Government suspends day-long ban on news channel

The decision to put the ban on hold was announced by Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday.

M Venkaiah Naidu

The decision to put the ban on hold was announced by Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday after he met with top channel executives.

NDTV India, a Hindi news channel was recently ordered to go off air on Nov. 9 as a penalty for its coverage of an attack on the Pathankot air force base.

The NDTV website reported that the decision was announced after the Supreme Court agreed to hear its appeal challenging the ban.

In a series of tweets, Naidu said he was considering a request by NDTV for the plan to be revoked; meanwhile the ban is to be put on hold until a decision is reached.

According to the ministry, the channel has revealed strategically sensitive details during an attack by suspected Pakistan-based militants in January.

Seven soldiers and six militants were killed in the attack.

However, NDTV rejected the accusation, saying its coverage was particularly balanced and it was singled out since every channel and newspaper had similar coverage.

The ban was widely condemned by press associations including the Press Club of India which described the action as “uncalled-for-censorship” at a time when press freedom is already under increasing threat in the country’’.

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