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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Sikh channel Sangat TV fined over Gen Kuldeep Singh Brar debate

Birmingham-based Sikh TV channel Sangat TV has been fined £30,000 for "inciting violence" over a program on the assassination attempt on a former Indian Army General.

Regulator Ofcom said a debate on the program - first broadcast in September 2012 - was "likely to encourage or to incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder".

The program was broadcast in the aftermath of the attack by four Sikh extremists on Lt General Kuldeep Singh Brar who had led the bloody assault on the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984.

One panellist on the program was quoted as saying: "If they (Gen Brar's assailants) were Sikhs, I congratulate them," while another said, "Whatever nation (the attackers) belong to, they will be our diamonds."

Ofcom said comments made during the program "were an indirect call to members of the Sikh community to take violent action against Lt General Brar and other members of the Indian armed forces".

The channel's head of programmes, Amarpreet Mann, told the BBC Asian Network that Ofcom had "failed to understand the feelings of the Sikhs". 

Sangat TV says it will appeal the fine.

Lt Gen Brar - himself a Sikh - was the commander of "Operation Blue Star", the raid on the Golden Temple to flush out militant separatists. 

The raid left hundreds of people dead, a majority Sikh pilgrims visiting Sikhism's holiest shrine.

Sangat TV is owned by the Sangat Trust, a charity backed by UK-based Gurdwaras and members of the British-Sikh community.

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