Cabinet minister takes exception, says decision unfortunate
'Govt targeted the channel for showing truth’
PRESS TV BAN
Srinagar, Sept 13: While the Jammu and Kashmir government itself condemned the alleged desecration of holy Qur’an in the United States, it banned a foreign channel for telecasting the news, indicating an irony of sorts.
The cabinet decision to ban Press TV for telecasting the report has infuriated a Valley-based minister. “It is unfortunate that the state government targeted the Press TV for showing an incident which had actually happened. There was no point hiding the truth. How do you expect media to hide the truth?” asked the Minister for Information Technology, Agha Syed Rohulla.
Rohulla said he did not agree with his cabinet colleagues who supported banning the channel during the cabinet meeting that the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah chaired here on Monday. “Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the cabinet because the situation in Budgam was not favorable. But I expressed my reservations before the cabinet colleagues on selectively targeting the channel, which showed an incident which took place on ground,” he told Greater Kashmir, adding the ban on the channel should be revoked forthwith.
Interestingly, Rohulla has raised the issue on the social networking site, Facebook. “Ruhulla Mehdi does not, by any means, share the views of my colleagues in the cabinet about Press TV coverage and ban over the channel,” he writes in his “status message.”
The status has triggered a debate on the social networking cite, with users strongly denouncing the curbs on the channel. “Please tell Omar to resign under protest with a strong protest note against the CCS to enable himself to look at the mirror in future,” writes Mirza Villayat Zaman, a user.
Interestingly while the cabinet, which met here with Omar Abdullah in chair, also condemned the alleged desecration of the holy Qur’an, it banned the channel. The cabinet ministers too called for peace in the Valley and said they sympathized with the people’s sentiment. “It is an irony of sorts. You are yourself acknowledging the incident and condemning it, but want the media to not report it. That is ridiculous,” writes another user.
Sajjad Ansari, another user writes: “Agha sahib do inform your colleagues who are dishing out statements denouncing the channel for its unsubstantiated report, that the report has now been confirmed by none other than the US ambassador to India himself.”
“If some channels, according to government, didn’t report it, that means the channels are in league with Zionist regime which has carried out this heinous act,” Rohulla said.
Though a Florida pastor called off his plans to burn the holy book, the channel showed footage of a different man destroying a Quran in Tennessee. Most broadcasters around the world did not prominently report on scattered desecration incidents by a handful of fringe anti-Muslim activists in the United States; the Iranian broadcaster carried the footage repeatedly. The protesters chanted "Down with Quran desecrators," and protest leaders denounced the alleged desecration in speeches to the crowds. There were also shouts of "Down with America" and "Down with Israel" — rarely heard in Kashmir, where anger is normally only directed at India.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 13 Sep 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 13 Sep 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 14 Sep 2010 00:00:00 IST
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