KCR threatens to bury media, stirs row

KCR threatens to bury media, stirs row

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) has stirred a controversy after threatening to “bury” the media “ten feet under the earth” if they continued to “insult” the newly-carved out state.

The chief minister vented his anger at protesters who tried to stop his convoy at Warangal on Tuesday. The journalists staged a dharna in front of  Raj Bhavan for the second consecutive day, protesting the gagging of the media by the government.

They demanded the governor’s intervention in lifting the ban on two Telugu news channels— TV 9 and ABN Andhra Jyothi—by the Telangana Multi System Operators (MSOs) with the active support of the government. “We have gathered here to peacefully protest but police arrested 70 of our reporters,” one of the TV 9 employees said. 

The protesters had demonstrated at his official residence in Hyderabad and also at Raj Bhavan. They also registered their protest during a press conference by IT Minister Tarakarama Rao, son of the chief minister. “We'll break their necks and throw them out. Is this a channel for us? We'll bury whoever insults the Telangana Assembly. We won’t allow idiotic games. I'm saying this as the chief minister of the state,” KCR said.

“I salute multiple system operators who stopped transmission of the two television channels. If they (TV channels) do not change their attitude, I will teach them a lesson,” the chief minister said. “Those who want to live on Telangana soil should learn to respect the local culture, language and traditions,” he said. “If you insult our culture, you have no place here,” he told the channels. “You brand public representatives as drunken monkeys, describe them as lumpens. Is this freedom of the press,” he asked.

The signals of the two channels have been blacked out since June after they telecast programmes allegedly ridiculing Telangana leaders and culture. The Telangana Assembly also passed a resolution against the channels and the matter of a privilege motion is pending with the Telangana Assembly Speaker. The government has clarified that it has not imposed any ban on the channels but the MSOs have blacked out their signals. 

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