Union minister Venkaiah Naidu justified the one-day ban on NDTV India, claiming it to be in the interest of the nation. “This action of asking a TV (channel) to go off one day is in the interest of the country’s safety and security,” said Naidu, who is the Information and Broadcasting minister.
NDTV India has been told to go off air on Wednesday as penalty for its coverage of the terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in January.
On Friday, BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said, “We support freedom of press in a democracy but the nation comes first. There cannot be any compromise on national security.”
NDTV refuted the claims that its Hindi channel provided sensitive information during the terror attack and has said its broadcast offered no details that were not reported by other channels and newspapers. “After the dark days of the emergency when the press was fettered, it is extraordinary that NDTV is being proceeded against in this manner,” the media house said, adding that it is considering all its options.
Press groups like the Editors Guild of India to the Broadcast Editors Association have said the government must withdraw the ban which amounts to ‘harsh censorship’ and a blatant violation of the freedom guaranteed to the press by the constitution.