The cable television service in Tripura has been suspended for the last two days after Tax and Excise enforcement department officials raided the office of network operator Hathway Digital Limited here and seized the broadcasting equipment on May 15 night.
The Hathway local authority said without any prior intimation, Tax officials raided their rented office in the city claiming that there was a discrepancy in GST payment and they were directed from the top level to close down the office as well as to snap the service.
Besides political parties, the apex body of media in the Tripura Assembly of Journalists’ (AoJ) reacted sharply and asked the government to resume the cable service immediately. If there is any discrepancy in tax payment, the government has the right to take legal action but cannot disconnect the information and entertainment service, AoJ President Subal Kumar Dey stated.
“In the corona situation people are confined at home and entertainment programmes and news are the only sources of amusement of the people. The government has no power to deprive the common citizens of their right to get information and entertainment,” Dey stated.
He charged the government for violating the Covid SOP by the officials while raiding the house and demanded appropriate action against the violators. There was no order from the court or other authority to raid the media network office at night. How can 50 people including armed police storm a small building in the Covid pandemic, Dey asked the government.
The opposition CPI-M alleged that the government was intentionally shutting down the media so that journalists cannot publish and broadcast the news of the failure of both central and state governments in managing the second wave of Covid-19. The government can go to court against any organization for violating the law but it cannot deprive the people of the right to information even for a moment, CPI-M said in a statement.
The BJP-IPFT coalition government has been doing utter injustice by abusing power, which is worse than the black chapter of the 1975 internal emergency, the statement said, adding the demand for immediate resumption of television networks. Uni India