Delhi violence: I&B Ministry pulls up TV channels over coverage
The Centre has directed TV channels not to broadcast any "provocative" content, a week after communal clashes broke out in Delhi's Jahangirpuri during a religious procession. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued a strongly-worded advisory on Saturday, pulling up private channels for their distasteful coverage of the Northwest Delhi violence. It also asked them to avoid airing sensational content on the Russia-Ukraine war.
Why does this story matter?
Communal tensions have recently seen a surge across India. The situation in Jahangirpuri remained tense but under control, after communal clashes erupted during a Hanuman Jayanti procession last Saturday. Two weeks ago, several states saw clashes on Ram Navami (April 10) too. The Centre has now directed channels to not air sensational, provocative content related to these incidents that could disrupt peace and harmony.
Strong advisory against TV channels covering Delhi violence
The Centre's advisory said certain channels covered the Delhi violence inappropriately. It said some channels' coverage "appears to be unauthentic, misleading, sensational, and using socially unacceptable language and remarks, offending good taste, and decency." The Centre warned channels that if "considers it necessary," it may regulate or prohibit the transmission of a channel or program if they violate the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act.
Showing footage of particular community, aggravating tensions
The advisory noted some channels covered the Delhi incident with provocative headlines/videos that could incite communal hatred and disrupt peace. It further said certain channels were also "disrupting the ongoing investigation process by playing scandalous and unverified CCTV footage." Some even indulged in airing "footages of [a] particular community, thus aggravating tensions; fabricated headlines sensationalizing and giving communal colors to the actions of authority."
'Unparliamentary, provocative, communal remarks'
The advisory also said "unparliamentary, provocative, and socially unacceptable language, communal remarks, and derogatory references" were used in some TV debates. It said such things "may have a negative psychological impact on viewers and may also incite communal disharmony and disturb the peace at large."
What has happened in the case so far?
The Delhi Police so far arrested 25 people in connection with the Jahangirpuri violence. Five of the accused have been charged under the stringent National Security Act, allowing for detention without charge for a year. Since the communal clash—which erupted after a Hanuman Jayanti procession took a route alongside a mosque without obtaining prior permission—cops have been keeping a close watch on the area.
Investigation into case has expanded
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate on Saturday launched an investigation into the sources of the accused's properties as part of the probe into the clashes. Following Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana's letter, the ED also registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).Share this timeline