Srinagar: The State Human Rights Commission on Tuesday issued a notice to government on ban on Islamic and other channels in Kashmir Valley by the government.
The notice, seeking response, was issued to Principal Secretary (Home) by Chairperson J&K State Human Rights Commission Justice Bilal Nazki while hearing a petition filed by Centre for Peace and Protection of Human Rights through its Chairman M.M.Shuja.
On July 7, the administration vide an order (No:DMS/Jud/Misc/667-668/2018) banned as many as 30 cable TV channels “most of which are non-political and purely Islamic channels telecasting religious content particularly “Quran” and “Sunnah”.”
“ The banning of transmission of these channels is, in the opinion of public at large, direct interference in the religion practicised by Muslims in Kashmir Valley,” Shuja says in his plea. He submitted that Hajj-2018 is now approaching only a few days after and Hajj flights from Srinagar to Saudi Arabia have already started. ‘The pilgrims usually view Islamic channels round the clock to prepare themselves for effectively performing the Hajj and banning of these channels is bound to deprive them of the particulars involved in performing various duties and obligations connected with the Hajj.”
That apart from Islamic channels, Shuja said it was surprisingly that a sports and a music channel has also been banned under the order.
“That banning of cable TV network to the extent of above channels is totally unconstitutional and also a direct violation of “Human Rights” in the present day world.”
On one hand the authorities are stressing on digital India and on the other hand banning of digital channels is contradictory, he says. “By imposition of ban a large chunk of youth engaged by cable operators is bound to lose their job and the cable operator themselves are under the threat of losing sizeable percentage of viewership. All the banned channels cannot and should not be measured by single yard stick and the authorities should have examined the content on channel to channel based.”
Shuja said that some national news channels are in-fact responsible for spreading communal and sectarian propaganda which can insight violence and develop hatred against many classes of the society. “The respondents should have acted proactively and banned such channels also. Non banning of such channels in pinpointing to a simple fact that the order is arbitrary and in colorable exercise of power and thus liable to be withdrawn.”