Utilizing the emergency powers under the IT Rules 2021, The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, on 12.12.2022, issued directions for blocking of the website, two mobile applications, four social media accounts, and one smart TV app of Pakistan-based OTT Platform Vidly TV.

The OTT Platform had recently released a web-series titled “Sevak: The Confessions”, which was found to be detrimental to national security, sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, India’s friendly relations with foreign States, and public order in the country. Three episodes of the web-series were released till date.

It was suspected that the web-series was sponsored by the Pakistani information operations apparatus. First episode of the series was released on 26.11.2022, the anniversary of the terror attacks on Mumbai in 2008.

Anti-India Content

Opening credits of the web-series show the Ashok Chakra of the Indian flag on fire.

Distorted version of sensitive historical events pertaining to India: The web-series portrayed an anti-India narrative on sensitive historical events and subjects of national importance, e.g. Operation Blue Star and its aftermath, demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya, killing of a Christian missionary named Graham Staines, Malegaon blasts, Samjhauta Express blasts, inter-state river water dispute related to Sutlej Yamuna Link canal, etc.

Promoting hatred in the people against the Government of India: The series contains several dialogues such as passing of wounds by the Sikh people to their next generations in the context of Operation Blue Star; Indian State being against the interests of the Muslim community; and all Indian political parties being hand-in-glove in the demolition of Babri Masjid, etc. In one instance, a visual portrays an Indian television news channel showing “Muslims, Sikhs and Christians are India’s internal threat, says Home Minister”.

Promoting separatism, disaffection, and disenchantment among the Sikh community towards India: Operation Blue Star was portrayed as being a “massacre” of “innocent Sikhs”. The developments in Punjab, after the Operation Blue Star, were maliciously shown with strong communal tones, portraying the violence and police action as being motivated by religious reasons. All policemen in Punjab are depicted without turbans, sending a message that non-Sikh policemen labeled the Sikh population as Khalistani terrorists.

Web-Series was aimed at sowing hatred and division among Indian communities: In one of the scenes, a Hindu priestess is shown to be declaring that the Hindu children have to grow up to “kill” Muslims, Christians, and Sikhs, and cleanse the motherland from their “filthy” existence. Another scene claims that Scheduled Castes are being forced to remain Hindus. Using religious symbols, anti-Sikh riots of 1984 were shown to be an assault by Hindus against Sikhs.