New Delhi Television (NDTV) has issued a formal statement on the criticism of the channel for its coverage of the Novemebr 26 attack on Bombay, in particular the old charge dredged up by the chief of the navy staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, of the channel endangering lives in Kargil by asking a military officer to trigger a Bofors gun for its cameras:
“Some media reports have alleged that television channels compromised operations during the terror attack in Bombay, in particular, by telecasting the air-dropping of commandos at Nariman House.
“We would like to assert, that this operation was NOT telecast live on any of NDTV’s channels. We telecast images 45 minutes after the operation had begun on NDTV 24×7, and with a 25-minute delay on NDTV India.
“Similarly, NDTV would like to state that security cordons were determined by officials on site, and not by the media and these were respected at all times.
“As an admirer and supporter of our armed forces, NDTV would never, knowingly or unknowingly, put the lives of our soldiers at risk. In this context, there has also been an allegation that NDTV coverage during the Kargil conflict involved asking a Colonel to trigger a Bofors gun for the camera.
“NDTV wants to emphatically state that the allegation is a falsehood and no such incident ever occurred. It would be extraordinary to even presume that a senior army officer would commit such an act in a conflict situation at the behest of the media!
“There is an official acknowledgment of this motivated falsehood from those who supervised the 1999 conflict. NDTV has formally complained about and asked for an immediate retraction of comments that we believe amount to defamation.”