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Indian media in New Zealand in soup over ‘witch doctor’ ads


Wellington: The Advertising Standards Authority of New Zealand is considering a complaint lodged with it against three local Indian media organisations over advertising the services of so-called “Hindu witch doctors” practising here.

Thakur Ranjit Singh filed the complaint, on behalf of the Indian Media Watch New Zealand, over ads placed in the New Zealand-based Indian Newslink, Manukau Courier and Apna Television news organisations, New Zealand Herald reported on Thursday.

Ranjit Singh, who railed against local Indian media at a meeting with community leaders in Auckland earlier this month, set up the Indian Media Watch New Zealand amid uproar among the Indian community about witch doctors’ practices here.

In the meeting, Ranjit Singh called for an investigation into how the witch doctors were allowed to live and work in New Zealand, and condemned the Indian media in New Zealand for advertising their services.

The leaders raised concerns over the so-called witch doctors, healers and astrologers, charging thousands of dollars in return for promised financial fortunes and love-life successes that do not eventuate.

Ranjit Singh wrote in his blog that the Indian Newslink newspaper gave “much oxygen to this blaze of deceit, fraud and social irresponsibility”.

“Indian Newslink, its publisher and editor, had violated the basic principles of the advertising code of ethics,” Ranjit Singh was quoted as saying.

On the issue of advertisements, Ranjit Singh said: “Such catchy and confidence-seeking names of Hindu deities mislead, lure and fool the customers in the name of religion.”

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