• Thursday, March 05, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | March 5, 2015 | 8.55 am IST Indiavision, a southern news channel holds the coveted position as the first 24-hour news channel in Malayalam. Started in 2003, the channel became a launchpad for a genervation of TV journalists in Malayalam. However, the crisis that the channel has been facing over a major financial crunch has peaked and now seems to have reached a point of no return. The company was in the news twice in 2014 when its editorial team went on strike over non-payment of salaries.  In latest developments, service tax raids were conducted at the channel's main office in Kochi and the resident director Jamaludeen Farooqi was arrested on Wednesday According to reports, the channel hadn't paid service tax to the tune of almost Rs. 9 crore. Reports also say that a lot of the equipment has been seized. Indiavision has been known to be in crisis earlier. However, it has somehow managed to wade itself out of difficult situations. A channel started by MK Muneer, a minister belonging to the Indian Muslim League, the channel as such has largely maintained a free-editorial policy without much interference.  Muneer, a powerful Muslim League politician is also currently the chairman of the channel. His strong political connections have also helped in quite a number of times. The channel is known to have gone off air twice in the past over financial issues. Once in March 2014, news broadcasting was stopped for 12 hours at a stretch. After this, Executive Editor M.P Basheer and Editor Unnikrishnan were sacked. However, a more publicised protest began when in December 2014, the entire editorial team of the channel went on strike for over a week. During these protests , news bulletins went off air while recorded programmes were played on loop. The employees of the channel have approached the labour commission over complaints that salaries for at least four months had not been paid to employees.  As of now a deadline has been issued that if by March 10 salaries are not paid in full, then all telecast will be stopped. It is in the midst of these developments that the service tax raids and the arrests have come. Tweet