UK media watchdog imposes 50,000 pound fine on Khalsa TV for violent content, terror reference

The UK media watchdog, Office of Communications (Ofcom) has imposed a fine of 50,000 pounds on Khalsa Television Ltd in Britain for a broadcasting a music video and a discussion programme that contained an indirect call for Sikhs living in the UK to commit violence. The Ofcom said in a statement that the programme also had a terror reference.

"We have today fined KTV PS50,000 for airing content which had the potential to incite violence and cause harm. KTV also must not repeat the content concerned, and air a summary of our decision," Ofcom tweeted. The watchdog in a statement said that it has imposed financial penalties of 20,000 and 30,000 (pounds) on Khalsa Television Limited in relation to its service KTV for failing to comply with their broadcasting rules.

The 20,000-pound penalty relates to a music video. The 30,000-pound penalty relates to a discussion programme. "On 4, 7 and 9 July 2018, KTV broadcast a music video for a song called Bagga and Shera. In our Decision published on 25 February 2019 in issue 373 of the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin, 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 statement said.

Later, on 30 March 2019, in a KTV's discussion programme -- Panthak Masle, Ofcom found that the programme provided a platform for several guests to express views which amounted to indirect calls to action and were likely to encourage or incite the commission of a crime.

"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," the release said.

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