Pune: Union Information and Broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar on saturday said the centre has lifted the 48-hour ban on two Malayalam news channels, which were suspended over their coverage of the communal violence in Delhi, and stated that the government supports the freedom of press.
Speaking to reporters in Pune in Maharashtra, Javadekar said that he would look into the matter and issue orders if necessary.
He said the prime minister has expressed concern over the entire issue.
Javadekar also advocated “responsible freedom” for media.
The 48-hour ban was imposed on Asianet News and Media One on friday for reportage that could “enhance communal disharmony” across the country.
The channels were suspended for 48 hours over their coverage of the last month's communal violence in Delhi, with the official orders saying that they covered events on february 25 in a manner that “highlighted the attack on places of worship and siding towards a particular community”.
The ministry order on Media One said that “Channel's reporting on Delhi violence seems to be biased as it is deliberately focusing on the vandalism of CAA supporters,”
Two Kerala channels were banned for 48 hours. We immediately found out what exactly happened and therefore we immediately restored the channels.”
Prakash Javadekar, Union I&B minister
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.
He also added, “Our basic thought process is that the freedom of press is absolutely essential in the democratic set up and that is the commitment of Modi government.”
Referring to the Emergency, Javadekar said the freedom of press was suppressed in those days.
The ministry had ordered prohibition of transmission or re-transmission of Media One and Asianet News for 48 hours on any platform throughout India with effect from 7.30 pm on Friday to 7.30 pm on Sunday.