NEW DELHI: Malayalam language channels, 'Media One' and 'Asianet News' that were banned for 48 hours by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting went on air from Saturday morning.
As the imposed ban got lifted, Media One went back on air around 9:30 am and Asianet News at 1:30 am on 7 March 2020.
The I&B ministry was compelled to impose the ban for 48 hours on the following news channels as the portrayal of the reports collected by them regarding the Delhi violence seemed "partial".
The ministry declared that the aforementioned channels spurned the programme code and "highlighted the attack on the places of worship" while siding with one particular community.
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Protests followed the ministry's decision to initiate the ban, many felt the ban is simply an unprecedented attack on 'media freedom'. P Chidambaram from Congress and Sitaram Yechury, CPM Chief expressed that the action was “undemocratic and authoritarian”.
The government also mentioned that the channel, Media One deliberately focussed on the vandalism done by the individuals who are in support of the Citizenship Amendmendship Act (CAA). The order by the ministry, initiated on 6 March revealed, "It also questions RSS and alleges Delhi Police inaction. Channel seems to be critical towards Delhi Police and RSS.”
The editor from Media One, CL Thomas had censured the action taken by the government as he felt it's an attack on "free and fair journalism". He also wished to challenge the government's judgment legally with his organisation.
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As far as Asianet News was concerned, the ministry took exception to the news channel claiming that “central government did not act to control the riots, and central forces reached the riot-hit areas after long hours of the meeting of Union minister Amit Shah.”