– Captain Asks Jaitley: Why Modi Hasn’t Withdrawn Petition Against Punjabi Farmers?

Amritsar Sahib, 17 April 2014. Former Chief Minister and Congress candidate of Amritsar, Captain Amarinder Singh the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Arun Jaitley as to why the Gujarat Chief Minister and the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi have so far not withdrawn the petition against the Punjabi farmers of Gujarat.

Before embarking upon a ‘Road Show’ from DAV College to Hindu College, he said today in an informal conversation with reporters, that despite the passage of almost two months of a public commitment made last February on the 23rd during a rally at Jagraon in Punjab, nothing has been done by the Gujarat government up till now.

“We want Mr Jaitely to clear the air on such an important issue that touches every Punjabi including him (Mr Jaitley) since he also claims to be one”, he remarked, while adding, Jaitley owed an answer primarily for three reasons.

One, he is an MP from Gujarat. Two he claims to have roots in Punjab. And three he is now contesting from the most important city of Punjab that is representative of its history and culture. “That makes it all the more important for him to spell out his stand”, he asserted.

“I am not asking much from Jaitley”, he remarked, while adding, “it is a simple question as why is Gujarat government not prepared to withdraw its appeal in the Supreme Court against the Gujarat High Court verdict that is in favor of Punjabi farmers?”

When replying to the question, Jaitley claimed that he was only talking about issues, while Capt Amarinder was talking only about people.

Captain Amarinder remarked, “When a person himself becomes an issue, and that too for all the wrong reasons, whether he be Modi, or Majithia, obviously questions will be raised”.

He asked, why Jaitley was shying away from giving answers to his questions. He pointed out, he has asked for Jaitley’s position on several issues, but he was yet to answer any of these questions. “Does it not smack of either arrogance, or ignorance?” he asked, while adding, “He has had enough of monologues, the time has come for dialogues now, and this is the time for answers to the questions his monologues have generated.”

Gurdwaras – Coventry Yatra 7 November 2009, Singh Sabha Gurdwara, West Midlands, UK

Gurdwara Langar

Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara
47 – 49 Cross Road
Foleshill, Coventry CV6 5GR

The Tribune – Won’t back BJP nominees, says Damdami Taksal; But decides to back all ten Akali Dal candidates in state

Perneet Singh and Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Amritsar/Chandigarh, April 17. In a significant move that may affect the poll prospects of the ruling SAD-BJP alliance, the Damdami Taksal today said it would only support SAD candidates and not the nominees of its alliance partner BJP.

Talking to The Tribune here, Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa said they had taken the decision after various rounds of talks with members of the Sant Samaj over the past few days. He said it was unanimously decided that religious organisations would not support any other party.

He said they had decided to support the Akalis, who were the “true” representatives of the Panth. He pointed out that both the Congress and the BJP had opposed Operation Bluestar Memorial.

Though the move will benefit the SAD in rural areas where the Sant Samaj has a considerable clout, it does not augur well for the ruling alliance, particularly in Amritsar, where BJP nominee Arun Jaitley is locked in a keen contest with Congress candidate Capt Amarinder Singh. The Amristar constituency has 64 per cent Sikh votes. The Taksal wields a substantial clout in the Amritsar and Gurdaspur parliamentary constituencies.

Reiterating that the Damdami Taksal was a religious organisation, Sant Harnam Singh, who also heads the Sant Samaj, said he was not in favour of any party raking up the issue of Operation Bluestar and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots for petty political gains.

Candidates of other parties contesting the elections from Khadoor Sahib and Amritsar had also approached the Damdami Taksal for support, Sant Harnam Singh claimed.

The Hindu – Modi will “bode ill for India’s future”

Parvathi Menon

London, 13 April 2014. Narendra Modi as India’s next prime minister would “bode ill for India’s future as a country that cherishes the ideals of inclusion and protection for all its peoples,” a group of prominent Indians have said on Saturday in a letter to The Guardian.

Turner Prize winner Aneesh Kapoor, novelist Salman Rushdie, academic Homi K. Bhabha, film director Deepa Mehta, artist Dayanita Singh, and 21 others have said in the letter: “Without questioning the validity of India’s democratic election process, it is crucial to remember the role played by the Narendra Modi government in the horrifying events in Gujarat in 2002.”

“The Muslim minority were overwhelmingly the victims of pillage, murder and terror, resulting in the deaths of more than 2000 men, women and children. Women, in particular, were subjected to brutal acts of violence and left largely unprotected by the security forces,” the letter noted.

No responsibility

Despite the fact that some of those involved are facing trial, “Modi repeatedly refuses to accept any responsibility or to apologise. Such a failure of moral character and political ethics is incompatible with India’s secular constitution which, in advance of many constitutions around the world, is founded on pluralist principles and seeks fair and full representation for minorities.”

Ealing Liberal Democrats – May 2014 local elections – Elthorne Ward – Lower Boston Road, Warren Farm

Lower Boston Road – The Heath

Southall – Brentford goods line
We had to cross the river Brent and the goods line to get to Warren Farm, given to Queens Park Rangers  by Ealing Council for a peppercorn rent

Southall – Brentford goods line

Southall – Brentford goods line

The goods line is used very infrequently by slow moving trains
But health and safety is ever present in the UK

Cllr Nigel Bakhai – Warren Farm
The buildings on the horizon will be expanded and will be much more visible than now

Overflowing bin near one of the locks managed by the Canal & River Trust

To see more UK general pictures

More UK pictures to follow
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Published and promoted by John Mitchell on behalf of Harjinder Singh (Ealing Liberal Democrat) at 47 Ridley Avenue, Ealing W13 9XW and by S Drage on behalf of Harjinder Singh (Ealing Liberal Democrat) at Unit 1 Streatham Business Centre, 1 Empire Mews, London, SW16 2ED

The Tribune – Thirty-five Punjabi detainees in US call off strike

Varinder Singh, Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17. The case of 64 Punjabi youths languishing in EL Paso jail of Texas (US) for the past nine months has taken a new turn with 35 of them calling off their week-long hunger strike. A number of others have been shifted either to the jail hospital or small barracks in the premises.

The youths were nabbed for “illegally” crossing over to Texas through the Mexico route probably after having been deserted by their agents. As many as 42 of them were on a hunger strike to protest against their “illegal” and “prolonged” detention at the EL Paso correction centre by the border authorities.

While most of detainees were from the Doaba region of Punjab, some of them belonged to Malwa and neighbouring Haryana.

While 28 detainees are said to have called off their hunger strike on Monday, seven stayed off food till Wednesday.

“They called off the hunger strike on their own. Five of the detainees, including Pritpal Singh Kohar, Boota Singh and Mandeep Grewal, have been admitted to a hospital inside the jail and another detainee, Harsimran, was shifted to another hospital outside the jail for treatment,” said Satnam Singh Chahal, executive director of North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) while speaking to The Tribune from California.

The reason behind shifting six protesting Punjabi youths to the two hospitals was said to be their deteriorating health owing to starvation and the concern of the authorities over their physical state.

The jail authorities, it is learnt, transferred five of the detainees to a barrack called “Loaha” reportedly with an objective to teach them a lesson. A “Loaha” is a 5X10-ft cell comprising of a toilet and a bed. Normally, hardened criminal are lodged here.

“The Sikh Coalition has joined hands with us and we are trying our best to get parole for all the detainees. We are in touch with Lawit, the attorney for the detainees. He has told us to contact people having links in the White House,” said Chahal.

Amarpreet Singh of the Sikh Coalition was in the process of collaborating with Lawit.

BBC News – India court asks cricket board to probe IPL betting

Wednesday, 16 April 2014. India’s Supreme Court has asked the cricket board to investigate the role of a top cricket official and 12 others in spot-fixing and illegal betting in the Indian Premier League.

N Srinivasan recently stood down temporarily as chief of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) following a Supreme Court ruling.

He owns a team in the IPL, the world’s richest cricket tournament.

He is regarded as the world’s most powerful cricket administrator.

He was elected chairman of cricket’s world governing body, the International Cricket Council, in February and is due to take up the role in July.

Last month, former India captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar was installed as the interim head of the cricket board.

The Supreme Court said on Wednesday that the BCCI should appoint a panel to investigate the charges against Mr Srinivasan and 12 others, including some players.

“Having come to know the nature of allegations, we cannot close our eyes,” the court said.

The court said when the allegations of corruption in IPL “were brought to his [Mr Srinivasan's] notice… he did not take any action. That means he was aware about the allegations and did not take it seriously”.

The seventh edition of the 20-over tournament, which features eight teams, begins on Wednesday and runs until 1 June.

The last season of the IPL was dogged by allegations of spot-fixing and betting.

Spot-fixing involves players bowling wides and no-balls at certain times arranged beforehand with bookmakers.

Mr Srinivasan had “stepped aside” from his post as BCCI president in June last year after his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested over allegations of betting.

Mr Meiyappan was later freed on bail, and Mr Srinivasan returned as the head of the cricket board before he was asked to leave his post. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

The IPL is considered to be the world’s showcase for Twenty20 cricket. Top Indian and international players take part, contributing to what is the world’s richest cricket tournament.

National Union of Journalists – NUJ calls on PM David Cameron to establish public inquiry into 1984 Amritsar massacre

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The National Union of Journalist (NUJ) has called on the British Prime Minister to establish a full public enquiry into all the documents and events relating to India, covering the whole of 1984.

At the union’s delegate meeting in Eastbourne delegates unanimously accepted a motion proposed by Parvinder Singh, NUJ book branch and author of 1984 Sikhs’ Kristallnacht, and seconded by Laura James of the London magazine branch.

The motion noted the Cabinet Secretary’s internal inquiry, tabled in the House of Commons on 4 February 2014, stating that Margaret Thatcher’s government agreed that the UK would provide military assistance in the form of SAS advice in planning the assault by Indian forces on the Sikhs’ Golden Temple in Amritsar, which resulted in the death of thousands of people.

Parvinder Singh, while speaking about this catastrophe at NUJ conference, added the Cabinet Secretary’s recent internal inquiry had been “too narrow in scope and timeframe – many questions remain unanswered, despite PM Cameron’s statement that his government would be transparent on the issue.”

In the subsequent anti-Sikh pogroms of November 1984, the Conservative government “chose to maintain close relations with India in order not to jeopardise billions of pounds of commercial contracts, despite evidence that leading members of India’s ruling Congress Party were instrumental in the massacres,” added Singh, whose family in Delhi narrowly survived the 1984 genocide.

The delegates commended the work of journalist Phil Miller, who discovered the initial documents at the National Archives in Kew. Information about India’s relations with Britain have been kept secret – they have not been revealed to parliament or the public for 30 years. Not all of the information and documents have been released.

Gurdwaras – Coventry Yatra 7 November 2009, Singh Sabha Gurdwara, West Midlands, UK

Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara
47 – 49 Cross Road
Foleshill, Coventry CV6 5GR

The Tribune – Inter-state roads sealed as Sriganganagar goes to polls today

Raj Sadosh

Abohar, April 16. In a joint operation, Punjab and Rajasthan police sealed the inter-state roads today to ensure smooth polling in the eight segments of Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar districts on Thursday.

A team of Punjab officials, led by Abohar Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Rajpal Singh discussed various steps with their counterparts at Sadulshehar, 30 km from here. The team also supervised search of vehicles on the state and national highway.

All liquor shops on both sides of the inter-state border have been closed for two days. Meanwhile, paramilitary forces conducted a flag march in Suratgarh and BSF men have been told to intensify vigil in hundreds of villages located on the international border.

A dozen teams of Excise Department and police officials conducted raids in some villages, smashed illegal domestic distilleries, seized huge quantity of raw material and illicit liquor in Sriganganagar segment.

Polling parties escorted by paramilitary men have been dispatched to all the segments from Maharaja Ganga Singh Stadium, Sriganganagar. District Returning Officer-cum-District Collector RS Jakhar led them in taking a pledge to ensure free and fair elections.

On the last day before elections, students of GL Bihani SD College of Technical Education organised a rally under the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme to motivate people for exercising their vote tomorrow. Polling will start at 7 am on Thursday.

Meanwhile, EC observer Gurrala Sreenivasulu has seized a huge quantity of SAD and BJP flags, banners etc by intercepting a vehicle near Neola village. The vehicle (DL 4 CAD 4154) was also loaded with hundreds of door stickers and visiting cards. The driver who was on his way to Fazilka could not produce the authority letter to carry the material. Fazilka district officials have been told to initiate requisite action.


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