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General News NBSA asks Zee News to pay fine, air apology for ‘Afzal Premi Gang ka Mushaira’ report
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MUMBAI: News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) has asked Hindi news channel Zee News to pay a fine of Rs 100,000 and apologise on air for a news report titled ‘Afzal Premi Gang ka Mushaira’.

NBSA, a self-regulatory complaints redressal body of the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), has asked the channel to run the apology on 8 September at 9 pm and also remove the video of the programme if it is hosted on the website of Zee News or any other links.


Zee News had aired ‘Afzal Premi Gang ka Mushaira’ on 9 March to 12 March, 2016. In the report, one of the poetry recitals of Prof. Gauhar Raza was interspersed with video clips allegedly of slogans raised at JNU on 9 February 2016. Raza was referred to as a supporter of Afzal Guru, the 2001 Parliament attack convict who was hanged in 2013, and was called anti-national.

“The broadcaster had failed to give an opportunity to Professor Gauhar Raza, who was being reported upon, to give his version/views; broadcasting a programme using the footage of JNU incidents with the poetry recital of Raza and giving title to the programme as ‘Afzal Premi Gang ka Mushaira’ was highly inappropriate and derogatory as mere reference by Prof. Gauhar Raza while reciting poetry to ‘Kanhaiya’, ‘Nehru University’ and ‘Rohit Vemula’, could not be a ground to brand the poet, the organizers of Mushaira and the audience as Afzal Premi Gang”, NBSA said in its order.

NBSA was of the view that the “entire programme was intended to sensationalise the issue in a biased manner and the facts were distorted and manipulated to masquerade as news.”

In the order dated 31 August 2017, Justice R.V. Raveendran, chairperson of NBSA, said that the channel had breached the NBSA guidelines relating to accuracy, impartiality and neutrality.

NBSA was acting on two complaints—one filed by Raza in April 2016 and the other filed by actor Sharmila Tagore, singer Shubha Mudgal, poet Ashok Vajpeyi and writer Syeda Hameed.

Zee News, however, has denied any violation of guidelines and is contemplating legal remedies.

Source:
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Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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