On June 21, Khalsa Television Limited renounced its right to broadcast in the UK after the country’s media watchdog determined that its station, Khalsa Television (KTV), had broken broadcasting laws by airing Khalistani propaganda. The station has been off the air in the UK since March 31, and it has previously received significant fines for breaking broadcasting laws.
Under a licence held by Khalsa Television Limited, Khalsa TV, sometimes known as KTV, is a television station that primarily serves the Sikh population in the United Kingdom. “Nidar, Nidharak, hak ate sach di awaaz” is the slogan, which means “Fearless, Determined, Voice of Your Rights and Truth.” It states that it broadcasts in 136 nations.
On January 22, 2017, a ceremony at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Birmingham served as KTV’s formal debut in the UK.
According to its website, Khalsa TV, also known as KTV Global, is the newest and most exciting Panjabi channel in the UK serving the Sikh diaspora and showing a variety of educational, entertainment, and cultural programmes for viewers of all ages and backgrounds.
After an investigation by the nation’s media watchdog, Office of Communications (Ofcom), found that the KTV had broken broadcasting rules by airing separatist and incendiary propaganda in a programme called Prime Time, which was broadcast on December 30 of last year, Khalsa Television Limited renounced its licence to broadcast in the UK on June 21. The broadcast “promoted violence, including murder, as an acceptable and essential form of action to achieve the Khalistani cause,” according to an Ofcom probe.
Following three complaints concerning Prime Time, a 95-minute live conversation on December 30, Ofcom raised the alarm early this year. The complainants said that the show’s host, Jagjit Singh Jeeta—whom a social media post identified as the channel’s CEO—made a number of comments that, taken together, encouraged violence in support of Khalistan.
“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 Ofcom’s report.
The regulator took notice of his repeated calls for “Khalistanis” residing overseas to come with him to Punjab in order to fulfil their ambition and his repeated derision of them for accomplishing nothing.
On March 31, Ofcom suspended the licence that Khalsa Television Limited was using, and KTV was forced to go off the air.
KTV has violated Ofcom rules previously, so this is not the first time. According to a statement from Ofcom, this was the third occasion in the previous four years that programmes broadcast by the station had broken the laws against inciting violence.
The regulator fined KTV £50,000 in February of last year for airing hate speech and a debate show that encouraged violence against British Sikhs and made a terrorist allusion.