Punjab: The central government has ordered blocking on apps, website, and social media accounts of foreign-based ‘Punjab Politics TV’ for having close links with the banned pro-Khalistan outfit ‘Sikhs For Justice’.
The ministry of information and broadcasting said in a statement that the channel was “attempting to use online media to disturb public order” during the Punjab assembly elections.
“The contents of the blocked apps, website, and social media accounts had the potential to incite communal disharmony and separatism; and were found to be detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the State, and public order. It was also observed that the launch of new apps and social media accounts was timed to gain traction during the ongoing elections”, the ministry said in a statement.
The Sikhs For Justice organisation has been declared unlawful under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. SFJ founder-leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has been declared as an “individual terrorist” under UAPA for promoting secessionism.
“The Government of India remains vigilant and committed to secure the overall information environment in India and thwart any actions having the potential to undermine India’s sovereignty and integrity,” the information ministry said in the release.
The fear of separatist elements interfering with the democratic process gained traction after former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Kumar Vishwas levelled damaging allegations against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Vishwas alleged that the AAP national convener was ready to compromise India’s sovereignty and integrity to become the chief minister of Punjab, a claim swiftly dismissed by Kejriwal as baseless.