Human Rights Without Frontiers International – Christians attacked in Chhattisgarh

Persecuted church, 28 October 2014. Twelve Christian villagers were injured in central India’s Chhattisgarh state after they were attacked by Hindu fundamentalists, according to a Christian activist.

The villagers were part of a group of 40 Christians who had gathered on Saturday for what was supposed to be a mediation meeting to resolve tensions with members of the local Hindu community in the state’s Bastar district. District officials and local police had called on members from both communities to reconcile their differences after months of discord between the two sides.

However, Christian villagers arrived to find nobody there from the district administration or their counterparts in the Hindu community, according to Arun Pannalal, president of the Chhattisgarh Christian Forum. Instead, he said, 50 Hindu fundamentalists armed with swords, sticks and axes showed up on a truck and started attacking the Christians, who they accused of engaging in forced conversions.

“The attack happened without any provocation,” Pannalal said. “Christians had gathered for the meeting, which never happened and instead they were attacked.”

However, district officials insist the attack was not part of any ongoing religious tensions, but a personal dispute.

“This incident is not related to any kind of religious thing happening in the village,” Ankit Anand, district collector of Bastar district, told “It was due to some personal issues between the two groups.

The concerned authorities have spoken with both groups and now there is no reason for the tension to escalate in the area.”

Anand said local police have filed cases against 15 people in connection with the attack.

Pannalal said four Hindu fundamentalists were arrested Sunday and Monday, though was unable to confirm this with police.

Pannalal, however, believes the attack was clearly part of escalating religious tensions between the two communities. In June, 50 villages in the district passed resolutions outlawing non-Hindu religious ceremonies.

Pannalal is petitioning the state’s high court to overturn the ban.

Gurdwaras – Central Gurdwara, Khalsa Jatha, Shepherd’s Bush, London, UK

Námdhari Ustat – Dilruba

Central Gurdwara (Khalsa Jatha)
62 Queensdale Road
London W11 4SG

The Tribune – Sikh outfits target SAD over ’84 riots; Say bandh on November 1 to be peaceful; rail traffic to be disrupted for 5 hours

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 29. Calling for Punjab Bandh on November 1 in protest against the government’s failure to provide justice to 1984 riot victims, various Sikh organisations today asked the SAD-BJP government to do justice with the aggrieved Sikhs as they have their government at the Centre as well now.

Addressing mediapersons here today, All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) chief Karnail Singh Peermohammed, Manjeet Singh Bhoma, Kanwarbir Singh Gill and Bhai Mohkam Singh said the SAD-BJP government must act against the perpetrators of 1984 riots, besides initiating measures for rehabilitation of the victims.

They said the Akalis were earlier taking a premise that there was a Congress government at the Centre, but now that the NDA had come to power, they must deliver justice to the riot victims.

They said the Akali Dal must spell out the deadline by which their government would act against the guilty.

They also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to act tough against those who carried out “massacre of Sikhs” in 1984.

Talking about their Punjab Bandh on November 1, they said it would be a peaceful protest and they would not resort to any excesses. They said they would stop rail traffic from 5 am to 10 am. Road traffic and commercial establishments would also remain shut.

They appealed to all communities to support the bandh call as it was meant to seek justice for the riot victims. They said their aim was to seek justice, and not to harass anybody. On a US court issuing summons to

Amitabh Bachchan for his alleged role in the 1984 riots, they hailed the court move and said they even had the evidence to show how the actor incited people against the Sikhs in 1984.

They said a protest would be staged outside the UN headquarters on November 7 and the issue of 1984 riots would be raised with the UNO.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Laxmikanta Chawla has appealed to the state government to ensure that the rail and road traffic was not disrupted during Punjab Bandh on November 1. She said it would only lead to harassment of public, although the grudge of those giving the bandh call was against the government.

Rehabilitate victims: Manpreet

Chandigarh: People’s Party of Punjab chief Manpreet Singh Badal on Wednesday said justice continued to elude thousands of victims of the 1984 riots even 30 years after the tragedy. He questioned the policies adopted by the state government for rehabilitation of the riot-hit.

The wheels of justice had moved too slowly, he said. Years had been wasted in appointing one commission after another without any tangible results, he said. He alleged that the parties like the Akali Dal had been cashing in on the suffering of riot victims.

Thousands of those who migrated to Punjab looking for safety were still waiting to be properly rehabilitated.

They were mobilised by the Akali Dal during every election to cash in on their sufferings. It was callous and inhuman, he said.

Erect a memorial: Phoolka

Amritsar: Noted lawyer and AAP leader H S Phoolka has written a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh urging him to set up a memorial to those killed in 1984 anti-Sikh riots at 12, Dr Rajendra Prasad Road in New Delhi.

He said the then MP Ram Bilas Paswan was staying at 12, Dr Rajindra Prasad Road, in 1984 and the house was burnt because he gave shelter to a Sikh. “Paswan had to run away after scaling the rear wall of the house, but the old Sikh whom he had given shelter was caught by the mob and burnt alive.

Now, the house is allotted to a leader who has lost the recent Lok Sabha elections and it is likely to be vacated soon. The house should be converted into a memorial,” reads the letter.

The Asian Age – ‘Achche din’ with Modi at the Centre and Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra: Shiv Sena

Mumbai, 30 October 2014. A day before BJP takes the reins in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena on Thursday praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister-designate Devendra Fadnavis, saying the state can expect ‘achche din’ (good days) under them, but cautioned its former ally against accepting NCP’s support.

It said that the first big challenge Fadnavis government will face will be the floor test and enquired if the BJP plans to overcome it by resting on the back of Shard Pawar-led NCP as it will raise questions about its credibility.

“You (BJP) have come to power by promising to convert Maharashtra into a corruption free and a Congress-NCP free state.

“You (Devendra Fadnavis) come from the Vidarbha region where the NCP had carried out a huge irrigation scam.

By taking NCP’s support from the very beginning, questions have arisen on the sanctity of your government,” the Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ on the eve of the swearing in of the BJP government.

“The biggest challenge for BJP right now is to prove a majority in the Vidhan Sabha. It is okay to say that you will form a minority government and even manage to run it. But running such a government is against the Constitution.

“(Sharad) Pawar has extended support without being asked for it, but will the (Devendra) Fadnavis government run with the help of Pawar’s support?” the Sena said. Sena, however, expressed pleasure over Fadnavis leading the state and said that it is a matter of pride that Maharashtra is once again being led by Vidarbha and that it is responsibility of Fadnavis to fulfill people’s aspirations. (PTI)

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Havelock Road Southall – Shoreditch – Aldgate East – South Road Southall

Bus, Overground, Walk, Underground, Bus
28 September 2014

Church – Commercial Street

Corporation of London – Whites Row
The City of London is not a borough with an elected council

Bundu Khan – Commercial Street

Wentworth Road Market

To see more UK general pictures

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Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Tribune – Positive move, says SC on Delhi government formation effort

New Delhi, 30 October 2014. The Supreme Court on Thursday described as positive the reports that Lt Governor Najeeb Jung would be consulting all the political parties in its efforts to form a government in Delhi.

The apex court constitution bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu said that as per the newspaper reports there is a positive move by the Lt Governor that he is going to consult all the political parties in his efforts to form a government in Delhi.

The court said that there are situations with a party not having majority forms the government with outside support.

As the court said this, Aam Aadmi Party counsel Prashant Bhushan said that this was another attempt to deny people of their right to have a representative government.

However, he said that they have no objection in giving Lt Governor another chance to explore the possibility of forming the government, but it should be time bound.

The court also observed that if by chance, the Lt Governor fails and the formation of the government is not possible, he may seek the advice of the president and he will take a call.

Having said this, the court adjourned till Nov 11 hearing on AAP petition seeking dissolution of the assembly and holding of fresh elections.(IANS)

Dawn – Congress flounders 30 years after Indira Gandhi’s killing

New Delhi, 30 October 2014. When Indira Gandhi was gunned down by her bodyguards on October 31, 1984, the instant elevation of her son Rajiv to the post of prime minister appeared to confirm her family’s status as India’s natural-born rulers.

But three decades on from the assassination of India’s ‘Iron Lady’, even members of her Congress party are beginning to question whether they may now have to look beyond the Nehru-Gandhi clan for survival.

After a crushing defeat in May’s general election, things hit a new low this month when Congress trailed in third place in two state polls with Rahul Gandhi — the dynasty’s latest scion — having all but disappeared from view.

“Indira Gandhi was the real architect of the Congress party’s expansion. She had the ability to directly speak to the masses across India and get votes,” said Rasheed Kidwai, who has written several books on Congress.

“For the first time, instead of the party depending on the family, the family depends on it for its survival,” he told AFP.

The centre-left Congress has ruled India for more than 50 of the 67 years since independence, while a member of the family has been at the helm of the party for all but a handful of those years.

Indira’s father Jawaharlal Nehru was India’s first prime minister from 1947 to 1964. Two years after his death, Indira became the premier from 1966 to 1977 and then again from 1980 before a grieving Rajiv then took up the mantle.

Such was the sympathy towards Rajiv that Congress recorded its best-ever showing in elections soon after he took office, reinforcing the notion that the family was destined to rule the world’s largest democracy.

After Rajiv was assassinated in a Tamil suicide attack in 1991, Congress turned to his Italian-born widow Sonia who led the party back to power in a shock 2004 election victory.

She declined to become premier, installing the mild-mannered Manmohan Singh instead, but was seen as the power behind the throne until May’s defeat after a lacklustre campaign led by her son Rahul.

‘Defeated and directionless’

While few within Congress speak out against the family, analysts say there can be no illusions about the scale of its troubles.

“It is defeated and directionless with a serious leadership crisis,” Zoya Hasan, a professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, told AFP.

While Rajiv and Sonia were reluctant leaders, both showed an aptitude for politics that their daughter Priyanka seems to have inherited.

Although Priyanka is seen as an alternative leader, she says she is dedicated to raising her children and is hampered by controversy over her husband’s property business dealings.

Rahul — once described in a US diplomatic cable as “an empty suit” — has shown no such appetite and likened power to “poison” before being persuaded to become Congress’s election frontman. His mother remains party president.

Since May, Rahul has been barely seen in public and has left Sonia to rally the party.

Hasan said it had been a mistake to think the Gandhi magic could be handed down endlessly, adding: “I think the whole transition from Sonia Gandhi to Rahul Gandhi went horribly wrong.” For years, it seemed almost unthinkable that anyone but a Gandhi could lead Congress.

But asked recently if someone from outside the family could lead the party, former finance minister P. Chidambaram told NDTV: “I think so… someday, yes.”

The party’s plight has added to the nostalgia for Indira even though she was a massively divisive figure, especially after she imposed a 21-month state of emergency.

Critics say her authoritarian streak was again illustrated by her order to storm the Golden Temple, the Sikhs’ most revered shrine, in June 1984 when part of the complex in Amritsar were taken over by militants.

After at least 400 people were killed in the assault, two of her Sikh bodyguards took revenge by shooting her dead in her garden.

“She was a very great leader, a world leader, who I saw was respected wherever she went,” K. Natwar Singh, a former foreign minister who accompanied her on numerous trips, told AFP.

Singh, who fell out with Sonia after being sacked in 2005, sees little chance of any immediate Congress revival.

“Its fortunes are very, very low and have nowhere to go but up, but at this time I don’t see it happening,” he added.

Digvijaya Singh, another Congress veteran who worked with both Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, said it would be a mistake to write off the party but added it was struggling to get its message across.

“I am sure we will make a comeback… but one thing that I have been suggesting to Rahul Gandhi and to others in the party is the need to communicate more, and directly, in this age of 24/7 communication,” he told AFP. – Thirty Years on from 1984 November Sikh Massacres, Minorities Coming Together to Seek UN Intervention

Kanwarpal Singh, Dal Khalsa

Amritsar, Punjab, 29 October 2014. In a significant political development, the representatives of the Sikhs, the Kashmiris, the Tamils, the Nagas, the Manipuri peoples and Christians will gather on a single platform at a rally being organized by the Dal Khalsa at Jantar Mantar, Delhi on November 3 to commemorate the 30th year of Nov 1984 killings in Delhi and elsewhere.

Supported by Damdami Taksal and SAD (Panch Pardani), the Dal Khalsa will undertake a long march from Akal Takht Sahib to Delhi on Nov 2, where a “Rights and Justice Rally’ will be held before proceeding towards UN headquarters to submit a memorandum to its officials.

For the first time representatives of struggling organizations of minority communities will be coming together to seek more regular and systematic intervention of the United Nations in the political development of India.

Disclosing their plans to observe the 30th year of the Sikh carnage after presiding over the meet of party colleagues, president H S Dhami and spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said having exhausted all internal forums, Sikhs see no place for justice except the United Nations for justice.

They said it’s ironic that in November, 30 years ago, officially 2733 Sikhs were killed – unofficially close to 8,000 – but the country and its people refuse to acknowledge it as a massacre, carnage or attempted genocidal pogrom and have reduced it in writing and oral parlance as a riot between the Sikhs and non-Sikhs.

Elaborating on their plan to knock on the doors of the United Nations, they said they would seek a peaceful resolution of the conflicts that give rise to genocidal pogroms against the Sikhs, like the one in Delhi in November 1984, the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat in the year 2002, the attacks on churches and killings of Christians in Orissa in 2008 and the killings of Kashmiri youth in the last decade.

We are living in dangerous times and we fear more threats as time passes by. The present incumbents to power in the country are clearly determined to create a Hindu state and they are entitled to their wishes. Similarly, we too are entitled to our regional, religious and nationalist aspirations by virtue of our birth, history and legacy and as per the UN charter.

Gurdwaras – Central Gurdwara, Khalsa Jatha, Shepherd’s Bush, London, UK

Námdhari Ustat

Central Gurdwara (Khalsa Jatha)
62 Queensdale Road
London W11 4SG

The Tribune – Abohar MC elections, BJP flays SAD leaders’ bid to contest from all wards

Our Correspondent

Abohar, October 28. BJP workers, during a meeting held here today, criticised SAD unit leaders for making an “absurd” attempt to field their men from all the wards for the Abohar Municipal Council elections, which are expected to be held next month.

The meeting held at senior activist Krishan Nagpal’s residence was presided over by veteran worker Raj Kumar Tandon, who has held various key positions in Jansangh too in the past.

The party workers were of the opinion that the “irresponsible” utterances reportedly made by the local SAD unit members had hurt the “coalition dharma”.

They asked BJP state executive member Sandeep Rinwa and district president Sita Ram Sharma to bring this to the notice of the BJP and the SAD leadership to avert damage to the coalition.

Rinwa and Sharma said only “honest, devoted candidates with clean image” would be fielded in the local Municipal Council elections to ensure BJP’s win for the second term.

The SAD city unit had invited applications for contesting elections in all the 33 wards, whereas the party had only five members in the past council that was run by the BJP with the strength of 19 councillors. The SAD initiative indicated that it plans to oust the saffron party in Abohar.

The SAD high command had recently rewarded detractors from the BJP in the last Vidhan Sabha elections with key posts while reorganising the city unit.


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