ministry) on Friday suspended the broadcast of two Kerala-based news channels, Asianet News and MediaOne TV, for 48 hours for their reporting of Delhi violence.
"While reporting such a critical incident, the channels should have taken utmost care and should have reported it in a balanced way. Such reporting could enhance the communal disharmony across the country when the situation is highly volatile," an order by the I&B Ministry said.
"The Ministry has come to the conclusion that the channels had violated Rule 6 (1) (c)& (e) of the Programme Code prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the rules framed thereunder by selecting said news regarding the northeast Delhi violence, " the order observed.
"The central government in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) & (3) of Section 20 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and under paras 8.1 & 8.2 of the guidelines for linking from India, orders to prohibit the transmission or re-transmission of Asianet News TV and Media One channels for 48 hours on any platform throughout India with effect from 7.30 pm on 6 March to 7.30 pm on 8 March," the separate orders issued to the two news channels read.
With regard to Media One channel coverage, the order of I&B Ministry read, "The channel alleged that Delhi Police remained inactive during the violence, vandalised the shops and fruit carts and set them ablaze. The channel also reported that violence took place mostly in Muslim dominated areas of Chand Bagh, Delhi."
Regarding Asianet News coverage the order said, "Asianet News channel correspondent reported that violence continued at Jaffrabad like the previous day and rioters ruled the streets at Jaffrabad, Ashok Nagar and Maujpur..."
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