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HomeIndiaGovt bans website, social handles of channel linked to outlawed Sikh group

Govt bans website, social handles of channel linked to outlawed Sikh group

I&B ministry says foreign-based 'Punjab Politics TV' is attempting to disturb peace during the ongoing assembly elections.

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New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) on Tuesday banned website, apps and social handles of foreign-based ‘Punjab Politics TV’ for allegedly attempting to disturb public order during assembly elections. According to the statement issued by the ministry, ‘Punjab Politics TV’ is believed to have close links with Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), an organisation that has been declared unlawful under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

The statement further said the ministry used emergency powers under the Information and Technology Rules to block the digital media resources of the ‘Punjab Politics TV’ because it had potential to incite communal disharmony and were found to be detrimental to security of State and public order.

“Government of India remains vigilant and committed to secure the overall information environment in India and thwart any actions,” the statement added. 

The I&B Ministry had first used their emergency powers granted under the IT Rules in December last year by blocking 20 YouTube channels and two websites based on ‘intelligence inputs’. Since then, two more rounds of orders have been passed to ban Youtube, Facebook and Twitter accounts for spreading ‘anti-India fake news’.

The SFJ, which was outlawed by the Indian government in 2019, has recently been in news after Aam Aadmi Party member Kumar Vishwas accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for supporting what he considered to be a ‘Khalistani separatist group’. BJP had further accused Kejriwal of circulating a letter by SFJ, which urged people to vote AAP if they wanted to carve out an independent country of ‘Khalistan’.

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