After social media ban, Govt seeks action against 34 TV channels
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After social media ban, Govt seeks action against 34 TV channels

After banning social media in Kashmir, the J&K government has sought action against at least 34 TV channels, including those beamed from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and even Iraq.

After banning social media in Kashmir, the J&K government has sought action against at least 34 TV channels, including those beamed from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and even Iraq.

In a letter to all Deputy Commissioners, the State Home department has directed the DCs to act against transmission of these channels, reasoning that "they have the potential to encourage violence and can disturb law and order situation in Kashmir, and are not permitted for transmission."

The letter written by Principal Secretary Home, R K Goyal, directs DCs to clarify what action they have taken on media reports about transmission of non-permitted channels in Kashmir. The DCs have also been directed to submit a compliance report on the matter by Monday, the letter adds.

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.

Apart from religious and news channels, the list interestingly includes a sports channel, two culinary channels and a music channel.

The directive came after the Government of India asked the State government to take immediate steps to stop the alleged unauthorized broadcast of Pakistani and Saudi Arabian channels in the state.

The action came two days 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.

The letter states that the transmission of these channels was "against the cable TV rules and DCs had the power to seize the equipment in case of a violation."

"You are aware that transmission of non-permitted TV channels by the cable operators attracts the violation of sub-rule 6(6) of the Cable TV Networks Regulation Rules. Further as per section 11 of the Cable Television Network Act, the DC has the power to seize equipment in case of a violation," reads the letter to DCs.

In the letter, the Home Secretary states that cable operators in Kashmir have been transmitting certain channels which are not permitted by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

"Further it has been reported in a section of media that a number of non-permitted TV channels are being transmitted by certain cable TV operators in J&K," the letter reads.

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.

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