30 Pak, Islamic Channels Taken Off Kashmir Cable

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Cable Operators ‘Warned Of Action’ If Channels Not Blocked Immediately

SRINAGAR — The Jammu and Kashmir home department has warned cable operators here of action for failing to block over 30 “unpermitted” channels Zakir Naik’s Peace TV and several others that originate from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

In an order issued by the additional district magistrate, Srinagar, cable operators were directed to immediately stop telecasting or transmitting such channels.

“JK government, home department, vide Ps/home/2018-60 dated July 2, 2018, has reported that you are telecasting and transmitting unpermitted/banned private satellite channels within the jurisdiction of district Srinagar, the order said.

The order said it was necessary in larger public interest and for the maintenance of peace and tranquillity to prohibit cable operators from transmitting TV channels not permitted by the Union ministry of information and broadcasting.

Now, therefore, in an exercise of powers conferred by section 19 of Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 you are hereby directed to immediately stop telecasting/transmitting non-permitted TV channels/ banned private satellite channels within period of three days, the order read.

Cable operators were asked to furnish a notarised affidavit for the same and warned of action in case they fail to do so.

The channels which are learnt to have been barred 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, Sahar, 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.

In May last year, the government had asked all the deputy commissioners of the state to take action against the transmission of 34 non-permitted TV channels, including Pakistani and Saudi Arabian channels, saying they had the potential to incite violence and create law and order situations in the Valley.

This is not the first time that cable operators have been asked to refrain from running news or religious channels.

In May 2017, when Mehbooba Mufti was in power, the state home department had asked all deputy commissioners to take action against the transmission of 34 TV channels, including those from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, citing their potential to “incite violence and create law and order situation”.

During the 2010 summer unrest, the government, then led by Omar Abdullah, banned local cable channels from airing news and current affairs programmes in Kashmir.

Earlier the information and broadcasting ministry in its Dec 4 reply in the Lok Sabha on the issue had said that under Indian laws, “you require permission for down-linking of TV channels to India”.

“There are approximately more than 90 TV channels which are of foreign origin which are down-linked legally in India. Any other channel which has not sought this permission is technically in violation of our norms and regulations.”

Tanvir Ahmed, a cable operator in the old city area, said: “With this order in place, we will have to off-load our staff. This could finally close our business.”

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