Govt issues order to ban airing Peace TV, online version


Dhaka, July 11: The government on Monday issued an order to cancel the downlink permission for Zakir Naik’s channel Peace TV in Bangladesh.

Besides, it has also decided to take off Peace TV from online sites as well.

The information ministry issued the order which confirmed by the joint secretary of the information ministry Akhtaruzzaman Talukdar.

The information ministry order reads: “Based on the Cabinet committee’s decision, free-to-air TV channel Peace TV’s downlink permission has been cancelled for violating downlink conditions.”

The Cabinet committee on law and order on Sunday took the decision.

The decision followed allegations that the Indian preacher’s speeches, sermons and explanation of Islam-related issues were ‘inspiring acts of terrorism’ and had radicalising influence on youths.

After the Cabinet committee’s decision on Sunday, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu had said the administrative steps would be taken on Monday morning to take the channel off air.

“Peace TV is not consistent with Muslim society, the Quran, Sunnah, Hadith, Bangladesh’s Constitution, our culture, customs and rituals,” he said.

Naik is the founder and president of Mumbai-based charity organisation Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), which owns Peace TV. The contents in English, Urdu and Bangla are broadcast from Dubai.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Telecommunication Tarana Halim said that the measures to take off Peace TV from online version will be in place after talks with Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

“The closing of URLs for online viewing of Peace TV on YouTube and Facebook is underway after the decision,” said BTRC Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood.

Cable operators across the country have started stopping broadcast of the channel owned by Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’ hours after the government issued an order cancelling its downlink permission.