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Govt bans SEN TV network
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Srinagar, July 29: Government on Thursday evening banned the transmission of two local TV channels, SEN Channel and SEN Awaz, for telecasting what it called as “provocative programs including speeches of secessionist elements” and protests.

The authorities have directed the Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar to immediately close down the transmission of the channels.

The ban order has been issued by District Magistrate Srinagar, Mehraj Ahmad Kakroo, for ‘violating’ the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act 1995.

“Whereas SEN channel and SEN Awaz have been giving wide coverage to the provocative speeches and activities of secessionist elements for creating law and order problems. In this connection, the Executive Director of SEN and SEN Awaz channels was advised to observe programme code as envisaged under the Cable Television Network (Regulation Act) 1995 in letter and spirit. But the said directions have been flouted repeatedly,” Kakroo who is also the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar states in the order (DMS/PS-Misc/10/840-52) dated July 29.

He states that the channels have been “showing stone pelting attacks on CRPF bunkers, statement of separatists and hartal calls in such a way which incite people to create law and order problems.”

“Whereas it has been reported that the said channel is not adhering to the instructions issued from time to time and are constantly violating the time slot for telecasting the day to day happenings. Whereas notices were served to the said channel on a number of occasions and lastly on July 1 directing it to adhere to the instructions from time to time.”

The order states that the Executive Director of the channels had assured that in future he will abide by the directions and will not try to overstep the jurisdiction.

“Whereas it has again been observed that the said channels have failed to keep up the assurances given from time to time. Whereas after examining the records of the programmes, I have reached to the conclusion that telecasting of such provocative programmes by SEN channels and SEN Awaz are in contravention to the provisions of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act 1995 and as such, it has become expedient to close down the transmissions of the said channels.”

“Now I, Mehraj Ahmad Kakroo, District Magistrate Srinagar hereby direct the Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar to close down the transmissions of the said channels under Section 19 of the Cable Television Network (Regulations) Act 1995 forthwith,” the order states.

The Chief Editor of SEN channel, Syed Tajamul, refuted the Government’s allegations. “We were strictly complying with the directions of the authorities and only telecasting news for 15 minutes from 8.00 pm to 8.15 pm. Due to the curtailment in news timings, we lost almost all sponsors but we adhered to the Government order. I fail to understand why our channels have been banned as we did not telecast anything which can be construed as provocative.” Tajamul told Greater Kashmir.

He said this was not the first time that the SEN channels were banned. “This is selective victimization and sheer harassment. We will be exploring options to challenge the ban,” he said.

Source: Greater Kashmir

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