After the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting ordered a day-long blackout of Hindi news channel NDTV India for its coverage of the Pathankot terror attack, an organisation that represents editors across media outlets has strongly condemned the order. It has also demanded that the order be withdrawn. 

In a strongly worded statement, the Editors Guild of India has said that the decision to take the channel off the air "is a direct violation of the freedom of the media and therefore the citizens of India and amounts to harsh censorship imposed by the government reminiscent of the Emergency."

The statement says that the first such order to impose the blackout has seen the central government give itself the power to intervene and take action against a media outlet when it doesn't agree with its coverage of an event. 

Source: b'NDTV India has said it is being picked on\xc2\xa0'

"There are various legal remedies available to both a citizen and a state in the Court of Law to have action taken for any irresponsible media coverage. Imposing a ban without resorting to judicial intervention or oversight violates the fundamental principles of freedom and justice. The Editors Guild of India calls for an immediate withdrawal of the ban order," the statement says. 

NDTV had earlier condemned the day-long blackout as well and had said that it would explore options to challenge the ban. 

Here's the full statement by the Editors Guild of India : 

Source: b'The channel is to be blacked out for its coverage of the Pathankot attack | Source: PTI'

The Editors Guild of India strongly condemns the unprecedented decision of the inter-ministerial committee of the Union Ministry of Information Broadcasting to take NDTV India off the air for a day and demands that the order be immediately rescinded.

The ostensible reason for the order as reported is that the channel's coverage of the Pathankot terror attack on January 2, 2016 that the government claims gave out sensitive information to the handlers of terrorists. NDTV in its response to a show cause by the government has maintained that its coverage was sober and did not carry any information that had not been covered by the rest of the media, and was in the public domain.

The decision to take the channel off the air for a day is a direct violation of the freedom of the media and therefore the citizens of India and amounts to harsh censorship imposed by the government reminiscent of the Emergency. This first-of-its-kind order to impose a blackout has seen the Central government entrust itself with the power to intervene in the functioning of the media and take arbitrary punitive action as and when it does not agree with the coverage. There are various legal remedies available to both a citizen and a state in the Court of Law to have action taken for any irresponsible media coverage. Imposing a ban without resorting to judicial intervention or oversight violates the fundamental principles of freedom and justice. The Editors Guild of India calls for an immediate withdrawal of the ban order.