Tiger panel wants BBC banned from filming in India’s protected forests
The NTCA accused the BBC of “not working constructively with the government of India which has resulted in the portraying of conservation efforts in India in extremely negative light.”india Updated: Mar 01, 2017 11:50 IST
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has asked the ministry of environment to ban the BBC from filming in all protected forest areas of the country for five years. The NTCA has also asked the ministry of external affairs to not renew BBC south Asia correspondent Justin Rowlatt’s visa, up for renewal in March.
Rowlatt’s documentary Killing for Conservation on the use of force in conservation efforts in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park has pitched the broadcaster against the government. The BBC documentary alleged a “shoot at sight” policy in place at Kaziranga allows forest guards to gun down people who appear to be a threat to wildlife.
An NTCA official described it as a “breach of trust” and said, “BBC had hoodwinked the authorities to get permission”.
Permission to shoot was granted with an undertaking that the broadcaster would share the film with the ministry of environment before broadcasting, something Rowlatt didn’t do.
On February 13, the NTCA had called for blacklisting of Rowlatt, who lives in Delhi with his wife and four children.
The NTCA accused the BBC of “not working constructively with the government of India which has resulted in the portraying of conservation efforts in India in extremely negative light.” The BBC has maintained that it was not bound to show the film to authorities, and would have done so if any of the officials had requested it to do so.