I&B Ministry blocks 'Sikhs for Justice-linked’ Punjab Politics TV and other online media
Government remains vigilant and committed to secure the overall information environment in India
India's Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) has blocked the digital media resources of foreign-based ‘Punjab Politics TV’, which it said was linked to Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) -- an outfit that has been declared unlawful under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The government said the decision was based on intelligence inputs that the channel was attempting to use online media to disturb public order during the ongoing State Assembly Elections. Punjab voted on Sunday.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the ministry said it had used the emergency powers conferred on it under the new Information Technology Rules issued last year to block the digital media resources of “Punjab Politics TV” on February 18.
The I&B Ministry said that it has ordered blocking of apps, website, and social media accounts of ‘Punjab Politics TV'.
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, the ministry said.
"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 added.
It also said that the government 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 I&B Ministry had used the emergency powers under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 earlier as well.
In December 2021 and January 2022, it had blocked 55 YouTube channels and two websites spreading fake propaganda against India.