Government has directed the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to take action against transmission of 34 TV channels, including those from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, stating that their content could incite violence and create law and order problem.
The directive comes after New Delhi asked the state government to take immediate steps to stop the unauthorized broadcast of Pakistani and Saudi Arabian channels in the state.
“It has been reported that the cable operators in the Valley have been transmitting certain TV channels (which are not permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India).
“It needs to be noted that transmission of non-permitted TV channels apart from attracting the violation (of the law), has the potential to encourage or incite violence and create law and order disturbances in the Kashmir Valley,” read an order issued by Principal Secretary, Home Department, R K Goyal, to all the deputy magistrates (deputy commissioners) of the state said.
Goyal asked DCs to clarify the action that has been taken over reports that cable operators were transmitting non-permitted channels and also directed them to take urgent necessary action.
“In the circumstances, it is impressed upon you to ensure that urgent necessary action is taken in accordance with provisions of law,” the order reads.
He said the transmission of non-permitted TV channels by the cable operators attracts violation of the Cable TV Networks Regulation Rules.
“As per Section 11 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, the district magistrate has the power to seize the equipment in case of a violation,” the order reads.
On Friday, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu called up Chief Secretary over the issue and sought a compliance report at the earliest.
He expressed concern over reports that these channels were being broadcast in Jammu and Kashmir without permission.
The State Home Department, which is headed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, has listed 34 such channels belonging to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia including Zakir Naik’s banned Peace TV.
The 34 channels are Peace TV Urdu and English, 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, PTV Sports, 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. The principal secretary, Home Department, asked the deputy commissioners to file a compliance report.