Government orders India’s NDTV off air for 24 hours

The Indian government has ordered a NDTV news channel to be taken off air for 24 hour as a penalty for its coverage of an attack on Indian soldiers in January. #ndtvbanned

“NDTV Hindi revealed strategically sensitive details during the attack on the Pathankot airbase,” on Friday The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said, allegedly carried out by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed group.

As an inter-ministerial panel found the channel had revealed details of the government operation and locations within the base, Officials said the channel would go off air from Wednesday. Seven soldiers and six armed fighters were killed in the attack.

The order against NDTV India is the first such ban on a television station for its reporting of an attack on the state.

NDTV rejected the accusation, saying its coverage was “particularly balanced” and it had been “singled out since every channel and newspaper had similar coverage.”

Outrage over move

It was an impingement of press freedom and demanded the decision be reversed immediately, saying The Editors’ Guild of India and opposition politicians also condemned the move.

The guild said “The decision to take the channel off the air for a 24 hour is a direct violation of the freedom of the media and therefore the citizens of India and amounts to harsh censorship imposed by the government.”

It was looking at all possible options to respond to the “extraordinary order,” In its statement, NDTV said.

The Kashmir Reader, One newspaper, has been banned for over a month with officials saying its contents could incite violence.