TV9 off air in Karnataka, channel blames government of censorship
news Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | November 24, 2014 | 10.23 pm IST The not so subtle vendetta that a Kannada news channel in Karnataka and a minister in the ruling Congress government has taken a new turn, with the channel alleging that it was taken off air following the intervention of the minister. Kannada news channel TV9 its sister concern English news channel News 9 owned by Associated Broadcasting Company Limited, were taken off air in several parts of the state, according to a press release issued by the two channels. The channel claimed that â€śThe action of the cable operators emanates from a meeting between them and Karnataka minister for Energy D K Shivakumar a few days ago, at which the minister ordered them to stop telecasting TV9 and NEWS9.â€ť According to the news channels, following the meeting, the cable operatorsâ€™s association has sent the following directive to its members: â€śDear MSO's, It has been noticed that from long time TV 9 channel has been working against the interest of our industry, and has been unnecessarily carrying propaganda against the government which has its direct impact on us by taking the government headon. As you are all well aware that we are approaching government to provide us right of way for our optic fiber accross our networks, and also help us by not increasing the taxes, and fortunately the government is also responding positively. Today already we the LMO'S and MSO'S are facing the brunt of digitisation, we are in no situation to take more increase on taxes and other costs on ROW. Please be informed that our representative had spoken to TV9 official repeatedly requesting them not to propagate such anti government activities but in vain, Hence we from KSCOA request you all to switch off TV9 and News9 from 06:00pm today until further notice.â€ť This is not the first time that TV9 and energy minister D K Shivakumar have locked horns. Some months ago, two journalists from News 9 were arrested after Shivakumar lodged a complaint with the police alleging that they had come to offer him a bribe. The journalists however, said that they were carrying out a sting operation and in the course of events, had been molested and manhandled by Shivakumkarâ€™s staff in his presence. Some time ago, K Chandrashekar Rao had threatened to "bury the media" if they did not stop telecasting certain kinds of news. The channels were not being aired in many parts of Telangana for some time after this. Even though the stand-off has been resolved, Tv9 Telugu is still not be restored in all parts of the state.