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Office of Channel that Aired Content Against Yogi Sealed

The Noida office premises of Nation Live were sealed on 10 June and the matter was reported to the I&B Ministry.

Updated
India
3 min read
Office of Channel that Aired Content Against Yogi Sealed
i

The Noida office premises of private television news channel Nation Live have been sealed and the Gautam Buddh Nagar administration reported the matter to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, officials said on Monday, 10 June, reported news agency PTI.

The head of a private television news channel and its editor were arrested in Noida on Saturday, 8 June, for allegedly broadcasting defamatory content against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, police said.

On Sunday, 9 June, they were remanded in 14-day judicial custody by a local court.

"The incident affects individuals here but its potential damage could have impacted entire Gautam Buddh Nagar, the state and even parts of the country, had it not been countered," District Magistrate Brajesh Narain Singh told reporters.

Singh and Noida police chief Vaibhav Krishna were responding to the criticism of the arrest of the two journalists, amid protests by social activists and Editors Guild of India, which have described the episode an attempt to "intimidate the press, and stifle freedom of expression.”

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"There is a report in a section of media that it is a case of defamation, but it is not only about defamation. It is about nuisance which has a larger impact on public order, peace and tranquillity, according to the administration. I request media for a deeper and not superficial analysis of the episode and see that if the district administration is trying to prevent such incidents, it is based on merit and is correct," Singh said.

"It was a fake and unauthorised channel, so there is sufficient ground for the action," he said, adding, we wanted a speedy remedial, as mentioned in the law, because of the possible consequences of the incident. He said the case will be taken to its logical conclusion.

"We have apprised the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry about the matter in details and awaiting its response,” he added.

Senior Superintendent of Police Vaibhav Krishna said that two FIRs were registered in the case, one by the police and the other by a district information official.

"The incident could have created a law and order situation, a riot-like situation, hence filing FIRs and arresting the duo were needed and during probe it also emerged that they did not have requisite licence for operating a TV news channel," he said.

SSP Krishna said, “We are not trying to regulate anything. Let it be very clear.”

What Led to the Arrest?

During a debate on the channel on 6 June, a woman had allegedly made defamatory statements against Adityanath, police said. In the video aired by channel Nation Live, she is seen speaking to several reporters outside the CM’s office, alleging that she had been talking to Adityanath for nearly a year through video calls.

Workers affiliated to a political party had approached police with a complaint against the news channel for broadcasting the claims of the woman without verifying facts, a senior official said.

An FIR was registered against the channel’s head, Ishika Singh, and Anuj Shukla under IPC sections 500 (for defamation) and 153 (giving provocation with intent to cause riot).

“This could have led to a possible law and order situation,” Vaibhav Krishna, Senior Superintendent of Police, Gautam Buddh Nagar, said.

During probe, it was also found that the channel did not have any requisite licence to operate, he said.

An additional complaint over the illegal operation of the channel was made by the district additional director of information, at Phase 3 police station, following which an FIR under IPC sections 420 (fraud), 467 (forgery of documents) and related offences was registered, the officer said.

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“They have been arrested on both counts, for the defamatory content as well as illegal operation of the channel,” Krishna told PTI.

The channel's version was not immediately available.

Freelance Journalist Held for SM Post Against Yogi

Meanwhile, freelance journalist Prashant Kanojia, who was picked up by Uttar Pradesh Police from his Delhi residence on Saturday, 8 June, for a social media post against UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, has been arrested.

The FIR had said Kanojia was being charged under Section 500 (for defamation) of the IPC and Section 66 of the IT Act. However, a press note by Uttar Pradesh Police after his arrest mentioned that Section 505 of the IPC (for spreading rumours) was added and Section 66 of the IT Act was being replaced by Section 67 (obscenity).

Read the full story here.

(With PTI inputs)

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