In a move against Khalistani propaganda machinery in Europe, the United Kingdom’s media watchdog has imposed a fine of 50,000 pounds on a pro-Khalistan network – Khalsa Television Ltd or KTV for broadcasting a hateful music video and a discussion programme that asked British Sikh to commit violence and also contained a terror reference.
According to the reports, the British media regulator – Office of Communications (Ofcom) has issued the order to penalise the pro-Khalistan TV network on Friday following its investigations it had launched in 2019.
In a scathing order, the British media regulator has directed the channel to broadcast a statement of Ofcom’s findings on a date and in a form to be determined by the watchdog. They have warned KTV not to repeat the music video or the discussion programme found in breach of its rules.
“Ofcom has imposed financial penalties of 20,000 pounds and 30,000 pounds on Khalsa Television Limited in relation to its service KTV for failing to comply with our broadcasting rules. The 20,000 pounds penalty relates to a music video. The 30,000 pounds penalty relates to a discussion programme,” the Ofcom order reads.
The video and the show advocated violent action against the Indian state and glorified violent acts promoting Sikh secessionist movements. They encouraged violence towards those who criticise the Sikh faith and legitimises a terrorist organisation. The music video had images of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, which Ofcom considered “video’s narrative of advocating violent action against the Indian state”.
The video had a caricature of Indira Gandhi with blood dripping from her mouth, accompanied by the caption “You drank the blood of innocents you evil woman”. The lyrics read, “Warriors will destroy your kingdom”, that had images of flames superimposed on the Red Fort in Delhi.
KTV is a television channel broadcasting largely to the Sikh community in the United Kingdom under a licence held by Khalsa Television Limited.
The Ofcom had launched an investigation after receiving complaints against KTV that their music video and discussion programme was likely to “encourage or incite crime or violence”.
Video and programme had incited violence, says Ofcom
In July 2018, KTV broadcast a music video for a song called ‘Bagga and Shera’. The individuals referred in the video include Bagga and Shera, Khalistani terrorist Jagtar Singh Johal, and former leaders of the KLF, the regulator said.
In the video, the two characters are preparing to carry out assassinations in the UK, juxtaposed with images of real people who have been convicted of or charged with committing murders for political reasons.
Earlier, the NIA has indicted several individuals linked to the KLF, including Sikh activists Ramandeep Singh Bagga and Hardeep Singh Shera, for their attempts to carry out targeted killings in India.
Following its investigation, Ofcom had found that the music video was an “indirect call to action for Sikhs living in the UK to commit violence, up to and including murder”.
KTV programme defended Khalistani terror organisation – Babbar Khalsa
The pro-Khalistan network had carried out a discussion show – ‘Panthak Masle’ that was aired live on March 30, 2019. The programme had offered a platform for several guests to air objectionable views that amounted to “indirect calls to action and were likely to encourage or incite the commission of a crime or lead to disorder”.
During the show one of the panellists, Baldev Singh, referred to the Babbar Khalsa, saying, “We have no arguments with anybody…Babbar Khalsa, we eat and drink with them, we have good links with all of them”.
“Ofcom also found that it included a reference to the proscribed terrorist organisation the Babbar Khalsa, and which in our view could be taken as legitimising it and normalising its aims and actions in the eyes of viewers,” it noted.
Babbar Khalsa is a terrorist organisation that intends to create an independent Sikh state in India through violent means and is responsible for several terror attacks in the country resulting in many civilian deaths.