Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh Police has issued notice to city-based news channel T News for airing an audio tape containing purported conversation between Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and nominated Telangana MLA Elvys Stephenson, saying it "will hurt the sentiments of Telugu-speaking people" in both the states.
The notices that were served late last night evoked criticism from both the channel management and the media fraternity of Telangana. The channel has also called for a protest in front of AP DGP's office, Secretariat and all district headquarters today.
Andhra Pradesh CM N. Chandrababu Naidu
"Since the programme telecast on June 7 at around 8.30 pm contained material disturbing the public tranquillity, affecting the maintenance of law and order as it in violation of Section 5 and Rule 6 of cable TV news network Act, as the programme is defamatory deliberate, false with suggestive innuendos and half-truths," the notice read.
Reacting to the notice, T News Channel CEO Narayan Reddy said AP police has no right to issue notices even before verifying authenticity of the footage scientifically. "We are going to lodge a complaint with the President, Prime Minister, Governor and Press Council of India. Issuing the notice itself is wrong. AP Police has not right to issue such notice. They cannot curtail the freedom of press," Reddy told PTI.
The notice also asked the channel management to reply within three days that why an appropriate legal action should not be initiated against them. Condemning the police's move, Telangana Union of Working Journalists in statement requested scribes to "raise the voice against this undemocratic, unconstitutional and disrespectful approach of AP CM".