Thirty television channels which carry Islamic and Pakistani content have been banned in Jammu and Kashmir, following the issuance of an order by the Additional District Commissioner of Srinagar, The Hindu has reported.
As per the report, the J&K government’s Home Department had issued a directive dated 2 July which stated that, “it has become necessary and expedient in the larger interest of public and maintenance of peace and tranquillity to prohibit transmitting TV channels which are not permitted by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting“.
Thus a list of 30 channels to be banned was drawn up, which include – Zakir Naik’s Peace TV, Pakistani channels like – Geo TV, Hum TV, ARY Zindagi, Hum Sitaray, ARY Musik and Islamic channels namely – ARY, QTV, Madni Channel, Noor TV and Hadi TV.
Following this directive, an order was issued by Srinagar’s Additional District Commissioner on 12 July, which resulted in television operators being asked to stop the telecast of banned private channels within Srinagar district. This order was implemented from Wednesday.
The order though seems to be applicable throughout Jammu and Kashmir as according to a Times of India report, the state Home Department has sent the directive via a letter to all the District Magistrates in the state on Tuesday. The letter as per the report described that the banned channels have the potential to “encourage violence and disturb the law and order situation”.
It has been claimed that the Jammu and Kashmir establishment swung into action in this regard after a prodding by the Information and Broadcasting ministry.
As per a New Indian Express report, this order has been opposed by independent MLA Engineer Rashid who has called it an attack on freedom of expression. He has also been quoted as asking that – if the government is concerned about curbing hatred, then why is it not banning national TV channels which “spread venom” against the Kashmiris.
Engineer Rashid had been in the news previously after he was questioned by NIA in connection with its terror funding probe.