West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced that she will appoint an officer to all districts of the state to “check” if television shows are upsetting communal harmony, Hindustan Times has reported.
She made the announcement at a function where representatives from broadcasters and multi-system operators were present.
The Trinamool Congress government had in July last year ordered local cable channels to suspend broadcasting news programmes to contain what it said were rumours and misinformation aimed at stocking communal hatred. Banerjee had ordered the suspension of the broadcast after communal tensions led to violence in Basirhat and Baduria in North 24 Parganas district .
In 2017, the office of ABN Network, India’s only satellite channel in the Nepali language, was raided and sealed by the West Bangal police. The channel was restrained from broadcasting news related to Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts.
Critics have questioned the move, saying the Banerjee-led governments wants to control what people watch on television.
This move comes after West Bengal also witnessed violence during Nam Navami. Multiple processions in the state came were attacked by stone pelters. In one case, the Muslim community prevented the Hindus in a procession from singing. The Banerjee government was accused of not doing enough to ensure security.
The government also came under attack after TMC goons resorted to violence to prevent Opposition candidates from filing nominations for the Panchayat polls. A photojournalist, who was trying to take pictures of TMC goons indulging in violence to stop Opposition candidates from submitting nominations, was allegedly abducted, assaulted and stripped by members of the party.