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YouTube and X block anti-India propaganda documentary by CBC on Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s murder

The documentary has been published as part of the Fifth Estate program of the CBC. It contained an interview with Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun who is the founder of the Khalistani terrorist organisation Sikhs For Justice

On 14th March (local time), Canada’s government-funded broadcaster CBC said that YouTube has blocked access to a 45-minute documentary on Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s murder. The documentary was banned from viewers in India after the government of India issued orders. The documentary focused on the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia, on 18th June 2023.

Notably, in September 2023, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Indian agents of being involved in the murder of Najjar. Indian government categorically denied the accusations. Interestingly, Canada has failed to provide any credible evidence to India to prove Indian agents were involved in the murder.

The documentary has been published as part of the Fifth Estate program of the CBC. It contained an interview with Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun who is the founder of the Khalistani terrorist organisation Sikhs For Justice. It also contained alleged footage showing the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in a coordinated attack. In the video, it was seen that a white sedan blocked Nijjar’s truck, two men ran up and shot him, and escaped in a silver Toyota Camry. The Canadian police are yet to identify or nab the killers, and their alleged link to the Indian govt remains unproven.

On 14th March, CBC reported that YouTube informed it that the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued an order to ban the documentary for Indian audiences. However, the documentary remained accessible to viewers elsewhere in the world.

X also blocked CBC documentary

Furthermore, X informed CBC that the GoI issued an order to the platform to ban access to the documentary, to which X complied. In a message to CBC, X said, “Indian law obligates X to withhold access to this content in India; however, the content remains available elsewhere.” CBC said, “We disagree with this action and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts. Following the Indian legal process, we communicate with the Indian authorities.”

In its documentary, CBC claimed that it contacted the High Commission of India in Ottawa to participate in their investigation but did not receive any response. Notably, the High Commissioner to Ottawa, Sanjay Kumar, has appeared on several Canadian networks and gave interviews to several outlets where he was asked about the matter related to Nijjar’s murder. However, he did not appear on CBC.

In a statement, a CBC spokesperson said, “As is the case with all stories on The Fifth Estate, ‘Contract To Kill’ was thoroughly researched, vetted by senior editorial leaders and meets our journalistic standards.”

Notably, the Indo-Canadian community has criticised CBC over the documentary. MD of the Surrey-based Radio India, Maninder Singh Gill, said in a letter to CBC president Catherine Tait that the documentary produced by the media house was biased and propaganda (against India). He said, “Terming the Khalistan movement as a legacy of the 1947 Partition of the subcontinent has exposed the CBC’s superficial understanding of the Indian subcontinent’s history.”

Interestingly, the documentary was released by CBC just weeks ahead of the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s murder and Canada’s accusations against India

On 18th September 2023, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dug a deep grave for the India-Canada relationship as he accused Indian agents of being involved in the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil.

In the Canadian Parliament, he said, “Over the past number of weeks, Canadian Security Agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between the agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar.” 

“In the strongest possible terms, I continue to urge the government of India to cooperate with Canada to get to the bottom of this matter,” Trudeau added in his statement.

His allegations led to a diplomatic standoff between India and Canada. Hitting back at the Trudeau government, the Indian government denounced Canada’s allegations as “absurd” and “motivated” and asked Ottawa to furnish solid proof.

The Indian government also pointed out that for internal political compulsions, Trudeau was pandering to the Khalistani extremists. Nearly six months after he aired the allegations in the Canadian Parliament and nine months after Nijjar’s killing, Trudeau’s government has not yet shared any “credible” evidence in this matter. 

Nijjar, who was designated a terrorist by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2020, was shot and killed as he came out of a Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on the evening of June 18, 2023. Video footage of Nijjar’s killing recently surfaced online which Canadian media described as “contract killing”. 

Amid Canada’s failure to indict Indian involvement, “credible” reports had indicated that it could have been a case of “gang violence”. 

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