‘Will fight legally against unprecedented ban’ Media One responds to I&B ban

MediaOne condemns the unprecedented decision of the Union Ministry for Information and Broadcasting for imposing a 48-hour ban on MediaOne, for allegedly violating the provisions of Cable Television Networks Rule of 1994 during their reportage of the anti-Muslim violence that broke out in North East Delhi.

“The Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s ban on MediaOne Tv for 48 hours is unfortunate and condemnable. This is a blatant attack against free and fair reporting,” responding to central government ban, MediaOne Editor in Chief CL Thomas said.

On Friday, leading Malayalam news channels MediaOne and Asianet News have been barred for 48 hours by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for their coverage of the Delhi violence.

Both the channels have been showing a black screen since 7.30 pm on Friday, March 6, when they were taken off the air. The channels can resume broadcast only at 7.30 pm on March 8.

“The order issued by I & B ministry to suspend the telecast from March 6th, 19.30 hrs to March 8th, 19.30 hrs, is for criticizing RSS and Delhi Police. The order also states that MediaOne has referred hate speeches made by Mr. Kapil Mishra, the BJP leader from Delhi as a reason for igniting violence in Delhi. The ministry order has mentioned on our reporting about not registering FIR against hate speeches, has violated cable TV act. This is nothing but an order to stop free and fair journalism,” he added.

“It appeared that the telecast of the reports on North-East Delhi violence had been shown in a manner that highlighted the attack on places of worship and siding towards a particular community. The channel’s reporting on Delhi violence seems to be biased as it is deliberately focusing on the vandalism of CAA supporters. It also questions RSS and alleges Delhi Police inaction. The channel seems to be critical towards Delhi Police and RSS,” the central government order which sent to MediaOne said.

Thomas also said that the channel will fight legally against this unprecedented and undemocratic action imposed by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

“How on earth can Malayalam channels inflame communal passions in Delhi? Whereas the truly vicious propaganda channels like Ré-pubic & TimesCow continue their brazen distortions w/impunity. @asianetnewstv& @MediaOneTVLive are fine independent media. #LiftTheBan now,” senior Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted.

“Media One and Asianet get banned for 48 hours for reporting on Delhi Violence. But bhakt media can continue with their communal coverage and fake news on Muslims without any censure. Freedom of press in India is a joke,” journalist Aditya Menon tweeted.

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