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Refusing to follow Uttarakhand HC order, top TV channel 'vitiating' communal situation

By Our Representative
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), in an open letter to the Uttarakhand Chief Secretary, with copy to the Director General of Police and the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, has regretted that the Sudarshan TV and its editor Suresh Chahvanke are refusing to comply with the order passed by Uttarakhand High Court to cancel the proposed Mahapanchayat, apprehending it might further deteriorate the already vitiated communal situation in the State.
The order dated June 15, 2023 not only bars the Mahapanchayat but also prohibits to engage with any interviews on it on social media/media, it said, adding, “While passing this order, the Hon’ble Court noted that debates on television or social media with allegations and counter allegations could cause potential flare ups in the communal situation and hence stated that all concerned parties are to refrain from debates in the media to normalise the situation.”
Asking the State chief secretary and the DGP as also other concerned officials “to advise the organizers of Mahapanchayat and bring the aforesaid order to their specific notice that they are barred from interacting with the media or giving interviews”, PUCL said, the government should make available a copy of the order to all media houses through a press release that the media houses cooperate in ensuring the maintenance of peace and harmony.”
The PUCL underlined, “We are also writing this letter asking you to discharge your constitutional and statutory duty by filing a complaint against Sudarshan TV”, regretting, “The CMD and editor of Sudarshan TV Suresh Chavhanke, has made a public announcement through twitter in defiance of the order ...” 
The editor in his announcement said, “Purola, Uttarkashi’s restricted mahapanchayat will take place in the Sudarshan News Studio Live. The government did not give space in a ground but we will give it platform on TV that too with politicians”.
“If the Mahapanchayat is allowed to air live on TV media, it is likely to not only the pose the threat to right to life of Muslims in the Uttarakhand but across India since it can be circulated with ease using the electronic medium”, PUCL said, adding, “The channel is in blatant disregard of the Hon’ble Court’s order, preparing to offer a platform to the alleged organisers/members of the offending Mahapanchayat in order to further stoke communal hatred.”



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