An Inter-Ministerial Committee of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in the first week of November 2016 asked for one-day ban on a leading Hindi News Channel, NDTV India from 12.01 A.M. of 9 November to 12.01 A.M. of 10 November 2016.
The channel is facing the possibility of a complete blackout for 24 hours for revealing strategically-sensitive information during its coverage of the anti-terror operations at the Pathankot airbase in January 2016. The telecast under scanner was aired on 2 January 2016 when Indian military forces were preparing their counter attack strategy at the Pathankot airbase.
The order by the Inter-Ministerial Committee claimed that the channel revealed several confidential details like location of the ammunition depot, details of arms cache and fighter planes, details of schools and residential areas located around the airbase, endangering lives of both civilians and defense personnel.
According to the Committee, such an act is in clear violation of the programme code under Cable TV Network Rules, 1994 that prevents live coverage of any anti-terrorist operation by security forces. The rules also limit the media to carrying only the periodic briefing given by designated government officials like Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) or National Security Guard (NSG) until the operation is concluded.
If the order does indeed get carried out, then it would be the first order against a broadcaster for its coverage of anti-terror operations.
Pathankot Terror Attack 2016
• The 2016 Pathankot Terror Attack was committed on 2 January 2016 by a heavily armed Islamist militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, which attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station.
• The attack was followed up by a swift anti-terror operation by Indian security forces that ran up until 5 January 2016 and ended with the killings of all 6 terrorists. 7 Indian jawans were also martyred in the gun battle.
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