The News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA), in its order on November 19, found that the news channel Zee News had violated the code of conduct in three videos aired by it, linking farmer protests to Khalistanis. NBDSA also found that Zee News falsely reported that the Indian flag was removed from the Red Fort.
NBDSA has directed Zee News to remove the video linking the farmers’ protest with Khalistanis. These videos were published on 19th and 20th January 2021. The verdict, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice AK Sikri, came on a complaint filed by Inderjit Ghorpade.
NBDSA in its decision said that TV channels should be careful while reporting religious. The channel showed the wrong video of the removal of the Indian flag from the Red Fort. The headline of the anchor and the channel is in direct violation of the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards.
NBDSA directed Zee News to immediately remove this video from its channel, its platform, YouTube, everywhere. Also, notify NBDSA in writing within seven days.
Several titles and tickers of the show aired in the complaint. Such as “Taal Thok Ke: Khalistan se kab savdhan hoga Kisan? (When will farmers beware of Khalistan?)”, “Taal Thok Ke: Nahi maane Kisan toh kya hoga gantantra diwas pe ‘grah yuddh‘ (If farmers do not agree, will there be a ‘civil war’ on Republic Day?)” and “Andolan par Khalistan ka kabza (Khalistan’s occupation of the movement”). The complaint to the NDBSA said the programs were “designed to create undue fear and distress among spectators and undermine the public’s confidence in the ability of national institutions to protect them.”
Another complaint was made to the NBDSA regarding a program broadcast by Zee News in which, according to the complaint, the anchor repeatedly stated that the protesting farmers removed the national flag of India from the Red Fort in Delhi on Republic Day and the Khalsa Flag hoisted.