Hyderabad, Feb 21 (IANS) Hyderabad police Monday warned television channels against telecasting violent scenes during the ongoing movement for separate Telangana state.
Police Commissioner A.K. Khan said contempt of court proceedings could be initiated against channels repeatedly telecasting violent footage as this was creating a feeling of panic among people.
In a letter to the heads of the channels, he reminded them that any violation of Cable Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 may attract imprisonment up to two years and if the offence is repeated, this may go up to five years.
Khan informed them that he was authorised to prohibit transmission of programmes in public interest and may also seize equipment.
Taking note of the telecast of violent incidents that took place during Osmania University students’ march to the assembly, the police chief pointed out that the Act prohibits telecast of programmes which are likely to incite violence or contain anything affecting maintenance of law and order or which promote anti-national attitudes.
Khan said the orders issued by Andhra Pradesh High Court for implementation of the programme code under the Act were still in force and any violation would be treated as contempt of court.
The curbs on electronic media were first imposed last month when the Srikrishna Committee’s report on Telangana was made public. The curbs, however, evoked strong protest from media and civil society groups, which termed them an attack on freedom of press.