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Karnataka government withdraws cases against TV9 Kannada for polio story

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BANGALORE: The Karnataka chief minister has directed his home department to withdraw all police cases filed against Kannada news channel TV9. The government will sit down and sort out the 'misunderstanding' with the channel.

The nationwide polio drops administration programme began in Karnataka on Sunday (21 December, 2008). Even as the programme was underway, TV9 telecast a breaking news story reportedly picked up from a Tamil channel that the polio drops had proved fatal. As it turned out, there were no deaths reported due to polio drops anywhere in the country. A child had died due to hydrocephalus and that death was completely unconnected with the polio drops programme.

TV9 Kannada repeatedly played this 'death' clip in the form of breaking news, igniting anxiety among many of the parents who had got their children immunized.

Thousands of parents from cities and towns such as Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Chikmagalur, etc., turned up at the government hospitals seeking relief and cure for their children. Private and government hospitals saw misinformed and anxious parents waiting up to Monday 2.30 am and later for medical assistance.

The Bangalore police had registered 14 cases against the Kannada news channel under Section 505 of IPC for creating panic through mischievous statements.

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