Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Tuesday said the government has issued directions for blocking 110 YouTube-based news channels and 248 URLs since December, 2021 for carrying content against the sovereignty of the country.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Thakur also said the National Crime Records Bureau did not maintain any separate data on journalists.
The minister was responding to a question put by Congress member Pradyut Bordoloi who had sought details and the number of journalists arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act (UAPA), Indian Penal Code and other penal laws during the last five years and the current year.
“‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are state subjects under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India and state governments are responsible for prevention, detection and investigation of crimes and for prosecuting the criminals through their law enforcement agencies,” Thakur said.
He said the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) does not maintain data separately for journalists/media personnel.
Thakur said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued directions for blocking access of 110 YouTube-based news channels and 248 user generated URLs, including webpages, websites, posts/accounts on social media platforms, podcasts, and apps for carrying content referred to section 69A of the IT Act, 2000.
In response to a separate question, Thakur said the Fact Check Unit of the Press Information Bureau has busted more than 1,160 fake news.
The minister said the Fact Check Union takes cognisance of news both suo motu and by way of queries sent by citizens.