UK-based Khalsa TV surrenders broadcast license after airing content which could incite violence
London: Khalsa Television Limited (KTV), a UK-based broadcast channel catering to the British Sikh community, has surrendered its broadcast license after the UK media watchdog Ofcom sent it a draft notice to revoke its license after the channel aired violent content calling people to engage in violence.
According to reports, media watchdog Ofcom has put KTV off-air since March 31 after a programme titled ‘Prime Time’ was accused of broadcasting content which was akin to giving an ‘indirect call to action for Sikhs to commit violence, up to and including murder’ by traveling to Punjab for the separatist Khalistani movement.
Programme presenter Jagjit Singh Jeeta in the 95-minute live discussion programme had called on Sikhs to emulate the past acts of Sikh separatist leaders and commit acts of violence, including murder, which the Ofcom found was in violation of their broadcasting code, reports said.
"The presenter, Jagjit Singh Jeeta, opened the programme with a monologue regarding the progress of the Sikh secessionist cause towards the creation of an independent state of Khalistan since Operation Bluestar in 1984, during which he set out his view that the current leadership of the Sikh community lacked the courage or drive to take the necessary action to achieve this aim," according to an Ofcom statement.
"He focused on the recent end of the Farmers’ Protests in Punjab and in particular, the arrest of Sikh activist Jagmeet Singh and his mother, Jasveer Kaur. Later in the programme the presenter took calls from viewers to discuss the issue of the pro-Khalistan cause," it added.
Ofcom said it had received three complaints that the programme was likely to encourage or incite crime or violence, and all the complainants said that the programme encouraged Sikhs, and in particular young Sikhs, to become involved in terrorism.
The media watchdog said this was the third time within four years that this licensee (KTV) had been found in breach of our rules on incitement to crime due to programmes inciting violence.
"On 26 May 2022, having received Ofcom’s draft revocation notice, Khalsa Television Limited surrendered its licence," Ofcom's statement read.
"If this broadcaster, or those controlling it, were to apply for a broadcast licence in the future, Ofcom’s commencement of this revocation process, our decision today and the full compliance history of the former licensee would be major factors," it added.
Earlier in 2021, KTV was fined £50,000 for airing content which contained potential to incite violence.