Punjab violence leads to protest on live BBC programme in UK

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A Sikh panelist on Sunday launched an unexpected protest on live BBC programme, Sunday Morning Live causing quite a stir in British media.

Jagmeet Singh (in picture above), from an educational charity, Basics of Sikhi, was a guest on the show presented by the veteran British broadcaster Sian Williams. Midway through the programme, he stood up in front of the camera and began to urge for the wide coverage of the ongoing violence in Punjab’s Faridkot district.

Also read: Faridkot violence was ‘state-sponsored’ and result of ‘huge conspiracy’

Singh said, “I have to say Sikhs are being killed in Punjab and nobody is reporting it. Please report it.”

This prompted Williams to issue an on-air warning to her guest to behave failing which he will be ‘thrown out’ of the programme.

An angry Williams said, “Jagmeet I will have to get you taken out unless you allow polite and respect for guests here and our audience at home.”

The presenter introduced an unscheduled clip to play in the show and when the cameras returned, Singh had left the studio.

Also read: Sikhs’ protest over desecration of holy book as Punjab remain tense

Singh’s charity accused the British public broadcaster of belittling him on live TV. The charity’s Facebook post read, “So disappointed by the BBC’s treatment of Jagmeet Singh on Sunday Morning Live this morning. The presenter shut down Singh and repeatedly belittled him from bringing up the issue of violence against Sikhs in Punjab.”

Basics of Sikhi, which is linked with the petition that boasts of over 70,000 supporters, has been urging the foreign media particularly the BBC to cover the ‘brutalities of Punjab police’ against Sikh in Punjab.

The petition demands,”Despite the BBC having large presence in India with many reporters stationed there – it has not picked up this story. There is no mention of this on any of the their news media outlets in India or here in the UK.”

A BBC Spokesperson said: “On live TV unplanned things happen and this was dealt with professionally and appropriately by Sian.”

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