Asianet News thanks Centre for revoking suspension and admitting ‘mistake’
Malayalam News channel Asianet News has thanked the Central government on Saturday for revocation of the suspension placed on its broadcast and admitting that it was a mistake.
The channel, which was suspended along with Media One over its alleged irresponsible coverage of the Delhi communal riots, has also pledged to continue broadcasting in full accordance with the law of the land.
“We reiterate our pledge & promise to our viewers & government that we would continue to carry out our responsibilities most fairly, accurately, truthfully & also in full accordance with the laws of the land,” an excerpt from a statement made by Asianet News was reported by ANI.
The response came after Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar revoked a 48-hour ban on the leading Malayalam news channels hours after the punitive measure was imposed for alleged biased reporting on one community.
Javadekar said that the Prime Minister himself had expressed concern over the suspension and said that the NDA government supported freedom for the press.
“Our basic thought process is that the freedom of press is absolutely essential in the democratic setup and that is the commitment of Modi government,” Javadekar had said.
The minister also promised to look into the matter to see if there was any wrongdoing on the part of the regulator.
“It is reassuring that Union Min Prakash Javadekar has admitted that ban was a mistake & would take appropriate steps if there was wrongdoing on part of Ministry,” Asianet statement quoted by ANI added.
Javadekar had also reminded that freedom comes with responsibilities
“Everybody should accept that there has to be responsible freedom,” he said.
The channels were faulted for their coverage of Delhi riots on February 25 and suspended from 7:30 PM on Friday till 7:30 pm on Sunday, but the suspension was revoked by Saturday afternoon.
The suspension order alleged that the channels “highlighted the attack on places of worship” and were guilty of “siding towards a particular community”.
Political parties including the Congress and the CPM had slammed the suspension and called it an attack on media freedom.
The management of the two channels had also expressed surprise at the move.
Asianet News is owned by BJP Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar.