Republic Bharat reportedly taken off-air in UK amidst Arnab Goswami’s mysterious absence from TV; channel was fined Rs. 20 lakh by British regulator for hate speech

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In a sensational development, Republic Bharat has reportedly been taken off-air in the United Kingdom amidst the mysterious absence of the TV channel’s founder Arnab Goswami public scene. The news of Republic Bharat being taken off-air in the UK comes just weeks after the British media regulator Ofcom imposed a fine of £20,000 (equivalent to around Rs. 20 lakh) on it for broadcasting hate speech.

Republic Bharat

A report by UK-based website Biz Asia Live said, “The popular Hindi news channel from India, was situated on Sky EPG 708. It currently is broadcasting at zero level. It was subsequently removed from the EPG. It is not yet clear if Republic Bharat will return.”

There’s no mention of Republic Bharat in the latest programme guide of the Sky website. While other Indian channels namely Aaj Tak, Sony TV, Zee TV and Colors TV continue to be operational, Republic Bharat has disappeared from Channel 708 on Sky, the UK’s biggest and most prestigious TV distribution platform.

Though Republic Media Network has not commented on the reported development, the news comes amidst intense speculations on the mysterious absence of Arnab Goswami from his own TV channels. Many supporters of Arnab have taken to social media to inquire about his well-being. Madhu Kishwar, who’s often appeared on Republic TV as a guest to take part in the TV channel’s debate shows, had recently urged Arnab’s colleagues to release a health update on the TV anchor.

In December, British media watchdog Ofcom had slapped a fine of £20,000 (equivalent to approximately Rs. 20 lakh) against Republic Bharat for promoting hate speech. In an extraordinary ruling, the Ofcom had warned Republic Bharat to not repeat the same mistake in the future.

“In Ofcom’s Decision published on 24 February 2020 in Issue 397 of the Ofcom Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin 3 (the “Breach Decision”), Ofcom’s Executive had found that this programme contained uncontextualised hate speech and that this content was potentially highly offensive, breaching Rules 2.3, 3.2 and 3.3 of the Code.”

The Ofcom had also ruled that Republic TV had a history of breaches and has asked the UK representatives of Republic TV to attend a meeting to discuss its compliance arrangements.