The Jammu and Kashmir government has directed all Deputy Commissioners in the State to take action against transmission of 34 TV channels beaming from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, saying such channels have the “potential to encourage or incite violence and create law and order disturbance in the Kashmir Valley”.
In a letter to all Deputy Commissioners, the State Home department has sought action against those TV channels (which are not permitted by the ministry of information and broadcasting, government of India).
“It needs to be noted that transmission of non-permitted TV channels apart from attracting the violation (of the law), has the potential to encourage or incite violence and create law and order disturbances in the Kashmir Valley,” an order issued on Saturday by Principal Secretary, Home department, R.K. Goyal, to all DCs of the state said.
The channels, according to the letter, which are to be banned are Peace TV English, Peace TV Urdu, ARY QTV, Madni Channel, Noor TV, Hadi TV, Paigam, Hidayat, Saudi Al-Sunnah Al-Nabawiyah, Saudi-Al-Quran Al-Karim, Sehar, Karbala TV, Ahli-biat TV, Message TV, Hum TV, ARY Digital Asia, Hum Sitaray, ARY Zindagi, ARY Musik, TV One, ARY Masala, ARY Zauq, A TV, Geo News, ARY News Asia, Abb Takk News, Waseb TV, 92 News, Duniya News, Samna News, Geo Tez, Express News and ARY News. Topping the list are the Urdu and English channels of Peace TV of controversial Islamic preacher and TV evangelist Zakir Naik against whom the NIA and the ED have filed cases under the under the unlawful activities (prevention) Act and money laundering laws.
Apart from religious and news channels, the list interestingly includes a sports channel, two culinary channels and a music channel.
The May 6 order came after Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Venkaih Naidu spoke with J&K Chief Secretary over the issue and sought action taken report from him on the matter.
Pertinently, on April 26, the State Government imposed a ban on 22 social networking sites in Kashmir, reasoning “anti-national and inimical elements were spreading unverified objectionable and inflammatory material” through these platforms.
The state Home department invoked a British era-law, Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, to ban the social media websites and instant messaging services.
The Kashmir Valley is battling a fresh round of clashes between locals, most of them students, and security forces as well as militant attacks while infiltration and cross-border firing are on the rise along the Pakistani frontier.