The Centre’s Narendra Modi government has put on hold the one day ban on NDTV India after journalists from around the country staged protests calling the decision an undeclared Emergency.
The decision, according to PTI, followed a meeting between Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and NDTV promoter.
The government’s apparent U-turn came on the day a huge number of journalists in Delhi gathered at Press Club to condemn the move, widely perceived to be an attempt to stifle the free speech.
Janta Ka Reporter, which had expressed public solidarity with NDTV, had decided to go offline on the day NDTV India was expected to go off-air.
Reacting to the development, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal called it a victory of ‘people’s power.’
His tweet read, “Thats people’s power. Govt forced due to strong public uproar. Never take injustice lying down. Shout, scream, resist, fight. Congrats NDTV.”
Thats people's power. Govt forced due to strong public uproar. Never take injustice lying down. Shout, scream, resist, fight. Congrats NDTV https://t.co/DySJvU7t1l
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 7, 2016
Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh today hailed the Centre’s move to put the proposed one-day ban on Hindi news channel NDTV India on hold, calling it a “victory of democratic forces”.
In a statement here, Singh said it was clear that the Central government had been forced to surrender in the face of widespread resentment evoked by the “arbitrary and dictatorial decision.”
The channel too had moved Supreme Court on Monday challenging the government’s order.
An Inter-ministerial committee of the I and B ministry on Thursday had recommended that a leading Hindi news channel NDTV India be taken off air for a day after it concluded that the broadcaster had revealed “strategically-sensitive” details while covering the Pathankot terrorist attack.
The ministry may now ask the channel NDTV India to be taken off air for a day on 9 November, according to sources, in what would be the first order against a broadcaster over its coverage of terrorist attacks.
Efforts to reach the channel for its comments could not fructify.
The matter pertains to the coverage of the Pathankot terror attack by the channel where the committee felt that “such crucial information” could have been readily picked by terrorist handlers and had the potential to “cause massive harm not only to the national security, but also to lives of civilians and defence personnel.”
More to follow