Taking serious note of channels blackout in Telangana: Prakash Javadekar

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Hyderabad, Sep 11: Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar Thursday said his ministry has taken serious note of the blackout of signals of two Telugu news channels in Telangana and promised to take action in two days.

He assured journalists of TV9 and ABN Andhra Jyoti who met him here Thursday that the ministry would do whatever was legally possible.

"After two days, you will see what actions are being taken," he said at a news conference.

The minister said notice was issued to multiple-system operators (MSOs) last month after the issue was raised in parliament.

The two channels are not being relayed in Telangana since June for allegedly insulting Telangana leaders.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government has clarified that it has not banned the channels but MSOs have blacked out their signals.

As the journalists of the two channels intensified their protest, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao Tuesday said he would teach a lesson to channels insulting Telangana's culture and language.

When journalists' unions drew Javadekar's attention to the chief minister's remarks, he said his ministry would not allow anyone to play havoc with press freedom.

"Media freedom is a very essential ingredient of success of democracy. We will not allow anybody to play havoc with it," he said.

The minister, however, said media freedom entails responsibility.

"It has to be responsible freedom. If you are responsible while enjoying your freedom, we are bound to protect you. We will do our duty," he added.

Police Wednesday arrested about 70 employees of the two channels for staging a sit-in, seeking the intervention of Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan.


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