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Home > News > PTI

Gujarat TV blackout: Distribution resumes, sting claims first victim

October 27, 2007 23:25 IST

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Cable distribution of three major TV networks resumed on Saturday night after they were blacked out for the third day in Ahmedabad district as a fallout of the Tehelka sting on post-Godhra riots, which claimed its first victim with a government lawyer resigning.

With the controversial action triggering an outcry in the media and described as a blatant assault on the freedom of the press, the state government appeared to wash its hands off this controversial action.

Channels of three leading networks -- Aaj Tak, CNN-IBN and NDTV -- had faced the ire of the administration.

Government pleader Arvind Pandya ,who figured in the programme, put in his papers and filed a police complaint against Aak Tak and its Gujarat corresponent.

Pandya, who represents the government in some post-Godhra riot cases and also in the Nanavati Inquiry Commission, alleged he was cheated after he was told that his services were required to act in a "serial" on riots.

TV Today, which owns the Aaj Tak channel, denied the charges.

Ahmedabad District Collector Dhananjay Dwivedi, who placed restrictions on the three channels, said his instructions were misinterpreted.

Dwivedi also sought to put the onus on the cable TV operators to resume the transmission.

"The instructions were misinterpreted. It was clearly stated to the cable operators that only the particular news programmes on the sting operation on the post-Godhra riot incidents and other such programmes should not be shown. There was no ban on the networks showing other programmes," Dwivedi told PTI.

Dwivedi said the instructions given three days back were very clear and inspite of this, the channels and the cable operators acted in a hasty manner and stopped transmitting any news bulletin.

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