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4G won’t be a problem in JK: Murmu

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‘Information Dept can’t decide what content is fake, anti-national’

Srinagar: Stating that 4G won’t be a problem and that it had no objection in restoring the high speed internet, Lieutenant Governor, G C Murmu , while talking to a national newspaper (The Sunday Express) has said that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been making representations for this with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.  “We have been making (a) representation for this… I feel that 4G will not be a problem. I am not afraid how people will use this. Pakistan will do its propaganda, whether it is 2G or 4G. It will always be there… But I don’t see an issue,” G C Murmu was quoted as saying by ‘The Sunday Express’ here Friday.

Seen as a shift in its earlier stance over the high speed internet restoration, the JK administration has made it clear that it had no issues with restoration of 4G internet and that there was no problem in doing so.

Pertinently, on May 11, the J&K administration had sought the dismissal of a plea by the Foundation for Media Professionals at the Supreme Court stating that the 4G internet would enable the spread of fake news/ rumours, and transfer of heavy audio/ video files, which could be used by terror outfits for incitement, planning attacks.

To another question on the J&K Information Department’s Media Policy 2020, which empowers the DIPR (Department of Information and Public Relations) to examine media content for fake news, plagiarism and unethical or anti-national activities, Lt Governor Murmu was quoted as saying that, “I will check this, this is not required. There are relevant IPC/ CrPC and other laws for this.”

The policy, implemented by the Information Department on May 15, 2020, said, “DIPR shall examine the content of the print, electronic and other forms of media for fake news, plagiarism, unethical or anti-national activities.” Any individual or group indulging in this shall be de-empanelled, it said. “A suitable mechanism with specific ToRs (terms of reference) shall be set up by the DIPR for monitoring the above and ensuring adherence to the guidelines,” it said.

Murmu, while talking to ‘The Sunday Express’, said that the policy was primarily revised to give space to the electronic and social media. “Advertisements were given only to print and local media – patronage. People haven’t done anything for electronic and social media,” he said emphasizing that other things in the policy were normal. “If you see the government of India or other states’, the accreditation policy depends on circulation, readership, etc. The policy follows the same things… there is nothing discriminatory,” he said.

The Lieutenant Governor was also quoted as saying that the DIPR did not have the capacity to decide whether a news is “anti-national.”

“This obviously, only the agencies can check. We can delete this also (from the revised media policy). They (DIPR) only have to do the checks required for accreditation, but not facts… if there is such a situation, they will get it checked from agencies. What is ‘anti-national’ is a parameter of law… the Supreme Court has given judgements on this from time to time… Again, agencies or police will have to do (look into this),” Murmu was quoted as saying by the publication. “I have already told the Information Department to re-check all this,” Murmu said while talking to the publication.

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