UK media watchdog imposes 50 thousand pound fine on Khalsa TV

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Feb 13, 2021, 10:40 AM(IST)

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (file photo). Photograph:( Reuters )

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The media watchdog conducted the investigation after it received complaints about Khalsa TV's broadcasts

The UK media watchdog imposed a fine of 50,000 pounds on Khalsa Television Ltd for airing a music video and a discussion program which was an indirect call for British Sikhs to commit acts of violence. The telecast also had a terror reference.

The Office of Communications or Ofcom issued the order on Friday (February 12). The order was passed based on Ofcom's observations that dated back to February and November 2019.

Ofcom has asked Khalsa TV to not telecast the content found to be breaching its rules and guidelines. It has also asked the channel to broadcast a statement of Ofcom's findings on a date and in a form to be determined by the watchdog.

The order states that out of 50,000 pounds, 20,000 are for airing the music video while 30,000 are for airing the discussion programme.

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On July 4, 7, and 9 in 2018, KTV broadcast a music video for a song called 'Bagga and Shera'. Following its investigation, Ofcom 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. The discussion programme in question was aired live on March 30, 2019, as 'Panthak Masle'.

“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 decision states.

“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 notes.

The media watchdog conducted the investigation after it received complaints about Khalsa TV's broadcasts.

(With PTI inputs)

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