The Telegraph – HC extends Stan Swamy’s stay in private hospital till 18 June

The Court also directs infirmary to submit medical reports of the Jesuit priest in a sealed envelope in the next hearing.

Mumbai – Maharashtra – India, 10 June 2021. The Bombay High Court on Thursday said Jesuit priest and activist Stan Swamy, arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, shall remain admitted in a Mumba-based private hospital till 18 June as he is suffering from COVID-19.

Swamy, 84, was on 28 May shifted from the Taloja prison in neighbouring Navi Mumbai to the Holy Family Hospital here after he filed a petition, seeking interim bail on medical grounds.

After being shifted to the private hospital, he tested positive for the coronavirus infection.

He was lodged at the Taloja prison since his arrest in October 2020.

On Thursday, his counsel Mihir Desai told a division bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar that Swamy had tested positive for COVID-19 and hence, his stay at the private hospital should be extended.

The bench said Swamy shall remain admitted at the private hospital till 18 June, and posted the petition for hearing on 17 June.

The court also directed the hospital to submit in a sealed envelope medical reports of Swamy by the next date of hearing.

Last month, when Swamy was produced before the HC from the prison via video-conferencing, he told the court that his mental and physical health had declined steadily in the jail.

The Elgar Parishad case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at a conclave held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on 31 December 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the Maharashtra city’s outskirts.

The Pune Police had claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists.The National Investigation Agency (NIA) later took over the probe into the case.

The Tribune – When two Punjabs met

Tarunjit Singh talks about memories he collected and compiled in his book A Journey Home to Lehnda Punjab: History, Experiences and Emotions during a Majha House session

Tribune News Service

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 09 June 2021. When I was about to make my journey back to Punjab in Pakistan, I asked my grandmother how will I recognise our ancestral haveli? And she replied that there was an old black peacock outside.

And when I went there, the peacock was still intact, said a visibly emotional Tarunjit Singh Butalia during an online session organised by Majha House here.

I spent only a few days in Pakistan, but these were so rich that they will make for memories of a lifetime.

The programme was held under the Majha House initiative of ‘Sanjha Punjab’ and was helmed by Dr Arvinder Chamak. Tarunjit Singh was sharing his memories which he collected and compiled in his book ‘A Journey Home to Lehnda Punjab: History, Experiences and Emotions’.

Tarunjit Butalia is an interfaith speaker and an educator. His ancestral home is in Gujjaranwala, Pakistan. His family migrated to Amritsar in 1947 and later he settled in the USA.

When I received an article for translation, I didn’t pay much attention as it was just another job. But when I went through these, I was moved to tears by what Tarunjit had written. Khizar Jawad, a scholar from Lahore.

He was joined in this session by renowned scholars from Pakistan Mazhar Abbas and Khizar Jawad. “I spent only a few days in Pakistan, but they were so rich that they will make for memories of a lifetime,” said Tarunjit.

Tarunjit, through his experiences, debunks many pre-formed, rigid notions that outsiders have of the people of Pakistan. We are seen as a stereotype, as backward people who dominate their women, don’t let them get education or work, or force them to be in hijab, and who are not hospitable.

His book shatters all myths. Mazhar Abbas, scholar From Lyallpur, Pakistan.

Explaining his surname, he said the word ‘butalia’ comes from the Punjabi denomination of the number 42 (batali), which marked the number of estates their family owned.

He said he had planned to chart a history of his family heritage from one Punjab in Pakistan to the other in India.

Sharing his experiences in Lahore during his journey there, he said when the road widened, he knew instinctively that he had entered the Mall Road, and he knew that Aitchison College, the college where his ancestors studied, was nearby.

And soon, he was standing in front of the college. “When I reached our haveli, I was delighted to find that it had been converted into a school for girls. It seemed to be a fitting usage of our heritage,” remarked Tarunjit.

Introducing the two scholars, Khizar from Lahore and Mazhar of Lyallpur, Pakistan, who helped him in his endeavour, Tarunjit said they were not only translators, but co-authors as their contribution to the book was immense.

Khizar said: “When I received an article for translation, I didn’t pay much attention to it as it was just another job. But when I went through one and then the rest of these, I was moved to tears by what Tarunjit had written.”

In his turn Mazhar said: “I took up the project simply because I was idle at that time after having submitted my Ph.D thesis. But when I went through the articles, I knew what I had in my hands was something quite unique.

Tarunjit, through his experiences, debunks many pre-formed, rigid notions that outsiders have of the people of Pakistan.

We are seen as a stereotype, as backward people who dominate their women, don’t let them get education or work, or force them to be in hijab, and who are not hospitable. This book shatters all these myths.”

Tarunjit Singh Butalia, an interfaith speaker and an educator

NBC News – 13-Year-Old Arrested for Targeting Two Sikh Teens in Alleged Long Island Mall Assault

Members of the Sikh community on Long Island have been pushing for criminal charges after the two teenage boys said they were harassed and attacked for their religion.

Pei-Sze Cheng

Long Island – New York – USA, 04 June 2021. A 13-year-old Long Island teen was arrested and charged with a hate crime offense for allegedly punching another teen and making bias comments, police said.

Yuvraj Bindra, 13, said he and his friend were at Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington on 29 May when another group of teens started verbally assaulting them, believing that the two are Muslims.

Bindra recalled one of the attackers saying, “Hey, Mohammed, come here. I’ll knock that ball off your head.”

That’s when the confrontation allegedly turned physical. One of the teens punched his friend, Chaz Bedi, in the face while others recorded the incident on their phones. The teen who was punched didn’t suffer serious injuries.

On Friday, police in Suffolk County announced the arrest of a 13-year-old on the charge of aggravated harassment as a hate crime. He was arrested late Thursday evening at the Second Precinct and will be arraigned at Suffolk County Family Court at a later date.

Chaz said the arrest brought him a sense a relief, after he said he “had no clue if these kids would be arrested or caught.”

Chaz’s father, Satbir Singh, said that the arrest highlights the importance of reporting hate crimes.

“Don’t be scared of reporting a hate crime, because when you don’t report a hate crime, you’re actually feeding the hate,” Singh said. – Pakistan Assembly passes bill to allow Kulbhushan Jadhav right to appeal

The legislation will allow former Indian naval officer to have consular access in accordance with the International Court of Justice verdict.

Scroll Staff

Islamabad – Pakistan, 10 June 2021. Pakistan’s National Assembly on Thursday approved a bill that will provide former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav the right to appeal against his conviction and death sentence in court, Dawn reported.

The ICJ (Review and Re-consideration) Bill, 2020, which was backed by the Pakistan government, will also allow Jadhav to have consular access in accordance with the International Court of Justice verdict.

According to the bill, High Courts will have the power to review and reconsider cases where the International Court of Justice passes an order in respect of rights of a foreigner under the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations, reported ANI. It also provides for High Courts to review cases when the foreigner is treated unfairly in respect to his rights under the convention.

The bill states that such a foreigner can file a petition before a High Court for review and reconsideration in regard to an order of conviction. It was adopted by the Assembly after getting approval from a 21-member standing committee.

A Pakistani military court had sentenced Jadhav to death in April 2017 for allegedly spying for India. Jadhav’s execution was stayed after India moved the International Court of Justice against the verdict in May 2017. India had contended in the court in The Hague that the lack of consular access to Jadhav was in violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

In July 2019, the International Court of Justice ordered Pakistan not to execute Jadhav. Following the order, Pakistan allowed India access to the former naval officer. However, India has alleged that Pakistan has not provided unimpeded consular access to Jadhav.

On Thursday, Pakistan Law Minister Farogh Nasim said the bill was being passed in view of the International Court of Justice verdict.

The law minister said if the bill was not passed, India would have approached the United Nations Security Council and could have moved contempt proceedings against Pakistan in the International Court of Justice. By passing the law, Nasim said, Pakistan has proved to the world that it was a responsible country.

The Pakistani government had enforced the law by passing a promulgation of an ordinance in May last year.

The recent law was passed amid protests from the Opposition parties, who staged a boycott and shouted slogans demanding hanging for the former Navy officer. Besides the bill for Jadhav, 20 more were passed by the Assembly on Thursday.

Pakistani Muslim League (N) Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal criticised the legislation to provide relief to the former Navy officer, saying that the bill was person-specific.

He asked what was the need to bring the legislation when the country’s law allowed High Courts to review the sentences awarded by military courts.

Kashmir Times – Time to stop harming nature, polluting it further: Tarigami

Srinagar – Jammu & Kashmir – India, 05 June 2021. On the eve of World Environment Day, CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami Saturday said it was time for the people living on Earth to stop harming nature and polluting it further.

In his message on World Environment Day, he expressed his grave concern for the incessant degradation of the ecosystem in Jammu and Kashmir and said that water bodies of the region have shrunk drastically. “These water bodies are becoming dumping sites.

Solid Waste Management can play a vital role in reducing the threat to these water bodies,” he said.
He said the ecosystem of Jammu and Kashmir is fragile and its continuous over-exploitation has forced many natural living organisms into a serious threat of extinction.

“This includes the crown of wildlife of Kashmir, Hangul. The change in land use is going to pose a serious threat to the Ecosystem as J&K’s ecology is fragile and needs immediate attention of the administration,” he said.

Tarigami added that the day should not be a symbolic celebration, but a mission to where everybody should take a pledge to protect the environment throughout the year.

“The world is finally waking up to the issues of climate change and global warming, and massive efforts are being undertaken to protect the environment. But is it enough?

That remains to be seen. World Environment Day is a call for the awakening of individuals to take charge of protecting their environment and to realise the severity of plastic usage in daily life,” he added.

“We all must join hands to bring a positive change to make Earth a much healthier, greener, and happier place to live. The fact remains that only with healthy ecosystems can we enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change and stop the collapse of biodiversity,” he said. – Sikh Aware resolves the issue of Amritdhari Sikh not being allowed to wear Kirpan at work in New Zealand

Sikh24 World Bureau

Auckland – New Zealand. Amandeep Singh, an Amritdhari Sikh is working as truck driver since October 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Due to a complaint by fellow employees, he was requested to provide a letter from the NZ Police stating that the Kirpan is legal at workplaces in New Zealand on 4th June 2020.

Amandeep Singh approached the police directly and through local Gurdwara committees. However, despite repeated follow-up, the police have not responded with the letter required.

On 27th July, the employer issued a second follow up letter requesting the written confirmation from the police. Despite repeated follow-up, no response was received.

On Monday, 10th August, the employer informed Amandeep Singh that he cannot come to the workplace wearing a Kirpan till he gets the letter from the NZ Police.

Amandeep contacted Sikh Aware to help him out with the issue. Amandeep Singh had a firm resolve that he will not go to work without wearing a Kirpan and preferred to stay at home.

The news of this incident spread far and wide and even the President of SGPC (The presiding body of the Sikh Gurdwaras in Punjab) Gobind Singh Longowal took notice and asked that the Indian Government raise this issue with the New Zealand Government.

He also asked the Sikh Institutions of New Zealand to try and resolve this issue at the earliest.

The team at Sikh Aware contacted the employer directly and also through the trade union and informed the employer that it is in potential breach of the Employment Relations Act and Human Rights Act and asked the employer to seek legal advice.

On providing the relevant information regarding the potential breaches of the law, the employer agreed to allow Amandeep Singh back to the workplace while wearing the Kirpan. The employer also agreed to pay Amandeep Singh for the 4 days he was not allowed to come to work.

To resolve this entire issue, Sikh Aware also requested the assistance of Labour Party candidate Baljit Kaur who also engaged with the police and the local MP of Amandeep Singh’s electorate Louisa Wall who promptly replied and promised to assist and speak to the employer even on the weekend.

Baljit Kaur also spoke to the police who said that they are working on the letter and shall provide that soon.

Should any Sikh in New Zealand face any sort of issue in practicing Sikhi freely at school, college or at the workplace, they should contact Sikh Aware at so that we can raise the same and bring about a positive outcome for both the parties.

NDTV News -“Missing” Posters Of Navjot Singh Sidhu On Amritsar Roads Again After 10 Years

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 02 June 2021. Posters proclaiming that MLA Navjot Sidhu has gone “missing” have been plastered overnight across walls in Amritsar East assembly constituency. The posters put up by a non-governmental organisation “Dhan Dhan Baba Deep Singh Ji” read: “Congress MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu is missing”.

The posters announced a reward of Rs 50,000 to anyone who traces the legislator and brings him to the constituency.

NGO representative Anil Kumar Vishist Bunty alleged that Mr Sidhu had been inaccessible to the residents of the Amritsar East assembly constituency.

He also alleged a lack of development in the area and claimed that heaps of garbage and stranded water on the roads could be seen across this assembly segment.

Even his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu is not accessible, he further alleged.

Mr Bunty accused the Navjot Singh and his wife of doing nothing for the development of the constituency.

It is not the first time that “Sidhu Missing” posters have surfaced in Amritsar.

They were earlier seen ten years ago when he was a BJP MP.

At that time, posters were put up by the Congress Municipal Councillor Raman Bakshi who is presently the senior Deputy Mayor of Amritsar Municipal Corporation.

Dawn – Panjab government decides to block SIM cards of people refusing vaccines

Imran Gabol

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 10 June 2021. The Punjab government on Thursday decided to block the SIM cards of people refusing to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, an official said.

The step was among several decisions taken by the provincial government to control the spread of Covid-19 and speed up the vaccination process, including opening walk-in vaccination for all adults from 12 June.

“Final decision has been taken to block the mobile SIM cards of people not getting vaccinated,” Punjab Specialised Healthcare Department spokesman Syed Hammad Raza said.

A high-level meeting chaired by Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid also decided to set up mobile vaccination camps outside major shrines in the province, and fully open businesses in all districts where at least 20 per cent of the population has been vaccinated.

Vaccinated people will be allowed to go to cinema halls and restaurants and marriage halls will be opened. People suffering from terminal illnesses like HIV/AIDS and cancer will now be vaccinated on priority, according to the spokesperson.

The meeting was given a briefing on the measures taken to control the spread of the virus and it appreciated the health department’s performance for the decrease in the number of infections and mortality rate.

“We have seen considerable decrease in [the] number of cases. The government is utilising all our resources for control of Covid-19 under the leadership of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar,” Rashid was quoted as saying.

She said the credit for the reduction in case numbers went to the administration, adding that as many as 677 vaccination centres were operating in the province.

After the opening of the walk-in facility for all adults, she said, people would be able to get inoculated upon showing their CNIC.

The Punjab chief secretary said that maximum possible facilities were being provided at vaccination centres. He said in districts where 20pc of the population has been vaccinated, all businesses will be opened subject to compliance with mask-wearing.

No updates to my blog today Thursday 10 June 2021

Passion flower – Passiebloem

Published in: on June 10, 2021 at 6:20 am  Leave a Comment  

BBC News – Cheetah: The world’s fastest cat is returning to India

Soutik Biswas – India Correspondent

If all goes well, eight cheetahs, five males and three females, will make the 8,405km (5,222 miles) journey from South Africa to their new home in a sprawling national park in India in November.

The world’s fastest land animal will make a comeback in India, more than half a century after it became extinct in the country.

“Finally we have the resources and the habitat to reintroduce the cat,” says Yadvendradev Jhala, dean of the Wildlife Institute of India, and one of the experts tasked with the effort.

This is the first time in the world, he says, when a large carnivore will be relocated from one continent to another for conservation.

With their black spotted coats and teardrop marks, the cheetah is a sleek animal, racing across grasslands at speeds touching 70 miles (112km) an hour to capture prey.

The cat is also a remarkably athletic animal, braking, ducking and diving as it goes for the kill.

The vast majority of the 7000 cheetahs in the world are now found in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. The endangered cat was reportedly last sighted in India in 1967-68, but their numbers had vastly dwindled by 1900.

Three sites, a national park and two wildlife sanctuaries, in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have been identified for reintroducing the cheetah, Dr Jhala said.

The first eight cats will find their home in Kuno national park in Madhya Pradesh, which has ample prey like antelope and wild boars. Wildlife experts are also rooting for a tiger reserve in Rajasthan’s Mukundra hills as a promising habitat.

To read the full well informed article and see the wonderful pictures of these beautiful cats click on the link below.