Staff members of TV Today Network’s channels Aaj Tak and Headlines Today (now India Today), who were held guilty by an Uttar Pradesh Assembly committee probing a sting operation related to the Muzaffarnagar riots, have been summoned by the Assembly on February 26 to represent their case.
The Assembly passed the decision by voice vote, though BJP legislators staged a walkout to register their disagreement with the committee report. The report had given a clean chit to minister Azam Khan.
The panel had probed the sting operation, broadcast on Aaj Tak and Headlines Today channels, and held several staff members of TV Today Network guilty of breach of privilege of Azam Khan. In its report, the committee recommended action against these staff members, as well as action against police and administration officials for their alleged conduct before the sting operation team.
On Tuesday, Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey initiated the debate on the committee report. Leader of Opposition Swami Prasad Maurya suggested that the staff members of the channels be given a chance to present their case, and after that strong action should be taken.
Supporting this, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said: “I also feel that as per the suggestion of the House, it should move in the same direction.” The Speaker tabled the proposal to summon the concerned staff on February 26 before taking a final decision, which was passed by voice vote.
Earlier, committee chairman and SP legislator Satish Nigam said: “Such people should be punished, else they will not mend their ways. The situation was grim as there could have been attack on Khan… The sting operation was fake and a medium to increase TRP.”
Maurya said the the act comes under sedition.