Channel that exposed the extra judicial killings in Punjab shut

Published: August 5, 2013
Surjit Singh

Surjit Singh. Screenshot/YouTube

GURPREET SINGH
VANCOUVER DESI

In what can be described as an assault on free expression, the highly credible Day and Night TV channel has been forced to shut its operation in Punjab, India.

The channel had recently exposed the extra judicial killings of over 80 people by the Punjab police when the Sikh separatist movement was at its peak from early 1980s to 1990s. The Sub Inspector Surjit Singh had admitted that he was involved in the staged managed shootouts of the suspects.

Often the suspected militants were killed in fake encounters by the police back then for bravery awards or out of turn promotions in the name of “national interest.”

The Canadian opposition parties, the NDP and Liberals had issued statements seeking protection to Surjit Singh following a campaign by the Canada based World Sikh Organization. Whereas, there was a near complete  silence in the mainstream media over the issue, Day and Night gave such highly sensitive story a space that attracted the international attention.

Surjit Singh is now fearing for his life.

Although there is no direct evidence to suggest that the Day and Night has been forced to close its business because of highlighting Surjit Singh’s story, the channel has been facing hostility from the government since day one.

The channel never got government advertisements — a major income source for majority media outlets in India,  as the ruling Akali Dal wanted to promote PTC, a channel which has ideological and financial ties with the party.

Not surprisingly, the channel could not even be aired properly on the cable television network, which is again controlled by the associates of the Akali Dal.

The Day and Night Editor, Kanwar Sandhu, under whose command I started my career with Indian Express, announced that the channel was bleeding financially and despite the fact that they had apprised the political leadership of the region about the transmission problems they faced nothing was being done to fix it.

The channel first came into conflict with the government after it began covering the rallies of a fledgling Peoples Party of Punjab that came into being following rebellion in the Akali Dal.

The channel started complaining about the weak transmission and downed signals soon after.

Under these circumstances one can clearly see political undertones behind this controversy.

What is more shameful that the Akali Dal that fought against Emergency and press censorship that was once imposed by the late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1970s is indulging in such tactics, albeit in a more diplomatic and not similarl brutal manner.

The Akali Dal government had previously banned movies,  like Sada Haq and Oh My God. While Sada Haq depicted police repression during Sikh militancy, Oh My God is a comedy about blind faith.

Whatever may be the case, these instances reflect very poorly on a country that claims to be the world’s largest democracy.

Related Stories:


Tags: , , , , , ,





Featured

student-Surrey-scholarship

Surrey whiz-kid awarded $80,000 scholarship for his leadership skills

TEREZA VERENECA SURREY NOW CONTRIBUTOR  SURREY — A Surrey whiz-kid known for his leadership skills is being recognized by the Seymour Schulich Foundation with an…
Continue Reading »

India

Man-eating leopard targets drunk Indian villagers

VANCOUVER DESI Villagers in northern India are afraid to go out after dark because of a man-eating leopard they believe is targeting drunks as they…
Continue Reading »

girl child

Upset over having two daughters and no son, man bobbitises himself

IANS Patna – A man in Bihar has bobbitised himself, sniping off his penis with a sharp knife in a fit of rage after a…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

New Aga Khan museum and Ismaili complex opens in Toronto

@ THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — The first museum in North America devoted to Islamic art will help promote an understanding of a religion that…
Continue Reading »

Key players in B.C.’s teachers’ strike quietly resume discussions

By Tamsyn Burgmann THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — Chief negotiators were quietly hunkered down for talks as another week without school loomed on the horizon…
Continue Reading »

student-Surrey-scholarship

Surrey whiz-kid awarded $80,000 scholarship for his leadership skills

TEREZA VERENECA SURREY NOW CONTRIBUTOR  SURREY — A Surrey whiz-kid known for his leadership skills is being recognized by the Seymour Schulich Foundation with an…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

underwater photos

Gallery: Couples pose for ‘romantic and beautiful’ underwater photos

VANCOUVER DESI Some memories need to be captured in the most beautiful and romantic settings, especially when it comes to life’s important occasions involving weddings…
Continue Reading »

crime-Reeva Steenkamp

South Africa prosecuting authority unhappy with Oscar Pistorius judgement in shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

IANS Pretoria – South Africa’s top prosecuting authority Friday expressed its disappointment on not being able to secure a conviction on the original charge of…
Continue Reading »

Indian Designer Shravan Kumar

Hyderabad’s Kumar showcasing ‘best fabrics in India’ in return to Vancouver Fashion Week (w/gallery)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI In comparison to fashion weeks in Toronto and New York — which showcase locally-based designers — Vancouver Fashion Week stands out…
Continue Reading »

Toronto

Toronto to open Aga Khan Museum featuring Islamic art and culture, first of its kind in North America

PETER KUITENBROUWER THE NATIONAL POST Luis Monreal is a ball of energy who speaks quickly and wields a large vocabulary. Born in Spain to a…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver Fashion Week

Vancouver designer’s new collection inspired by tragic collapse of clothing sweat shop in Bangladesh

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI As a young and budding fashion designer in Vancouver, 23-year-old Taran Cheema is conscious of the controversies surrounding her industry. “I…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Parineeti Chopra and Aditya Roy Kapur

Gallery: Bollywood actors Aditya Roy Kapur and Parineeti Chopra on ‘food yatra’

IANS New Delhi – The lead actors of “Daawat-e-Ishq” Aditya Roy Kapur and Parineeti Chopra have embarked on a ‘food tour’ to promote their upcoming…
Continue Reading »

Shah Rukh Khan Deepika Padukone Bollywood sex

Salman Khan: Shah Rukh Khan and Happy New Year team will promote film on ‘Bigg Boss’

IANS Mumbai – Actor Salman Khan, who is gearing up with “Bigg Boss” season 8 says his rival Shah Rukh Khan will promote his film…
Continue Reading »

Salman Khan

Salman Khan’s ‘hit and run’ trial to resume from Sep 24

IANS Mumbai – Following the production of the “missing” case papers in the Salman Khan hit-and-run case, the trial against the actor will resume before…
Continue Reading »