A fine of Rs 50,000 has been imposed on News18 India by News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) for its coverage of the Karnataka hijab ban. The anchor, Aman Chopra, who was the anchor of the show aired on April 6 this year, kept comparing the hijab-supporting panellists with Al Qaeda.
Releasing a statement here on Wednesday, the NBDSA said it strongly deprecated the tendency of the broadcaster by labelling them as “Zawahari gang member”, “Zawahiri’s ambassador”, “Zawahiri is your God, you are his fan”.
The NBDSA also raised alarm for airing tickers such as “#AlQaedaGangExposed”, “Hijab ka fata poster, nikla Al Qaeda”, “Al Zawahiri found behind the Hijab”, ” Al Qaeda has planned the hijab controversy”.
“The NBDSA observed that the anchor had not only acted in flagrant disrespect of the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards and the Specific Guidelines Covering Reportage but also failed to abide by the decision of the Honorable Bombay High Court,” the statement read.
The NBDSA also pointed out that on many occasions the Supreme Court stressed the role of an anchor in a news programme by maintaining a balance between the panellists.
“However, in the instant case, not only had the anchor failed to stop the other panellists from crossing the boundary but had given them a platform to express extreme views which could adversely affect the communal harmony in the country,” the statement read.
NBDSA further directed News18 and Aman Chopra to remove the video of the programme from its website and all platforms. It should be confirmed in writing within seven days of the Order.