Thiruvananthapuram: Mediaone TV, a leading Malayalam-language news channel backing Jamaat-e-Islami, was halted by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting citing “security reasons”. The channel closed on Monday afternoon.
Its editor Pramod Raman came on air in the afternoon announcing the decision of the ministry and said a legal team had been asked to collect more details. “The ministry says the ban was due to security reasons. We are yet to get details. We hope justice will prevail and we will be able to start our transmission soon,” he said. Many journalists’ organisations and the opposition Congress slammed the move.
“It is an undemocratic move. The channel was also not given reasons for suspending transmission. This is a violation of natural justice. All democratic forces should condemn it,” said opposition leader V D Satheesan.
This is the second time MediaOne has been barred. In March 2020, the Centre imposed a ban on the channel for 48 hours on charges of violating Cable Television Networks Act 1998, while reporting on riots in north-east Delhi. But people who are aware of the latest development said security clearance was denied after the channel failed to renew its licence granted 10 years ago. According to the I&B norms, uplinking and downlinking need to get security clearance from the Home Ministry, the official said. The I&B Ministry is yet to release a statement.