A notice was issued by the Hyderabad Police to Raj TV news channel on charges of violation of the Cable Network Regulation Act (CNRA) while covering the violence on Osmania University campus. Visuals telecast by two more Telugu news channels were under observation, Police Commissioner, A.K. Khan, said here on Saturday. He said that the CNRA as well as the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) norms required news channels to observe restraint while covering violent incidents which have potential to provoke people.
“After hearing two writ petitions, the Andhra Pradesh High Court too issued an order which must be complied with by all news channels. Transgression of the order will invite action,” Mr. Khan said. The Commissioner clarified that the police were only enforcing the Act and the High Court order and had not imposed any fresh restrictions ‘as believed by some people'.
The Commissioner's clarification came in the backdrop of the furore among pro-Telangana protagonists and political parties over the near ‘black-out' by most TV channels of news pertaining to clashes between police and the students on the University campus. The students have been staging protests ever since the Justice Srikrishna Committee report was made public on January 6. Unlike last year, the channels have not only stopped visuals of the violence but even stopped the news scrolls. This self-restriction, they claimed, was based on a letter sent by the Police Commissioner to their CEOs on January 5, citing guidelines issued by the NBA about the care to be taken while reporting news relating to the Srikrishna Committee.