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Cable operators take to streets against govt order, attempt self immolation
SRINAGAR, Feb 26 : Police today foiled a bid of self immolation by cable operators against the closure of cable TV network in most parts of city by the state government.

The cable operators held strong protest demonstrations at Press Enclave here and raised slogans against National Conference (NC) leader and MLC Devinder Singh Rana accusing him of stopping the cable TV. “We refused to feed the Take One and JK Channel through our network and Rana used official machinery to get our operations closed. They have brought us on roads and they are bent upon creating more unemployment in Kashmir,” they alleged.

According to them the 5,000 cable operators have been affected by the move. The protesting cable operators sprinkled kerosene oil on themselves and tried to commit self immolation. However, police intervened and stopped them from committing the act.

The government had last evening closed the office of Site Entertainment Network (SEN), a cable operator at Jehangir Chowk here after Take One and JK channel lodged a complaint that SEN was involved in pirating a package of satellite TV channels for which there was no agreement.

However, the management of SEN Cable operator dismissed the allegations saying it was full of malafide intentions. “First of all we are not a customer of Take One JK Media Private Limited that has complained against us. Second we are authorised by various companies like the One Alliance and Big Reliance to transmit MSMD channels to our customers,” said Rumail Shafi, the executive director of SEN

The SEN management claimed that they have legal documentation of all those channels which they are transmitting from their office. They alleged that the decision of state government to stop their operation was a politically motivated move to favour some highly influential political persons.

Rumail said they are authorised by various companies like one Alliance and Big Reliance to transmit various channels to its customers.

The executive director also said that they have exclusive distribution rights of SETMAX, PIX, MIX, SIX, Discovery, TLC, Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo, Discovery Kids, AXN, Animal Planet, NEO Sports, NEO Prime, SAB, Animax, Aajtak, Headlines Today, and Tez and varies other channels with the concerned companies.

He alleged that Take One and JK Media Private Limited are making baseless allegations against SEN network of not having distributions rights. “We have legal distributions rights to transmit all those channels which we are distributing to our consumer and take one and JK network are making baseless allegations against SEN network,” he said.

The protesters said they have decided to approach court to challenge the decision of the state government. “We are in consultation with legal experts and a case would be filed to challenge the decision so that SEN would restart their operation,” Shafi said.

“This is a mafia, having a patronage of state administration. If state government continues to support these controversial persons, it will lead of series consequences,” they said.

The protesters were holding banners and placards in their hands and were shouting slogans against the decision of the state government. They were demanding lifting of the ban on channels.

The district magistrate said the cable network has been sealed because they do not have legal documents to air the channels. He also said that if the network has any legal documents they will be allowed to run their operations.

The cable network in most of the areas of Srinagar city has stopped after the SEN office was sealed by the district administration.

The SEN channel management is being accused of pirating the satellite pay channels like Star Plus, Star Gold, Colors, Zee Classic, Life Ok, ABP News, NDTV 24&7.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by Vaadi Cable network, an cable network, have appreciated the decision of the district administration by stooping the operations of the SEN channel.

Executive directors, of Vaadi television, Shabeer Hussain and Firdoos Bazaz said that a small group of sub-operators is misleading the general public and media by creating a scene that they are being targeted on political grounds and created a noise that are sole representatives of the cable network in Srinagar.

They said that site entertainment network is working in a specific area of civil lines Srinagar and has always created problem with the company by not paying the due amount of fees at proper time but irony is that they collect fees from the costumers on regular bases.

The executive directors further said that Vaadi television along with the other sub-operators will continue their business as per the set norms with Take 1 JK Media Network. The action taken by the administration to stop the piracy was fully appreciated because this action has placed the rule of law in the cable industry.

Meanwhile, Anantnag Cable operators have strongly condemned the government decision and expressed solidarity with SEN Network. In a statement, they demanded an end of monopoly in cable business

“Anantnag Cable operators association today held an emergency meeting at Anantnag during which hundreds of cable operators from Anantnag participated and expressed solidarity with the SEN Cable network that faced cruel face of monopolistic approach from Take 1 JK Media,” the statement said.

In the meeting, participants expressed deep anguish over the action that has been taken against the SEN cable network and said that using political power, owners of JK Take 1 Media are sabotaging the voice of innocent cable operators in Kashmir and trying to create unemployment.

News Updated at : Tuesday, February 26, 2013
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