The Modi government on Friday, March 6, imposed a 48-hour ban on Malayalam TV news channels Media One and Asianet News for their coverage of communal violence in North East Delhi last week.

In its orders, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting stated the two channels covered the violence on February 25 in a manner that “highlighted the attack on places of worship and siding towards a particular community”. February 25 marked the third day of the violence in the area.

“This is a blatant attack against free and fair reporting,” said Media One in a statement.

The ban orders garnered criticism from Indian journalists and also led to a sizeable protest on the streets of Kozhikode, Kerala (above) on Friday night. Slogans condemning the ban were shouted, as protestors sat on what appears to be a main road intersection. By Saturday morning, however, Asianet News came back on air. Shortly after, Media One also appeared to be back on air.

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