Illegal Jihadi TV’s Banned, Thanks to Daily Pioneer Exposure

published on September 29, 2009

Thanks to efforts of Daily Pioneer, It has been learnt that Illegal Islamic channells airing in India has been temporarily banned by Information and Broadcasting Ministry.



I&B Ministry, cops don’t watch TV!

J Gopikrishnan | New Delhi

Cablewallas help unauthorised channels to flood India’s airwaves

Cocking a snook at regulatory authorities, cable operators in league with unscrupulous broadcasters are beaming several non-licensed TV channels into Indian households.

Peace TV, ARY Q TV, TV Maldives, Saudi TV are some of the prominent Islamic channels being illegally downlinked in India by cable operators though these are not in the permitted channels list of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

As per I&B Ministry norms, all channels need to obtain downlinking permission from the Ministry to beam inside the country.

The Ministry has currently given permission to 454 channels for viewing in India and cable operators have to strictly adhere to this list of permitted channels. According to Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Acts and Rules, local police officers and district administration are the authorised officers to prevent any violations.

But violating all rules, most of the Islamic preaching channels, which have either rejected or not even applied to the I&B Ministry for downlinking, are televised by the cable operators across the country. Peace Urdu TV, promoted by Islamic Research Foundation, headed by Mumbai-born Zakir Naik, is being beamed by several cable operators in Delhi.

This channel is being uplinked from Dubai and illegally downlinked by cable operators allegedly by accepting payments from the channel agents.

The Pioneer emailed a letter to Peace TV on Monday, wanting to know if the channel had sought the Ministry’s permission to legalise its downlinking in India. But the channel did not respond.

Pakistan-based ARY Q TV, popularly known as Quran TV, is also illegally televised by cable operators in Delhi and other northern States. In southern States, the major illegal downlinked channels are Saudi TV and TV Maldives.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is the administrator of the Cable TV Networks Act, which has to be enforced by the District Magistrate, Sub-Divisional Magistrate and Commissioner of Police.

But there is a complete lack of coordination between the Central level administrative agencies and the State level enforcement units.

Taking advantage of the situation, agents of the TV channel companies carry out their modus operandi of illegal downlinking, mainly in Muslim-populated areas. These agents reportedly deliver set top boxes free of cost to cable operator for receiving signals and make some annual payment as carriage charges. In some cases, the local police officials are also allegedly getting a share in the deal.

All channels need I&B Ministry’s clearance for down linking

Currently, 454 channels are permitted for downlinking in India

Islamic preaching TV channels Peace Urdu TV, ARY Q TV, Saudi TV, TV Maldives have not yet obtained permission from I&B

Cable TV Networks Act/Rules authorises District Magistrate, Commissioner of Police to prevent the illegal downlinking by cable operators

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