Union Government on Monday barred the telecast of Malayalam news channel MediaOne citing “security reasons”, an action which invited the ire of many with the Opposition Congress party terming the move as “undemocratic”.
Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly, V D Satheesan said the I&B ministry banned the telecast without citing reasons.
“The banning of telecast of MediaOne channel without citing any reason was undemocratic. This is against natural justice. The Union government has a responsibility to cite the reason behind the ban. The government is trying to implement the agenda of Sangh Parivar which has been intolerant against unpleasant truths,” he said.
Pramod Raman, the Editor of MediaOne, said the channel was taking legal steps for the restoration of the channel.
“The telecast of MediaOne channel has once again been disallowed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, citing security reasons. The Government has not been forthcoming with the details,” Raman said in a statement.
He said the ban amounts to attack on media freedom.
MediaOne, along with another Malayalam News channel, Asianet, was briefly suspended for 48 hours over their coverage of communal violence in Delhi in 2020, with the official orders then saying they covered the Delhi violence in a manner that “highlighted the attack on places of worship and siding towards a particular community”.
“Channel’s reporting on Delhi violence seems to be biased as it is deliberately focusing on the vandalism of CAA supporters,” the ministry order on Media One had said, adding, “it also questions RSS and alleges Delhi Police inaction. Channel seems to be critical towards Delhi Police and RSS.”
When contacted, Information and Broadcasting ministry officials confirmed that the channel has been banned but didn’t share any further details.