Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar has lifted the 48-hour ban imposed on two Malayalam news channels, Asianet News and Media One. Which were suspended over their coverage of communal violence in Delhi, and stated that the government supports the freedom of press.
Javadekar said, “Two Kerala channels were banned for 48 hours. We immediately found out what exactly happened and, therefore, we immediately restored the channels.” The minister said that transmission of Asianet News was restored on Friday night after its owner talked to him, and that of Media One on Saturday morning. “Our basic thought process is that the freedom of press is absolutely essential in the democratic set-up and that is the commitment of the Modi Government,” he said.
Referring to the Emergency, Javadekar said the freedom of press was suppressed in those days. “We went to jails against that and we secured the freedom of press,” he added. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed concern over the entire issue. “I will definitely go into the details and take essential steps if there is any wrongdoing. But let me also tell you that everybody should accept that there has to be responsible freedom,” Javadekar said.
The information and broadcasting ministry on Friday imposed a 48-hour ban on the broadcast of two Kerala news channels on coverage of violence in north-east Delhi and said that such news increased ‘communal hatred’. The ministry had banned the broadcast of both channels from any platform across the country from 7:30 pm on March 6 to 8:30 pm on March 8.