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Bangladesh bans Peace TV
MUMBAI: Bangladesh has banned the broadcast of Peace TV, which is run by Mumbai-based Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.
The decision was taken on Sunday during a special meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Law and Order.
The Bangladesh government has also said that it would monitor sermons delivered during the Friday prayers. The government would crack down on “provocative” speeches.
Earlier, Cable TV Operators Bangladesh (COB) president Mir Hossain Akhtar said that cable TV operators in the nation wish to stop airing Zakir Naik’s Peace TV.
“We want to stop airing the channel across the country, but in the absence of any government notification in this regard, it is not possible at the moment. In the past, I myself used to watch the channel, but after the Dhaka terror attack, I realised that many do not view the channel the way I do it,” Akhtar said.
Former COB president S M Anowar Parvez said, “We are a peace-loving nation and we do not require any Peace TV”.
He said that it would be easy to block telecast of Peace TV across the country if a Bangladesh government order is issued.
Though most cable TV operators have voiced unanimity in their intent to ban Peace TV after the Gulshan incident, Anwar Parvez said that the decision to air or ban any particular channel rests with the Bangladesh Information Ministry and there is very little that cable TV operators can do.
Parvez also said that the 24-hour free-to-air channel has already been stopped in some parts of Dhaka.
Incidentally, preacher Zakir Naik’s speeches are banned in the UK, Canada and Muslim majority Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu has gone on record saying that the recent Dhaka terror attack was carried out by followers of preacher Zakir Naik.
“We are aware of the allegations against this TV channel and these will be investigated. The work will begin as soon as the ministry opens. We will take a stand on the issue without delay. Offices will open after Eid holidays. We will take a decision soon after that,” the Bangladesh Information Minister said.