DD suspends 5 staffers for not reaching PM's residence on time

Doordarshan has ordered an inquiry and put five of its staffers under suspension after its team failed to reach Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's official residence well in time on Monday to record his speech in connection with the Delhi gangrape incident.

Sources said two camerapersons and three staff members from the engineering wing had been placed under suspension after they turned up late for the recording.

The speech was then recorded by television news agency ANI which was also present for the purpose.

In the speech, the PM had asked people to maintain peace after Sunday's violent protests. The telecast of the speech on news channels in its unedited form yesterday had triggered online criticism as the PM was heard saying 'theek hai' (alright) at the end of his address. The editing error was later corrected.

Sources in the national broadcaster said the suspension of the five persons was not related to the telecast of the unedited speech but for not reaching the venue on time.

The recording of the speech had taken place around 9.30 am but the camera crew of the Doordarshan managed to reach at 9.40 am while the engineering staff arrived a few minutes after 10 am yesterday, the sources said.

An official said crew found it difficult to reach by 9.30 due to traffic restrictions on important roads leading to the 7, Race Course Road residence of the Prime Minister and also because they had been called to come at short notice.

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