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J&K government bans TV channel, appeals for calm

Shujaat Bukhari

Cabinet condemns desecration of Holy Koran, sees a conspiracy


It seemed to be a deliberate act to instigate sentiments of innocent people

No other reliable channel had telecast such condemnable images


— Photo: AP

A protester pours fuel on burning tyres used as roadblocks during a late night protest on the outskirts of Srinagar on Monday.

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday condemned the desecration of the Holy Koran in New York and appealed to people to maintain peace and calm. The government also banned airing of Tehran-based Press TV.

The Cabinet, led by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, took stock of the violent incidents, which were prompted by the desecration of the Koran. The Cabinet was unanimous in condemning the desecration of the Koran.

“The Cabinet also expressed its complete understanding of the genuinely hurt sentiments of the people on this account. However, it was decided to make a fervent appeal to the people not to take law into their own hands while staging protests, which only result in avoidable loss of life and property,” an official spokesman said.

Chief Secretary S.S. Kapur appealed to people to maintain calm and announced the ban on the television station.

He said it was surprising that only in “Press TV,” an unknown individual was shown, without verification or any authenticity, desecrating the Koran. It seemed to be a deliberate act and a conspiracy to instigate innocent sentiments of people.

Mr. Kapur said he verified with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry the authenticity of “Press TV.” He was informed that this channel was not at all listed among the registered channels being telecast in India. The District Magistrate of Srinagar was asked to issue orders for an immediate ban on the unauthorised channel.

No other reliable channel of the world or of India had telecast such condemnable images of desecration. Even if such an act had occurred at any individual level, it was an act that was strongly condemnable. Provoking the sentiments of innocent people by deliberate telecast of such images was also against the ethics.

Describing the report of the channel as totally against public interest, the Chief Secretary said this unauthorised and unregistered channel (Press TV) was banned in all other districts of the State too.

As a result of rumours, a mob set ablaze a building of the branch of Tyndale Biscoe School at Tangmarg. He said peaceful demonstrations were also held at Kargil and Budgam.

The contribution of the Biscoe School in the educational arena of the State, particularly in the Valley, was remarkable. Therefore, burning the prestigious institution was an unwarranted act, Mr. Kapur noted.

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