Left parties on Friday attacked the Centre over the one-day ban on a leading Hindi TV channel ‘NDTV India, terming it as “undeclared emergency”, which they said, is “unacceptable” and sought reversal of the decision involving the channel.
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The parties said it was “ironical” the move comes even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on “dangers of Emergency” at a media award function two days ago even as Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal were detained after they staged protest following suicide of an ex-serviceman over OROP.
“It is ironical that while the Prime Minister delivered speech on dangers of emergency at an award function, at the very moment, a senior Parliamentarian and the Delhi Chief Minister were taken into custody.
“And on top of that now comes the attack on freedom of expression (the taking off air of NDTV India). This is an undeclared emergency. So, this is something that is not acceptable in our democracy,” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said.
Echoing his views, the CPIML-Liberation said the action against the Hindi news channel over its coverage of Pathankot attack was “blatant” and demanded its reversal.
In a statement, the party expressed concerns also over the ban imposed on Kashmir Reader few weeks ago and the alleged attacks on scribes in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district by security forces.
In such a context, the CPIML-Liberation said, a channel that has retained “some measure of professionalism and journalistic credibility is being punished”.
“If this is not an undeclared Emergency, what is? The CPIML asked and demanded that the I&B Minister forthwith withdraw its diktat to take NDTV off the air and lifting of the ban on the Kashmir Reader,” CPIML-Liberation Politburo member Prabhat Kumar said.
An inter-ministerial panel had concluded that ‘NDTV India’ had revealed crucial and “strategically sensitive” information when the terror attack on IAF base in January was being carried out, official sources had said.
The Information and Broadcasting ministry while invoking the powers under the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act said it “orders to prohibit the transmission or re-transmission of NDTV India channel for one day on any platform throughout India with effect from 00:01 hours on November 9th, 2016 till 00:01 hours of November 10th, 2016”.
This is the first such order against a TV channel over its coverage of a terror attack, the norms regarding which were notified last year.
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