Illegal radio stations put WB in a fix

Illegal radio stations put WB in a fix

Programmes in unidentified languages aired; Prasar Bharati signals suppressed

Police and intelligence officials are now investigating these channels’ involvement in spreading coded messages to Maoist workers and sympathisers suspected to be operating from some sub-divisional towns in South 24 Parganas district of the state. Since the medium-wave signal suppress Prasar Bharati signals, many a time fishermen going to the sea daily are also unable to hear the weather bulletin and cyclone alerts.
The transmission took place mostly in four specific frequencies allotted to Prasar Bharati by the Wireless Planning Commission.

With unusual names like Ma Nachinda betar kendra, Ma Manasa betar kendra, Ma tara, Jai Ma bhabani, these unauthorised stations broadcast songs, movie dialogues and local advertisements in Bengali and Oriya as the signals can be picked up in South 24 Paraganas as well as East and West Midnapur districts.
WPC too located some illegal radio stations in Midnapur two years ago. In 2008, the police raided six unauthorised private radio stations in South 24 Paraganas. The offenders were booked under the Indian Telegraphic Act and other laws.
Within a few months eight new stations cropped up.

And this time, the programme is being aired in an unidentified language from different locations besides the regular Bengali and Oriya transmissions.

“It sounds like Santhali. But I don’t know Santhali that well and cannot vouch for it. We could also not figure out where the signals originate from,” said one of the two amateur radio (HAM) operators who tipped off the police and monitors the programming.
Deccan Herald sought more information from A Ranade, deputy inspector general of police (operations) of the West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department. Additional superintendent of police (headquarters) Mitesh Jain and Kakdwip sub-divisional police officer Jayanta Mukherjee admitted that unauthorised radio stations had mushroomed in the Sunderbans and some of the islands of the district. They feared possible adverse impact of the radio stations, especially in maintaining law and order, particularly in the event of large gatherings of people such as the Gangasagar fair in mid-January.
But they remained non-committal on these channels’ involvement in spreading coded Maoist messages to areas in south Bengal.

Asked about the Maoist involvement, an official in Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s office said he could not comment as the matter was under investigation.


WB govt withdraws IG’s suspension
Apprehending a backlash from the jawans of Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR), the West Bengal government on Monday backtracked on suspending the EFR chief, who had come down heavily on the authorities, reports DHNS from Kolkata. Instead, he has been asked to show cause for breaking service rules and wearing a mask at a press meet.

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