Mamata Banerjee Slams Centre’s Fake News Circular

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Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday termed centre’s ‘Fake News’ move as “draconian” issued by the Press Information Bureau.

She also demanded the immediate withdrawal of the circular. She questioned the government about “the ‘fake news’ spread by a political party on a regular basis”. ” The PIB circular on #FakeNews control is a brazen attempt to curb press freedom, a sure sign that the Govt has lost its way.,” Ms Banerjee posted on her social networking page.

“We demand the immediate withdrawal of such a draconian move. And what about #FakeNews spread by a political party on a regular basis ?” she questioned.

On Monday, the I&B Ministry came out with stringent measures to contain the menace of fake news, saying the accreditation of a journalist could be permanently cancelled if the scribe is found generating or propagating fake news.

As per the amended guidelines for the accreditation of journalists, if the publication or telecast of fake news is confirmed, the accreditation of that journalist would be suspended for a period of six months in the first violation and for one year in case of a second violation. In case of a third violation, his or her accreditation would be cancelled permanently, the ministry currently held by Smriti Irani said in a release.

Amid criticism by the journalistic community, the PMO upheld the supremacy of the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and the Press Council of India (PCI), directing that the press release regarding fake news be withdrawn and the matter should only be addressed in the PCI.

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