In a move that has sent shockwaves through the Indian media landscape, the Indian government has suspended the Marathi news channel Lokshahi Marathi’s license for 30 days.
This drastic action stems from a controversial primetime news report aired on the channel in July 2023, which featured allegations against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya.
The Contentious Report:
The report, broadcast on July 17, 2023, contained unverified claims and purported video footage related to Somaiya.
The nature of the allegations remains unclear due to legal restrictions and ongoing investigations. However, the report’s airing sparked outrage and accusations of defamation against Somaiya and the channel.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) issued the suspension order citing Lokshahi Marathi’s violation of program and content guidelines, specifically the Broadcasting Services Regulations, 2011.
The MIB accused the channel of airing “objectionable” content that could “harm the reputation of individuals” and “disturb public order.”
Lokshahi Marathi has vehemently contested the suspension, calling it a “blatant attack on freedom of the press.”
The channel claims that the report was based on credible sources and followed journalistic ethics. They have also highlighted that no legal action has been taken against them regarding the report’s content.