Ban on two 'yellow' channels lifted?

The cable operators in Andhra Pradesh on Monday quietly lifted the ban on two Telugu television news channels – ABN Andhra Jyothy and TV5, who the ruling YSR Congress party has been accusing of being “yellow media.”

According to highly placed sources, a decision to lift the ban on the two channels was taken just before YSRC president and chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy left for New Delhi to meet Union minister Amit Shah.

Apparently, Jagan did not want Shah to raise the issue at the meeting, as it has become a national issue and Editor’s Guild had brought it to the notice of the Union home minister. So, Jagan reportedly asked his officials to see that the ban on the two channels is lifted.

There is also another reason for the lifting of the ban. Recently, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) imposed heavy penalty on the AP Fibernet for its unofficial ban on the ABN and TV 5 news channels.

The TDSAT expressed its anger at the reasons expressed by cable operators and also AP Fibernet in banning the two channels.

The tribunal imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the government for banning the channels and said it the ban continued, the AP Fibernet would have to pay a fine of Rs 2 lakh per month.

Apparently, Jagan did not want to make it a big issue and hence, gave the nod for removal of restrictions on the channels.