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India closes down ‘Peace TV’ channel

Cable networks carrying a Dubai-based channel, Peace TV, backed by a Mumbai Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, have been told to switch off the controversial channel. India is understood to be looking closely at another 20 or so channels with similarly controversial backgrounds.

India’s Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) says Peace TV is not licensed to be carried by India’s cable MSOs or satellite DTH systems.

An MIB advisory note says: “Reports are being received of such content being broadcast through private satellite TV channels, such as Peace TV channel, which are not permitted by this Ministry for downlinking into the country. lt may be noted that the role of your state government in this regard is crucial in preventing any broadcast or transmission of such non-permitted channels by the cable operators.”

The channel is already banned elsewhere, while the preacher’s Islamic Research Foundation is on India’s ‘Watch List’ for alleged misuse of donations.

The MIB says it is looking at other channels broadcasting from Pakistan or the MENA region which it considers to “not conducive to the security environment” or “not fit for telecasting”.

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