Journalists of two Telugu news channels, accompanied by members of different organisations of the fraternity, took to the streets on Monday protesting against the blocking of their telecast in Telangana for the past three weeks and demanding immediate lifting of the ban.
The relay of ABN Andhra Jyothi and TV 9 channels have been blocked by the association of Telangana Multiple System Operators since June 16, alleging that they had been airing programmes denigrating Telangana dialect, sentiment and feelings of the newly carved-out state’s people.
Strongly condemning the action, journalists employed by TV 9 and ABN Andhra Jyothi, along with members of different journalists organisations besides some NGOs and lawyers, took out a rally from the Basheerbagh Press Club.
Raising slogans like ‘We want justice’ they alleged that the MSOs had taken the step due to pressure from the Telangana government.
“The government should see to it that the illegal blocking of the two TV channels is immediately lifted,” they demanded as they marched towards Secretariat.
However, police stopped them from disrupting traffic on the busy road towards the Secretariat. As many as 160 protesters were taken into preventive custody, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Zone) V B Kamalasan Reddy said. All of them were later let off.
The Telangana Assembly had earlier passed a resolution authorising the Speaker to initiate any action as he deemed fit against TV9 for airing an alleged “objectionable programme” with “belittling” comments on MLAs.