child grooming
Ofcom has criticised the Sikh Channel for a broadcast it said encouraged grooming victims to take vigilante justice File pic, Getty

A UK-based Sikh TV-channel has been criticised by Ofcom after a film aired in May was accused of glorifying vigilante justice against grooming suspects.

The Sikh Channel, which is based in Birmingham, was accused in a letter from the regulatory body of advocating "retaliatory violence" from the Sikh community rather than having sexual assault reported to the police.

Ofcom said it had received a complaint about the film, entitled "Misused Trust", the Birmingham Mail reported. The film reportedly depicts a young Sikh woman being groomed by a Muslim man named Abdul.

Towards the end of the 50 minute feature, a scene shows the young woman after having been sexually assaulted and member of a Sikh youth group saying that they will teach the assaulters "a lesson".

One man is later put into the boot of a car while another scene shows an armed gang outside the home of another.

The depictions of the Muslim community may also be considered offensive by the regulator. The channel has until 16 August to respond.

Speaking to the paper, Kaldip Singh, the film's producer, refuted the claim that the film encouraged vigilante violence, saying "it is just a film with people acting" and adding that having another scene which advised victims to go to police would have increased the film's budget.

"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," he told the newspaper.

The Sikh Channel describes itself as the first channel "broadcasting Sikh religious and cultural shows around the clock across the world." They also claim a worldwide viewership of four million.

In June, The Sikh Channel apologised after Ofcom raised complaints over a news segment that include uncensored footage of a dead child's naked body in a report about a five year old boy who was killed by wild dogs in India.

UPDATE:

After an investigation Ofcom ruled that the programme was not in breach of Ofcom rules. In a statement, Sikh Youth UK said:

"Sikh Youth UK are an award winning community group that tackle issues of addiction and abuse within the British Punjabi community. In January 2017 the group released a film entitled Misused Trust, based upon a real case about how a sexual grooming gang manipulated their way into the life of a young Sikh girl, coercing her into a life of prostitution."

Deepa Singh, one of the lead volunteers of Sikh Youth UK, stated, "Sikh Youth UK feel Ofcom finding Misused Trust did not breach any of their rules is only fair. Thousands of girls across the UK are victims of sexual grooming gangs. Sikh Youth UK released Misused Trust with the intention of highlighting just how easily this can happen. It was really disappointing to learn that some tried to twist the message of the film to be about anything other than preventing girls of any background becoming victims of sexual grooming."