Warning: This story deals with highly disturbing issues that may anger and upset some readers. Discretion is recommended.
A Punjabi-language radio station host in BC has been suspended for his on-air comments while discussing a New York domestic violence case that has attracted international attention.
Mandeep Kaur, 30, died by suicide in New York last week after posting a video online accusing her husband of hitting her for years. Kaur, originally from Uttar Pradesh, India, shared images of bruises, a video in which he appears to be choking or choking her, and a recent video in which she blames her husband for her decision to kill herself and her two Leaves daughters aged six and four.
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Kaur’s video message sparked discussion about domestic violence within the South Asian community around the world, including here in BC
During Thursday night’s discussion of the matter, Sher-E-Punjab AM 600 radio host Paul Brar suggested that people commenting on the high-profile case should not publish personal matters and that Kaur’s husband has not yet heard the story published.
“We should listen to men’s voices too,” Brar said in Punjabi, and just because someone claims to have been beaten and abused doesn’t make it true.
“I beg the women of the Kaur movement not to tear the houses apart,” he said.
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On Friday morning, the Richmond-based broadcaster apologized to its listeners and said Brar had been suspended.
“The management and staff of Sher E Punjab Radio do not condone or condone violence in any form and firmly reject any form of intimidation aimed at women, the elderly, children and the most vulnerable among us,” it said on Twitter.
“Recent comments have been made on this channel that some have interpreted to mean that we represent the opposite of that value… We apologize for any offense and assure all of our listeners that we take this matter very seriously.”
The tweet also said the broadcaster is investigating Brar’s statements and that he will remain suspended until the review is complete.
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“We acted quickly, we banned the host, we’re checking him out. It is in the hands of our lawyers and I have no further comment to make,” Gurdial Badh, a director at the channel, told Global News.
The radio station has a history of reporting cases of domestic violence that aren’t unique to the South Asian community, he added, and will “do whatever we can to be accountable to our listeners and audience.”
The Kaur Movement, an organization that supports victims of sexual and domestic violence, has collected a number of photos and videos of Kaur on its website. It has also released many updates on the case, calling for accountability and justice for Kaur.
Founder Gurpreet Kaur, who is unrelated, accused Brar of “mocking” abuse victims and said his comments traumatized others, who called her and said they regretted reaching out.
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“[Mandeep Kaur]needs justice and she’s not getting it,” Gurpreet Kaur said. “Now she’s dead and can’t fight back so we’re trying to do that for her and instead of helping her you guys are making fun of abuse victims.”
Brar should have been fired, she added, urging him to issue a public apology.
Maneet Abrol, an American singer and podcast host with more than 80,000 Instagram followers, has also spoken out against Brar.
He questioned why Brar thought people should remain silent about domestic violence, and Brar’s claims that there wasn’t enough evidence to show the husband was at fault.
“The proof is out there. A person is dead and you still wonder what the person did even after the facts are known? he said in an Instagram post on Thursday.
“The truth would never really come out if people didn’t speak up.”
If you or someone you know is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Crime Victim Resource Center for help. They can also be reached toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.
The Battered Women’s Support Services Crisis Hotline (1-855-687-1868) is available 24 hours a day for anyone needing emotional support or practical assistance.
Crisis Responders are also available 24 hours a day at Talk Suicide Canada at 1-833-456-4566.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/9056411/bc-punjabi-radio-host-suspended-mandeep-kaur-domestic-abuse/ BC Punjabi Radio Host Suspended for Comments on Domestic Violence – BC