TV channels asked to restrict live coverage of anti-terror ops


TV channels asked to restrict live coverage of anti-terror opsNEW DELHI: Noticing that some TV channels have been covering live anti terrorist operations, the Information and Broadcasting ministry has asked news broadcasters to restrict such telecasts to periodic briefing by officials till the operation concludes.

In its advisory issued today, the I&B ministry said that it has in the past issued advisories to TV channels in the interest of national security to not focus on or report location strength, movement, strategy and other related operations followed by security forces engaging with terrorists to avoid any adverse impact on the operations.

“Whereas it has again come to the notice of this ministry that some TV channels have covered live ongoing anti-terrorist operations on 20.03.2015,” the advisory issued by the ministry to broadcasters said.

The ministry’s advisory has been issued on a day when a ‘fidayeen’ squad of militants in Army fatigues stormed a police station in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, killing three security personnel and leaving 11 others, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police injured, early today.

Two terrorists were also killed in the subsequent encounter with security forces that ended around noon.

The ministry’s advisory asked all TV channels to safeguard innocent lives and to ensure that no operations linked information reaches terrorists and their handlers.

It said that in the interest of national security live coverage of counter terrorism operations by security forces should not be telecast.

“The media coverage may be restricted to periodic briefing by an earmarked official till the operation concludes,” the Ministry said while also referring to the relevant guidelines under the Cable TV (Regulation) Act and rules.

The Ministry’s advisory comes at a time when the Home Ministry has conveyed to the I&B ministry that it is of the view that there should be suitable restrictions and guidelines related to live media coverage of security operations.-PTI