Take action against illegal channels: Centre to states

RSTV Bureau
File Photo of M Venkaiah Naidu, Minister forInformation & Broadcasting.

File Photo of M Venkaiah Naidu, Minister forInformation & Broadcasting.

The government today asked the states to ensure that TV channels which are not permitted to downlink in India are not broadcast by cable operators, a move which comes against the backdrop of controversy over Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s speeches on ‘Peace TV’.

An advisory, by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to the states said there have been reports of “security threats due to TV content” aimed at inciting communal and terrorist violence.

“In particular, reports are being received of such content being broadcast through private satellite TV channels, such as Peace TV channel, which are not permitted by this Ministry for downlinking into the country…the role of your state government in this regard is crucial in preventing any broadcast or transmission of such non-permitted channels by the cable operators,” the two-page advisory said.

It said that in case of violations, necessary prompt action must be taken by the authorised officers in the district against the defaulters to stop transmission of such channels.

Besides other penal provisions, the equipment of such cable operators can be seized by the district authorities, the advisory said.

Official sources said ‘Peace TV’ does not have the required permission to be broadcast in India despite which it is distributed by some cable operators.

“The channel had applied for a license in 2008-09 but was refused. However, there have been reports that it is still beamed by some cable operators,” they said.

(With agency inputs).