June 8, 2022 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: Indian government’s censorship against Sikhs, including Sikh media houses, continues and many Sikh websites and social media handles stand blocked in India. On 6 June 2022, the Government of India had blocked websites and social media platforms of Sikh media houses like Sikh Siyasat, TV84, Apna Sanjha Punjab, KTV UK and Akaal Channel. Though Akaal Channel’s social media platforms were unblocked in India, others stand blocked till date.
Since then the Government of India has blocked many other social media handles associated with Sikh media houses and organizations.
Recently USA based Sikh youth organization Jakara Movement’s Twitter handle is blocked in India. Any attempt to access the movement’s twitter handle @jakaramovement is blocked and a message shows up, which says: “@jakaramovement’s account has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand”.
Similarly, UK based Sikh Press Association’s Instagram handle @sikhpa also stands blocked in India.
The Government of India had started blocking access to online platforms of Sikh media houses during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 and has intensified the practice since then. It is notable that the government uses section 69A of the Information and Technology Act, 2000 which authorizes the government to block any information harmful for ‘unity, integrity and sovereignty of India’. The IT Rules 2009 mandates that a prior notice should be served to the affected party and due opportunity of being heard should be granted. But the E-Security and Cyber Law Group formed under the Ministry of Information and Technology (MeitY) does not bother even to inform the affected parties, let alone serving a prior notice or granting the opportunity of being heard.
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