The Jammu and Kashmir government has come down heavily on five news channels for “fomenting’ trouble” in Kashmir Valley during the ongoing unrest that has left close to seventy people dead and thousands injured.
District Magistrate Farooq Lone issued notices through SSP Srinagar to SEN Digital Network, JK Media Network Service, and Take One Media to block news channels including Noida-based Gulistan TV, KBC, JK Channel and Hyderabad based Munsiff TV and Insaaf TV.
These channels, according to cable operators, enjoy massive viewership for their news production.
In a directive to cable operators, the state government said that these channels have “created law and order problem” and should be blocked with immediate effect.
“Cable operators have been transmitting programmes which promote hatred, ill-will, disharmony and a feeling of enmity against the sovereignty of State,” the notice said.
Citing provisions of the cable television regulation Act, the district magistrate has “directed” the cable operators to stop telecasting/ transmitting the mentioned channels.
The channels have resented the diktat saying their telecast cannot be regulated under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995.
The people associated with these channels said the government should at least make a distinction between a cable and a satellite channel. “These are all satellite channels which are being aired from outside Jammu and Kashmir,” they said.
The government had earlier banned newspapers for three days and news channels when the protests had escalated during the initial days of the unrest.
The government wants to ensure that the reports about incidents of violence do not spread across the valley, which the government believes is escalating the protests.