Birmingham-based Sikh TV has been accused of encouraging vigilante violence against child sex groomers after it aired a short film about a Sikh girl being groomed by a Muslim man.
The broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, wrote in a letter to Sikh TV that the film suggested sexual assaults against Sikhs should not be reported to the police “but rather should be referred to the Sikh community for action.”
It added: “The complainant felt this advocated retaliatory violence as acceptable.”
Ofcom also raised concerns about a post-film discussion in the studio which made references to members of the Muslim community being involved in sex attacks on Sikh women, labelling them “potentially offensive.”
The regulator has given the channel until Wednesday 16 August 5pm to respond to the complaint about the drama aired on Saturday 20 May.
The film’s producer Kaldip Singh said the film was fiction and did not encourage violence or sectarianism.
He said: “It is just a film with people acting. We are not saying people should take the law into their own hands but we are telling them to contact us if they suspect grooming is happening.”
Responding to absence of any advice to victims to go to police first, Mr Singh said he did not include that scene because “it would have cost an extra £5,000 to make it.”
He added: “Of course if the victim is underage or has been raped then they should go to police but our experience shows that in the past the authorities have ignored the problem of Sikh girls being groomed by Muslim men in this country for more than 40 years.”
Ofcom said: “We are concerned that the portrayal of the vigilante attack on “Abdul’s” house may have been interpreted by viewers as condoning such attacks and representing attacks carried out by members of Sikh Youth UK.”