Television

I&B gives India TV time till 1 December to reply to notice

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MUMBAI / NEW DELHI: The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has issued a notice to India TV for airing telephonic conversation with two terrorists holed up in Nariman House and The Oberoi Hotel.

Confirming the development to Indiantelevision.com, a senior I&B official said India TV was given time till 1 December to reply to the notice. The ministry has demanded an explanation from the channel for affording a “platform to terrorists to espouse their cause” and will consider taking “stringent action'' after that.

Justifying India TV's stance, COO Rohit Bansal said: "We will be sending a comprehensive reply to the ministry."

He said that the telephonic conversations helped security agencies give compelling answers on their accent and provide first-hand confirmation to the world that they had come from Pakistan and not from Hyderabad in the Deccan.

“India TV partnered with the help of security agencies and helped generate specific and information that one terrorist, Shadullah, was using the mobile phone of a Swedish lady, Lisa Ringner, kept hostage in Room No.1856 at The Oberoi. The other terrorist Imran Babar, holed up in Nariman House, was using the phone belonging to another hostage, Holtzberg Gaverlein. India TV repeatedly asked these terrorists to surrender, as they were surrounded by security agencies and appealed to them to release the hostages.”

Defending India TV's position, Bansal further said: "All across the globe, video/audio messages of Osama Bin Laden and interviews of self-styled commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashker-e-Taiba have been broadcast by the media. These stories have exposed the perpetrators of terror. The entire objective of India TV was similar. We engaged the two terrorists in on-air conversations and secured vital information about their numbers, intentions and their foreign origin.”

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