Delhi Anti-Hindu Riots: I&B Ministry bans two Malayalam channels for 48 hours for ‘promoting communal and anti-national attitude’
   06-Mar-2020

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The Information and Broadcasting Ministry barred two local Malayalam channels Asianet News and MediaOne for 48 hours for their biased coverage of the Delhi anti-Hindu riots, for ‘promoting communal and anti-national attitude’.
 
The order from the ministry states that Asianet News and MediaOne were provocative, biased and critical of the RSS and Delhi police, sided with a particular community and showed those who supported Citizenship Amendment Act in poor light.
 
Both the channels have stopped broadcasting since 7.30 pm on Friday, March 6.
 
“It appeared that telecast of reports on North-East Delhi violence had been shown in a manner which highlighted the attack on places of worship and siding towards a particular community. Channel's reporting on Delhi violence seems to be biased as it is deliberately focusing on the vandalism of CAA supporters,” the order said.
 
According to the order issued by the I&B Ministry, the report by Asianet News on the riots in Jaffrabad was ‘siding towards one community’.
 
The order further states that Asianet reported about rioters blocking commuters and attacking them for their religion, attacking houses of Muslims in Hindu majority areas and rioters firing at each other with slogans of Jai Sri Ram and Azadi in the air. Asianet also reported about shops, houses and vehicles being burnt and no action being taken as the violence continued for the third day, with the Central Government not acting to control the riots.
 
Media One, run by Jamaat-e-Islami, accused the Delhi Police of remaining inactive during violence, and the channel also blamed police for vandalising shops and fruit carts. “The channel also reported that violence took place mostly in Muslim dominated area of Chand Bagh, Delhi. While telecasting the news, the channel carried the news of stone pelting, arson and injured people being taken to hospital,” the order says.
 
According to the report, this report could have “incited violence and posed danger to maintenance of law and order situation, particularly when the situation is already highly volatile and charged up and riots are taking place in the area”.
 
The order states that the reports telecasted by Asianet News and Media One violated the provisions of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994.
 
Rule 6(1 c) says that no programme should be carried which contains attack on religions or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes. Rule 6(1 e) too has been evoked by the ministry. The rule says that no programme should be carried which is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promote anti-national attitudes.
 
In a first, NDTV India was barred from broadcasting for a day after its coverage of Pathankot terrorist attack in 2016.