The Asian Age – Raje must act against beating of Sikhs, says Amarinder Singh

Amarinder said the Rajasthan government needs to fix culpability and ensure that the culprits are punished

Chandigarh, 28 May 2017. After the reported assault on four Sikh men in Ajmer, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday spoke to his Rajasthan counterpart, Vasundhara Raje Scindia, to seek her personal intervention in ensuring a thorough probe into the incident of mob violence and stringent action against the constable alleged to have abetted the crowd.

Captain Amarinder also urged Ms Raje to direct the police to take immediate steps to prevent a recurrence of such an incident.

Describing the incident as unfortunate, Captain Amarinder said the Rajasthan government needed to fix culpability and ensure the culprits were punished.

The chief minister expressed concern over the fact that the incident, which reportedly took place in April, was being given a communal hue in media reports.

He expressed surprise that the incident did not come to the notice of the local police till a video surfaced on social media showing the mob drag the four Sikhs out of a Bolera SUV and thrash them.

http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/280517/raje-must-act-against-beating-of-sikhs-says-amarinder-singh.htm

The Tribune – Canadian court to hear plea against retired CRPF officer

Tribune News Service

Moga, 27 May 2017. A Canadian court has accepted an application accusing former CRPF IG Tejinder Singh Dhillon of extra-judicial torture of Sikh youths during militancy in Punjab.

The Canadian High Commission in New Delhi had initially refused visa to him, but after a protest by the Indian Government, the former not only granted it but also gave a complimentary ticket to the retired IG to visit the country.

Jatinder Singh Grewal of the Sikhs for Justice, a human rights group, today appeared before the Justice of Peace in Toronto and levelled the allegations of torture on the basis of a victim’s affidavit. The court has fixed May 29 as the date of hearing.

Dhillon is in Toronto to attend a wedding.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/canadian-court-to-hear-plea-against-retd-crpf-officer/413879.html

Sint-Truiden Gazometerstraat and De Lijn & NMBS station – Leuven NMBS station

Sint-Truiden Gazometerstraat
20 April 2017

Walking from the Gurdwara to the station

Here builds our city for the future of our youth !
not very clear …

Sint-Truiden De Lijn & NMBS station
20 April 2017

Fietspunt, De Lijn bus station, NMBS rail station

Fietspunt

Leuven NMBS station
22 April 2017

Resurfacing platform B

Track not in use

Platforms along track 1, 2, 3 and A, B, C, D will be resurfaced

To see all my pictures:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Sikh Federation – Labour resurgence expected to lead to several Sikh MPs

London, 25 May 2017

With less than two weeks of campaigning remaining before the General Election on 8 June it appears to be a clear two-horse race between the Conservatives and Labour in England.

If the trend of a national Labour revival continues alongside effective local campaigns the possibility of four Sikh MPs, three Labour and one Conservative, in two weeks time remains high.

In Wales the first two polls showed clear Conservative leads and indicated they were on course for a historic electoral breakthrough. The first was at the very start of the campaign and gave the Conservatives a ten point lead in Wales.

The most recent one following the resurgence of Labour conducted straight after the Conservative manifesto launch had Labour with a ten point lead. A projection of these figures would see Labour winning all its current seats in Wales and gaining Gower from the Conservatives.

The national opinion polls before the Manchester terror attack showed Labour had more or less halved the gap due to the popularity of some of the policies in the Labour manifesto and doubts and criticisms of controversial aspects of the Conservative manifesto.

All polls were before Theresa May’s embarrassing social care U-turn on a policy that was deemed by many as politically toxic. If the trend in polls continues over the next two weeks England could follow a similar pattern to that in Wales.

According to Labour candidates their manifesto compared to the Conservatives has given them all a boost. Labour’s education policies, limiting class sizes, extending free childcare and ensuring schools are properly resourced have been universally welcomed.

The abolition of tuition fees, the cap on rents and scrapping zero hour contracts have also struck a chord with many students, younger people and parents.

Bhai Narinderjit Singh, the General Secretary of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:

“Given the latest U-turn many simply do not trust the Conservatives, whether this be health, social care, education or immigration.

No one yet knows the full damage of Conservative policies on older people with scrapping the triple lock on pensions, removing the winter fuel allowance and forcing those who need social care to pay for it with their homes, despite the apparent U-turn.

The state of the NHS, waiting times in A&E and schools facing crippling cuts and class sizes soaring is what has dominated on the doorsteps.”

“Theresa May was under fire for her policies and making the social care U-turn when campaigning ground to a halt with the terror attack. It is too early to know what if any impact there will be with local campaigning resuming today. There is no doubt the Manchester terror attack has cast a dark shadow over the general election campaign.”

Currently Tanamnjeet Singh Dhesi who is defending a 7,306 Labour majority in Slough is set to become the first turban wearing Sikh MP in the Commons. Unfortunately the feedback on the ground is there are concerns about how the race card is being played, but the continued resurgence of Labour should ensure a comfortable victory.

If the Labour resurgence continues Preet Kaur Gill the Labour candidate in Birmingham Edgbaston who is defending a majority of 2,706 (6.5%) and running an excellent local campaign should also be elected.

She said: “There has been a fantastic reaction of voters on the doorstep in Edgbaston who like Labour’s policies on protecting the NHS. Waiting lists, waiting times in A&E and treatment of junior doctors has been raised again and again.

Voters also recognise and appreciate our plans for transforming social care and addressing homelessness in Birmingham. I have been able to reassure voters and explain why securing a strong independent local Labour voice from Edgbaston on health and education is crucial.”

“I have confidence in the people of Edgbaston putting faith in someone local with a track record of delivery. It is clear from the hundreds of voters I have personally met since I started the campaign that local issues are extremely important and they have made clear they want someone like me to represent them that they know, can relate to and trust.”

Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:

“We are quietly confident history will be made in two weeks time and we will have our first turban wearing Sikh MP in Tanmanjeet and Preet will become the first Sikh woman MP. They are both hard working and run excellent campaigns. Preet in particular has had tremendous local support.

She is a great listener and the feedback we have been getting is despite the national position people in Edgbaston want someone local they can trust.”

In Wolverhampton South West with Rob Marris having stepped down for Labour Paul Uppal for the Conservatives is expected to easily overturn a Labour majority of 801 (2%) and return after a gap of two years.

The result in Telford is expected to be tight where Kuldip Singh Sahota, the former Labour leader of Telford & Wrekin Council is hoping to overturn a Conservative majority of 730.

Telford was traditionally a Labour stronghold. From the time it was created in 1997 until the election two years ago, it had always returned Labour MPs. So it was one of the biggest upsets of the 2015 election when Lucy Allan took the seat for the Conservatives with a slim majority.

Despite the Conservative lead in opinion polls Kuldip Singh Sahota could spring a surprise if he can get voters to focus on local issues, such as keeping open the accident and emergency unit at Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital.

The race card is also at play in Telford, but whoever can motivate undecided voters to turn out and vote is probably the one that will win.

Gurjeet Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)

Dawn – Suicide blast, clashes on first day of Ramazan kill 54 in Afghanistan

Kabul, 28 May 2017. A suspected suicide bomber killed as many as 18 people in Afghanistan on Saturday and fighting between militants and security forces left at least 36 people dead on the first day of Ramazan.

In eastern Khost province, a Taliban attacker detonated a car bomb near a football field that is close to a military base, officials said.

“The target was a public bus station which was hit by the bombing. The victims were in civilian clothes and it is difficult to verify their identities.”

But provincial police chief Faizullah Ghairat said members of the elite Khost Provincial Force (KPF), known to be paid and equipped by the American CIA, were the target of the attack.

“The bombing took place early morning when KPF members were heading to work,” Ghairat said. “But most of the victims are civilians.”

At a local hospital, doctors received at least 18 dead bodies and eight wounded people, said Gul Mohammaddin Mangal, head of the public health department in Khost. “The bodies are not recognizable and it is hard to say if they are civilians or security forces,” he said.

Taliban spokesman Zabih­ullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the Khost attack, saying it was aimed at members of the Afghan security forces.

A witness at the scene did not observe any military or police vehicles among those destroyed in the blast.

In the north-western province of Badghis, militants attacked security forces in Qadis district, sparking fighting that killed 22 insurgents, six security forces, and eight civilians, said Zahir Bahand a spokesman for the provincial governor.

The fighting also left 33 militants and 17 civilians wounded, he said.

In Nangarhar province on Friday, some residents of Achin district rebelled against fighters of the militant Islamic State group who have occupied much of that district, resulting in fighting that left 15 militants and six civilians dead, provincial governor Gulab Mangar said in a statement.

The KPF, estimated to have around 4,000 fighters, are believed to operate a shadow war against the Taliban in a province that borders Pakistan and are accused of torture and extrajudicial killings.

The brazen car attack, claimed by the Taliban on their website, comes just a day after at least 15 Afghan soldiers were killed when insurgents attacked their base in Kandahar, in the third major assault this week on the military in the southern province.

The attack in Shah Wali Kot district followed insurgent raids earlier this week on military bases in the same area and Maiwand district, bringing the death toll among Afghan troops in Kandahar to around 60.

The Western-backed Afghan government is battling both Taliban and IS militants around the country.

Taliban forces have increased their attacks in the weeks before Ramazan, with a string of strikes in Kandahar, Paktia, and Helmand, among other provinces. The battlefield losses mark a stinging blow for Nato-backed Afghan forces and have raised concerns about their capacity to beat back the resurgent Taliban.

Afghan forces are beset by unprecedented casualties and blamed for corruption, desertion and “ghost soldiers” who exist on the payroll but whose salaries are usurped by fraudulent commanders.

During another deadly Taliban attack on security outposts in southern Zabul province on Sunday, local officials made desperate calls to Afghan television stations to seek attention because they were unable to contact senior authorities for help.

The pleas for attention, a major embarrassment for the Western-backed government, highlighted the disarray in security ranks.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1335802/suicide-blast-clashes-on-first-day-of-ramazan-kill-54-in-afghanistan

The Hindustan Times – Beyond bull: Why new restriction on cow slaughter will hurt India

When the Government of India issued an ‘extraordinary’ notification on Tuesday, restricting the sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets and imposing rules that put a majority of the country’s animal markets in danger, it willy-nilly hit much more than the meat industry.

Kunal Pradhan

Hindustan Times, New Delhi, 27 May 2017. It is easy to frame rules banning the slaughter of the cow, its progeny, its distant cousin the water buffalo, and its passing acquaintance the camel. It is much harder to think of life without buttons, soap, toothpaste, paint brushes and surgical stitches.

Only 30% of cattle slaughtered in India is used for meat, either local consumption or export, while 70% of the carcass is traded for industries that deal in the aforementioned products, along with about three-dozen other items of daily use.

Most of the 30% cattle slaughtered, of course, is the water buffalo because the culling of cows for meat is either totally banned or allowed with strict riders in all but five states.

What’s more: eating, selling, transporting or exporting meat of the cow genus is a non-bailable offence, punishable with up to 10 years in jail in all of northern, central and western India.

So, when the Government of India issued an ‘extraordinary’ notification on Tuesday, restricting the sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets and imposing rules that put a majority of the country’s animal markets in danger, it willy-nilly hit much more than the meat industry.

Sources say the meat industry relies on animal markets for 90% of its supply. The impact on allied industries is unclear.

The government may think the decision is politically rewarding at a time of easy vigilantism. But there are economic implications across the board on exports, the environment, the rural economy — issues that should have been addressed before taking a hard line.

According to the 2012 Livestock Census, India has a total of 191 million cows and bulls, and 109 million water buffaloes. These are together roughly 25 per cent of India’s human population.

Most of these end up on the streets at strays, spewing methane in this age of global warming. With culling a bad word now, the number, according to experts, will rise, “perhaps exponentially”.

India exported 2.4 million tonnes of buffalo meat to 65 countries in 2014-15, or 23.5% of global beef exports according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy.

It was worth Rs 30,000 crore, accounting for 1% of India’s total exports, part of the “Pink Revolution” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had so derisively talked about during the 2014 Lok Sabha campaign.

As far as the bovine economy goes, however, it was only a tiny sliver.

The biggest impact of the government notification will be on India’s largely non-mechanized rural economy, in which the life cycle of bulls and bullocks provides farmers with a sustainable economic model. A couple of former colleagues and I had worked out the math in an article for India Today magazine a couple of years ago.

If a farmer buys a bullock for Rs 25,000, it remains sellable at the same price for about two years. Once it becomes unproductive due to injury or illness, the farmer sells it for culling for about Rs 10,000. This 40% return on investment then allows the farmer to raise capital for a replacement animal.

If this replacement cost is taken away from the farmer, it not only makes it harder to procure a new set of healthy bullocks for ploughing, it adds the additional burden of paying for the animal’s upkeep.

In 2014, the used-cattle market in Maharashtra, for example, yielded an annual turnover of Rs 1,180 crore. When the state government banned the culling of cow and its progeny in 2015, a farmer with an unproductive bull suddenly had nowhere to go.

Since the average bovine consumes about 65 litres of water and 40 kg of fodder a day, estimates put the cost of taking care of a bull at nearly Rs 40,000 per year at 2015 prices. With an estimated 1.18 million unproductive bulls in Maharashtra alone, feeding them costs about Rs 4,700 crore per year.

The ban in Maharashtra did not include buffaloes, making the new government notification all the more unpalatable.

So, when anti-culling supporters celebrate taking away the most delicious item on the menu in Lucknow’s Tunday kababs or in a Goan shack, they should consider exactly what they’re losing, and ask themselves: Is depriving other people their meat really worth the cost?

http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/beyond-bull-why-restriction-on-cow-slaughter-will-hurt-india/story-TDkKNbCzkgEFKIdYInkA4O.html

Sikh24.com – Case Surrounding Killing of 7 Sikhs in UP Prison in 1994 Ongoing

Sikh24 Editors

Allahabad-Uttar Pradesh-India, 25 May 2017. In a case pertaining to the murder of 7 Sikh prisoners in Pilibhit Jail, the Allahabad High Court bench, comprising Justices Ramesh Sinha and Umesh Chandra Srivastva, has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government to submit a reply by July 7.

Sikh24 has learnt that 24 out of a total 41 jail officials have received notice from the Allahabad Court in this case. The Allahabad High Court has fixed July 14 for the next hearing on case.

On the intervening night of November 8 & 9, Pilibhit Jail officials led by Jail Superintendent Vidhianchal Singh brutally thrashed 7 Sikh prisoners who succumbed to death in 1994.

In 2007, the District Court of Pilibhit had accepted an application moved by the Mulayam Singh Yadav led UP government for the withdrawal of the case against the jail officials.

Originally, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee had sought the indictment of all 41 jail officials deployed in the jail at that time.

Later, the DSGMC moved a plea in the Supreme Court of India seeking justice for the victims. The Supreme Court had then directed the DSGMC to lodge case in Allahabad High Court.

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/05/25/case-surrounding-killing-of-7-sikhs-in-up-prison-in-1994-ongoing/#.WSj_JsYlHIU

Sint-Truiden Halmaalweg

Sint-Truiden Halmaalweg
20 April 2017

Walking from the Gurdwara to the station

Omleiding Brussel – Luik (By-pass)
STVV Stadium

Modern church off the Halmaalweg

Clock tower

Modern church

Sint-Truiden Gazometerstraat
20 April 2017

Walking from the Gurdwara to the station

Construction of sports facilities ?

When I left Sint-Truiden in 2013 there were plans to construct sports facilities here

To see all my pictures:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

UK Election 2017: Sikh Identity Candidates

Gurnam Singh’s Article posted to Sikh News Discussion by Sardar Gurmukh Singh <sewauk2005@yahoo.co.uk>
Thursday, 25 May 2017

I broadly agree with the general principle that for democracies to function properly they should be representative of the population. However, this does not mean that we priorities identity over other important considerations.

For example, as a socialist, if I have the choice between supporting a Sikh candidate standing as an independent or for the Conservatives and a non Sikh standing for Labour, who should I support? Of course political ideology, though important, should not be the only criteria, and the track record of the candidate should be considered.

One of the arguments being made is that we should have more ‘turban wearing’ Sikhs. Whilst again, I recognise and sympathise the general desire for diversity, I am afraid, simply focussing on outward identity itself could be mistake.

We know for example the presence of turbans in Panjab and Indian political systems is and has not been a guarantor of Sikh interests.

Indeed, it was the turban wearing Chief Minister of Panjab, Beant Singh and his ‘trusted’ Chief of Police, K P S Gill who were instrumental in the extermination of a generation of Sikh youth in the 1980’s through a policy of extra judicial killing and illegal torture.

Even today, we are seeing at the head of many ‘respected’ Sikh institutions and seminaries men displaying multitude of turbans of different colours and designs overseeing what many critical commentators suggest is the systematic Brahminification of the Panth.

The turban is equivalent to a crown and is the symbol of respect, dignity and leadership or sardari. Sadly, because of the growth of global jihadism and most people’s inability to distinguish the nuances of turban styles, it has become a symbol of terror and mistrust.

And the greatest tragedy is that the Sikhs, a generally peace loving and law abiding community, the world over, has become the targets of a mistaken identity.

Add to this social media videos of turban wearing old and young men with flowing bears attacking gurdwaras and preachers, one could be accused of being somewhat weary of supporting candidates simply because they are wearing a turban.

Yes, bring on the turbaned Sikhs, but make sure they have something to offer beneath the turban that can not only protect but extend the honour of our crown that was bestowed upon us by our Gurus to serve humanity and fight all kinds of inequalities, discrimination and oppression.

Any candidate, turban wearing or not, who can demonstrate a commitment to such high ideas will certainly get my vote.

Gurnam Singh

Dr Gurnam Singh
Principal Lecturer in Social Work, Coventry University
School of Psychological, Social and Behavioural Sciences,
Coventry University, Priory Street,
Coventry CV1 5FB, UK
Tel (0044) (0)24 7765 7886
Email g.singh@coventry.ac.uk

The Hindu – ‘Rumours’ drove assault on four Sikh men in Chainpura

Villagers accuse sewadars of ‘hypnotising’ them while seeking alms

Mohammed Iqbal

Chainpura (Nasirabad), 27 May 2017. Rumours and fear of the unknown purportedly drove villagers of Chainpura, about 160 km from Jaipur, to assault four Sikh men here last month. The villagers said the victims, sewadars of a gurdwara, had “hypnotised” them while demanding cash and foodgrain.

“They hypnotised us while seeking alms…In a trance, I gave away ₹2,500 and 20 kg of wheat,” said Keshav Singh (60), a farmer. The villagers at Chainpura, dominated by Rawat Rajputs, further accused the men of threatening them.

Molestation charge

“These Sikh men were roaming around for several days. They were asking villagers to donate foodgrain and threatening people who refused to do so,” said Ajay Rawat, who owns a wine shop in Pushkar.

The victims were also accused of child trafficking, molestation, robbery and selling low-quality rice. Earlier this week, a 51-second video of the sewadars being abused and thrashed by the villagers went viral on social media.

The victims, who fled to their native place Khairthal in Alwar district, have not returned to Nasirabad to seek action against the accused. The villagers claimed that the mob consisted of youth from the nearby Chat Sardarpura hamlet and not residents of Chainpura.

On a complaint lodged by Sarpanch Ramdev Singh, the police detained the four men after the thrashing episode on April 24 and released them the next day following their medical examination and bail orders. Even as no remorse is visible among the villagers, the police here are unwilling to follow up the matter and launch investigation into violence.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Jagdish Rao told The Hindu that no investigation could be initiated unless the victims filed a complaint.

“We asked the group’s leader, Nirmal Singh, to lodge a counter-complaint, but he refused. We cannot open a case [against the villagers] on our own,” he said.

Nasirabad Sadar Station House Officer Laxman Ram said he was in touch with the sewadars, but they were reluctant to come to the town again. “Mr. Singh told me on phone that a complaint would not serve any purpose now.”

While insisting that the incident should not be given a communal twist, Mr Ram said if the police had not reached the spot on time, the mob would have killed the men. “On the other hand, if we had released them without detention for a day, it would have created a law and order situation here,” he said.

Sikhs in the dark

The minuscule Sikh minority in Nasirabad was unaware of the incident until the video was circulated on social media. Singh Sabha Gurdwara’s caretaker Tirlochan Singh said the gurdwara volunteers from other places generally did not inform the local community members about their visits.

The incident bore similarities to the one in Jharkhand, where six persons were lynched on May 19 on suspicion of being child lifters. Last month, cow vigilantes allegedly lynched a dairy farmer from Haryana and thrashed three others on the Jaipur-Delhi National Highway claiming that they were taking the cows for slaughter.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rumours-drove-assault-on-four-sikh-men-in-chainpura/article18588926.ece