New Delhi: Al Jazeera English, the international English News channel, has ran into trouble with the Indian government over violations of the Broadcast Programming Code for ‘wrong depiction’ of Kashmir in the Indian map. It was granted ‘conditional security clearance’ by the home ministry in July.
Al Jazeera English was placed on the I&B ministry’s list of ‘suspended’ channels, disallowing its telecast following the MHA’s denial of security clearance to the channel in May. The channel, however, followed up with another request for review by the government, and the MHA granted it ‘conditional security clearance’ of three years in July.
Al Jazeera’s 10-year security clearance expired in 2015 and it was granted two interim extensions of one year each until 2017, after the Qatar-based News channel petitioned the MHA for a renewal of its security licence.
The conditional clearance was issued for three years and subject to Al Jazeera giving a written undertaking that it will adhere, in letter and spirit, to the prescribed programming codes laid down by the government.
Government sources said a final decision on the channel pending. This is not the first time the news channel has had a run-in with Indian authorities. In 2015, Al Jazeera English was off air for five days for showing “faulty” maps of the Kashmir region. Al Jazeera English had then run a blue screen on its on its channel for the entire duration of the five-day ban saying it was doing so “as instructed by the ministry of information and broadcasting”.