The Centre today asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to take immediate steps to stop the unauthorised broadcast of Pakistani and Saudi Arabian channels in the state. Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu spoke with the state chief secretary and also sought a compliance report at the earliest, official sources said here.
He expressed concern over reports that these channels are being broadcast in Jammu and Kashmir without permission. Earlier in the day, Naidu’s deputy in the ministry, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, had said the local administration in the state has right to confiscate the equipment of cable operators allegedly airing unauthorised channels.
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Noting that the government has sent an advisory to the state, Rathore said such communications are regularly sent by the Centre on unauthorised channels. “We also monitor whenever such news comes up. It is our work to ask for report about such incidents. The action is being taken,” he said.
Rathore said it is the responsibility of the local administration to monitor unauthorised channels in their area and they have the right to take action against them. “In Kashmir, the district collector or the authorised government official can confiscate the equipment and take action against cable operators,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.
The minister was responding to reports that over 50 Saudi and Pakistani channels besides Zakir Naik’s banned Peace TV and others indulging in “anti-India” propaganda were allegedly running without necessary clearances via private cable networks in Kashmir.