The National Tiger Conservation Authority has banned the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and its South Asia correspondent Justin Rowlatt from filming in tiger reserves in the country for five years.
The NTCA, in a memorandum issued on Monday evening, said that the BBC had failed to submit the documentary to the MoEFCC and the Ministry of External Affairs for mandatory previewing to “remove any deviations, so as to achieve a balanced and accurate exposition of the theme”.
The BBC had faced flak for “erroneous reporting” in a documentary on the Kaziranga National Park. The documentary ‘One World: Killing For Conservation’ was based on reportage by Justin Rowlatt and was critical of the measures taken up by the government to save the one-horned rhinos from poachers’ bullets.
The BBC documentary had claimed that the government was pursuing a “ruthless anti-poaching strategy” and that forest guards were given powers “to kill”. Rowlatt’s documentary had also claimed more poachers were killed than rhinos at the Kaziranga: the film stated 23 poachers had lost their lives to just 17 rhinos last year.
Rowlatt also claimed, in the BBC article introducing the film, that only two intruders were prosecuted while 50 were shot dead since 2014.
The NTCA that governs all tiger reserves has now asked wildlife wardens not to allow permission to the channel to film in the big cat habitats.