New Delhi, July 8: There are 24 unauthorised foreign channels that are transmitted illegally in India. Among this is the Dubai based Peace TV on which the controversial Dr Zakir Naik airs his views.
In a reply during question hour in the Lok Sabha, union minister, Rajyavardhan Rathore had said that out of the 24 channels, 11 were from Pakistan. Despite the Peace TV not getting a licence, some cable operators continued to transmit it illegally.
Today the name of Naik has cropped up once again after one of the Dhaka attackers had said that he was inspired by the controversial Islamic Preacher.
In the year 2009, Peace TV had approached the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for a licence. However the same was rejected. As per the Cable TV Act, transmitting a channel without a licence is a punishable offence. Action can be taken against the cable operator by either the District Magistrate or the Superintendent of Police.
Peace TV has been one of the major mediums through which Naik would deliver his speeches. The I&B ministry has directed the state governments to act against those cable operators who are transmitting such channels including Peace TV.
With the government now deciding to probe Naik, various platforms on which he delivered his speeches too would be scanned. These include platforms such as YouTube also.
However no decision has been taken as yet to pull down the videos on YouTube as of now and officials say that they are awaiting a Home Ministry directive on the same.
On the watch list
Terming several of these channels as hate channels, the Intelligence Bureau had directed that the same be placed under the watch list. The IB which had listed Peace TV as one of channels spreading hate had said that the discourses being shown on the channels could create communal trouble.
It was also stated that most of these channels were being beamed live through cable operators. Several cable operators in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi were found to be transmitting these channels illegally.