Sources said the two channels had written to the ministry seeking revocation of the bans, following which it was lifted. (Photo Credit: IANS)
The ban on Asianet News and Media One, both Kerala-based television news channels was lifted by the government on Saturday, hours after imposing it. The ban on Asianet News was lifted at 1.30 am, while the ban on Media One was lifted at 9.30 am on Saturday, news agency PTI quoted a source at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting as saying. Sources said the two channels had written to the ministry seeking revocation of the bans, following which it was lifted. Following the lifting of the ban, Asianet News was back on air at 1.30 am and Media One at 9.30 am.
The government had alleged the channels of communally insensitive coverage of Delhi violence. The order by the ministry said that the channels had ‘questioned RSS’ and alleged the Delhi Police of ‘inaction’. Union I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar, however, has not made any comment on the previous order so far. Both channels slammed the order and stated that it was a brazen attempt by the Centre to muzzle the free speech.
Reacting on the ban, MediaOne TV’s Editor-in-Chief CL Thomas had said, “I&B Ministry's ban on MediaOne channel is unfortunate and condemnable. This is a blatant attack on free and fair reporting. MediaOne will fight legally against this unprecedented and undemocratic action by I&B ministry.”
"It appeared that telecast of reports on North-East Delhi violence had been shown in a manner which highlighted the attack on places of worship and siding towards a particular community. Channel's reporting on Delhi violence seems to be biased as it is deliberately focusing on the vandalism of CAA supporters. It also questions RSS and alleges Delhi Police inaction. Channel seems to be critical towards Delhi Police and RSS," the order by the I&B ministry had said.
The Congress and the CPI had come down hard on the government over the suspension of Media One and Asianet News, calling the clampdown as “stifling of media freedom”.
(With PTI Inputs)