Hindi news channel NDTV India may be ordered to go off-air on November 9 by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) for its coverage on the Pathankot attacks in January this year.
An inter-ministerial committee of the I&B Ministry recommended that the Hindi channel be shutdown for a day for revealing “strategically sensitive” details during its live broadcast, reports PTI.
An officer in the I&B Ministry told The News Minute that the ministry is likely to accept the recommendations of committee and direct NDTV India to serve the penalty, however NDTV has the option to appeal the order in the tribunal.
If the I&B Ministry acts on the committee’s recommendation, it will be the first order against a broadcaster for its coverage of terrorist attacks.
NDTV India allegedly revealed information on the ammunition stockpiled in the airbase, MIGs, fighter-planes, rocket-launchers, mortars, helicopters, fuel-tanks etc while counter-terrorist operations were on.
PTI also reports that the committee felt that “crucial information” broadcast by NDTV during the operations could have been picked by the terrorist handlers, compromising not only national security but also the lives of civilians and defence personnel.
While a show cause notice was issued to the channel, NDTV India replied stating that it was a case of “subjective interpretation” and the information that had been broadcast was already in the public domain.
In March 2015, the Centre restricted live coverage of anti-terrorist operations by security forces in India. The rule incorporated by the I&B ministry last year follows media coverage during the 26/11 attacks where live broadcast helped terrorist handlers get real-time information on the security forces and its operations.