Information and Broadcasting ministry of the Indian government may pull up NDTV for broadcasting graphic details of the anti-terror operation by Indian security agencies in Pathankot earlier this month.
“Telecast of such strategically sensitive information could affect the operation and could even case damage,” a ministry official told PTI.
Quoting the I&B ministry sources, the Indian Express reported that there were instances during the channel’s coverage of the anti-terror ops wherein, a reporter reporting from the spot talked about things that could have potentially helped the terrorists even if the coverage was “deferred live” and not live.
“A reporter from this channel gave out the location of two terrorists being holed up inside a building and that there was a fuel dump nearby. The reporter also talked about how the terrorists could wreak havoc if they manage to get close to the fuel dump,” a source said. “Such details, even if aired deferred live, can be accessed and used by the handlers of the terrorists just by watching TV,” an I&B ministry source told the paper.
The unnamed official of the ministry also said that they had taken note of the outrage on social media against the channel when the broadcast took place.
The official added, “Once we get their reply, it will be examined by the government and if found guilty, the channel may face action which may include taking it off air for a designated period.”
A lot will depend on the response filed by the NDTV for the ministry to determine if the channel violated the Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2015.
Soon after the social media outrage primarily targetted at the channel’s consulting editor Barkha Dutt, the National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval had reportedly written a letter to the Cabinet Security, regarding people using photos in addition to voicing their personal opinions on matters pertaining to national security.
In his strongly worded letter, Doval had also highlighted that it had become rampant for the media to breach laws of confidentiality with impunity adding that tough action ought to have been taken in cases threatening ‘to sabotage the national security of the country.’