'Refrain From Broadcasting Communal Content': Bengal Govt to Cable Operators

This comes after suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's derogatory remarks against the Prophet on a TV channel.

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The West Bengal government on Monday, 13 June, issued an advisory for all multiple-system operators (MSOs) and cable operators in the state, directing them to refrain from transmitting content having communal tones.

"Several satellite TV channels are transmitting coverage of news and incidents in such a manner which are misleading, sensationalized and having communal tone likely to cause breach of peace in the State," an official notice issued by the Home and Hill Affairs Department of Bengal stated.

"State Government strongly advises all MSOs and cable operators who are broadcasting such news and programs of various private satellite TV channels to immediately refrain from transmitting any such content which is violative of above mentioned Cable Television Network Act, 1995."
The notice

This comes amid a ballooning controversy over suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma's derogatory remarks against the Prophet Muhammad, which were made during a debate on a TV channel.

On 29 May, Sharma was booked under sections 295A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 505B of the Indian Penal Code (inducing to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquility) after a complaint was filed by Raza Academy, an organisation representing the Indian Sunni Muslims.

This was after a clip from Sharma's appearance on a Times Now debate was shared on Twitter, in which Sharma was heard mocking Islam and Prophet Muhammad.

As India received global condemnation for the statements and the matter snowballed, the BJP on 5 June suspended Sharma.

Times Now news anchor Navika Kumar, who had been moderating the debate, has been named in a First Information Report (FIR) for allegedly intending to outrage religious sentiments, as per reports.

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Topics:  West Bengal   Prophet Row 

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