NDTV India, one of India’s leading news channels, may be taken off air for 24 hours by the government for revealing ‘strategically sensitive details’ for their coverage of the terrorist attack on Pathankot’s Air Force base in January earlier this year. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has said it “orders to prohibit the transmission or re-transmission of NDTV India channel for one day on any platform throughout India with effect from 00:01 hrs on 9th November,2016 till 00:01 hrs of 10th November, 2016”.
Many prominent persons and organisations have come out in support of the 24 hour Hindi news channel headed by Prannoy Roy and Radhika Ray. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee labelled the response as an “Emergency-like attitude” and the Editor’s Guild (an organisation that was founded to uphold the freedom of the Press after the Emergency) called the ban a “violation of freedom of media” and demanded the “order be immediately rescinded”.
The Broadcast Editors Association (BEA), the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and the Mumbai Press Club have also condemned the ban. VP of the Indian National Congress, Rahul Gandhi and its national spokesperson Sanjay Jha have also spoken out against the blackout.
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) November 4, 2016
— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) November 4, 2016
As did the former CM of J&K.
NDTV India ordered off the air, opposition leaders detained for wanting to show solidarity with family of dead solider. Ache din anyone?
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) November 4, 2016
NDTV meanwhile in an official statement has said that they have been ‘singled out’ and that every other newspaper and TV channel had the same information, and that their coverage was ‘particularly balanced’.