The Indian Express – Panjab: Speaker orders probe into Bains live-streaming of House proceedings

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 23 March 2018. The inquiry into the issue was demanded by Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi after Chief Minister and Leader of the house Amarinder Singh raised the matter in the Assembly and sought Speaker’s intervention.

A day after Lok Insaf Party (LIP) chief Simarjit Singh Bains live-streamed the House proceedings of the ongoing budget session, Punjab Speaker Rana Kanwarpal Singh Thursday ordered a probe into the event and asked the members to switch off their phones at the time of entering the Assembly.

The inquiry into the issue was demanded by Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi after Chief Minister and Leader of the house Amarinder Singh raised the matter in the Assembly and sought Speaker’s intervention.

Without naming Bains, the CM raised the issue and expressed concern that the rules of the House were given a go by some opposition leaders.

Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Khaira raised the issue that Channi had himself live-streamed on social media when he was the LoP during SAD-BJP rule. The CM, however, said that it was a serious matter. He urged the Speaker to direct all members to strictly follow the rules and maintain dignity of the house.

Amarinder said it had come to his notice from the newspapers. Speaker reminded the members of rule number 90 of Assembly Conduct Rules that provides for switching off cell phones of members before entering the House.

Punjab: Speaker orders probe into Bains live-streaming of House proceedings

Advertisements – Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa (Haryana) was compelled to jump from water tank by police

Sikh24 Editors

Ludhiana – Panjab – India, 20 March 2018. As per eyewitness reports, Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa was compelled to jump from the water tank due to pressure by Punjab police.

Sikh24 has learned from sources who were at the protest site that police wanted to foil the protest by Sikh activist Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa. Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa relatiliated in response to police action as he did not want his third hunger protest to end due to external pressure.

Shortly before jumping from the water tank, Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa spoke with Bhai Harminder Singh (Delhi) and mentioned that he would not end the struggle until the following three commands were met:

Jathedar Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara’s transfer to Punjab

Release of Sikh political prisoners as listed during the Amb Sahib Morcha

Arrest of culprits responsible for sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in Punjab

Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, renowned for initiating struggle to seek release of Sikh political prisoners today passed away. As per our sources, Bhai Gurbaksh Singh today jumped off a water tank in protest of lack of Government action in releasing Sikh political prisoners.

Bhai Papalpreet Singh, a renowned Sikh activist who provided coverage of Bhai Gurbaksh Singh’s struggle at Amb Sahib and later at Lakhnaur Sahib told Sikh24 that Bhai Khalsa has re-initiated hunger protest to seek release of Sikh political prisoners.

“Due to the fact that this was his third attempt to seek permanent release of Sikh detainees, there was lack of enthusiasm amongst Sikh masses to support his cause,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa who is also on indefinite hunger protest at DMC Hero Heart Hospital referred to Bhai Khalsa as a shaheed.

He called upon the Punjab and Union Government to move swiftly and release political prisoners who have completed their sentences. A statement by Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa reads, “Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa is a true martyr of the Sikh Nation. He initiated this task so the entire world could know about slavery of the Sikhs in India.”

Bhai Gurbaksh Singh had reinitiated his protest at Thaska Ali, near Ismailabad block. He was taken to the Lok Naik Jai Prakash Civil Hospital where he was pronounced dead after he jumped from the overhead water tank.

Gent Moscou

Gent Moscou
28 January 2018

Bus 41, 42, 43, 44 and 48 rerouted to replace Tram 4

Bus/Tram stops Adolf van Ooteghemstraat

Moscou Viaduct

Moscou tram terminus and Park & Ride

Train tracks to/from Gentbrugge and Dampoort

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Express Tribune – Slandering Pashtuns, Sikhs: Textbook publisher told to issue public apology

Hidayat Khan

Peshawar – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – Pakistan, 23 March 2018. A book publisher has been asked to publicly apologise for including derogatory material against Pashtuns and Sikhs in some books it publishes for some Punjab-based colleges.

This was directed by a two-member bench of the Peshawar High Court (PHC), comprising Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Syed Afsar Shah. The bench issued the order after it heard a writ petition filed by a group of 12 lawyers who had urged the court to stop the publisher from publishing the book with the offensive descriptions.

Moreover, they had urged the court to direct the Punjab government and educational institutions to not publish or teach derogatory information in colleges.

The petitioners had told the court that on page 47 and page 48 of the Pakistan Study for Degree Classes textbook, published by Azeem Academy Publishers, used slang and abusive words to describe Pashtuns and Sikh, adding that the use of such language was intolerable for Pashtuns living across the country.

“Using such language against the Pashtuns is illegal, unconstitutional and against moral ethics,” the lawyers contended, adding that Pashtuns and Sikh were portrayed as ‘traitors’ and ‘jahil’ (ignorant) in degree-level books being taught at the Punjab group of colleges.

The petitioner argued that the constitution guarantees right of citizens and provides that all the citizens must be treated equally and without any discrimination.

“It may create ethnic differences in the country which may push the entire nation towards an endless war and hatred if such practices were not stopped at once,” the lawyers said.

Pashtuns are living in this country in peace, respect and harmony and the act of using such a ‘derogatory language’ against them pose danger to the respect and the peaceful state of Pashtuns, they further contended.

The petitioner urged the PHC to direct the publisher to remove offensive language from the textbooks, correct the language and in future ensure that Pashtuns are treated with respect and without discrimination in coursebooks.

The Hindu – Will bring privilege motion against Sushma Swaraj: Congress

Special Correspondent

New Delhi – India, 22 March 2018. The Congress on Thursday announced to move a privilege motion against External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the Rajya Sabha for “misleading” Parliament on the fate of the 39 Indians who were kidnapped by ISIS terrorists in Iraq four years ago.

Congress MPs from Punjab, Ambika Soni, Pratap Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo, said they would move a motion against Ms Swaraj for dealing with the issue “insensitively and playing with the lives of 39 Indian citizens.”

“I accuse Sushma Swaraj of misleading the House. She gave an assurance that these people were alive. Our sources have proved to be right and her confidential sources have proved to be wrong. We will be bringing a privilege motion against [her],” Ms. Soni told reporters.

“We have continuously tried to raise the issue, but Ms Swaraj always said she cannot share the sources nor any document and always claimed that they were alive. The government’s efforts to put a cover on the issue led to misconceptions among the families of the deceased.

We have come to know from Iraq that they died at least a year ago, but our government has been so insensitive,” she added.

Accusing the government for its “clumsy” handling of the issue, Mr Bajwa said when someone dies or is martyred, the family of the deceased are informed first.

“We would like Sushmaji to tell us whether her sources ever had direct contact with the kidnapped Indians? Is there a video tape? Is there a phone recording” asked Mr. Bajwa.

The Congress leader also demanded that the Centre announce a compensation of Rs 1 crore and offer a job to the families of the victims.

Mr Bajwa also accused the government of diverting the attention of the country by raising issues such as Congress’ alleged links with the disgraced data firm, Cambridge Analytica, that’s right now in the middle of a political storm.

The Statesman – Iraq deaths: A ‘foreign job’ that brought more than death to families

Most of the victims belonged to the lower middle class of society

Ranjeet Jamwal

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 21 March 2018. Having spent lakhs of rupees for a “foreign job”, family members of Punjab men killed by ISIS in Mosul city of Iraq are facing a bleak future with the main breadwinners of the families gone.

The family of Surjit Mainka, a resident of Churuwali village in Jalandhar, said they had spent Rs 4.5 lakh for sending the 35-year-old to Iraq.

“We go abroad to earn money. So, we didn’t mind borrowing money for sending him (Surjit) to Iraq. As a labourer, he worked there at a company for 10 months before being captured by the ISIS in June 2014. Now, not only have we lost Surjit, but the amount borrowed for him has also gone up to about Rs. 9 lakh.

We really don’t know how to return this money now,” Surjit’s wife Manjit Kaur (36), told The Statesman over the phone.

She said her husband had little apprehension of the tragic end even as the atmosphere was tense in Iraq at that time since the rise of the ISIS. “His employers didn’t give the passports back to let him come back and asked the staff to stay indoors to avoid any mishap. But then one day ISIS kidnapped all of them,” she added.

Family members of another victim, Rakesh, a resident of Qadian in Gurdaspur, had spent over Rs 2 lakh for sending their only son abroad. “He used to work as a construction worker there and earn about Rs 20 thousand a month.

Four months were all he worked before his abduction. I am also a daily wage and we have no land. So, Rs 2 lakh is a big amount for me and I don’t know how will I manage life after this,” said a family member of Rakesh.

Most of the victims’ family members said they were in touch with them until about 15 June 2014 when things took an ugly turn. The father of Parvinder Kumar, Jeet Ram, a resident of Jagatpur village in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district, said his son was promised good work in Mosul.

“He used to work as a welder and we paid Rs 2 lakh to an agent in Hoshiarpur for arranging work visa in Iraq. Initially, he was forced to work as a domestic servant and then sent to Mosul to work in a company,” he said.

Most of the family members of those killed by ISIS in Iraq have been contacted by the district administrations concerned and told to be ready to collect their mortal remains in Amritsar.

The Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had informed the Parliament on Tuesday that all 39 Indians who went missing in the war-torn Iraqi city of Mosul in 2014 are dead. As many as 24 of these men are from Punjab where foreign jobs are a craze.

The Tribune – AAP, LIP legislators walk out of Governor’s Address

Rajmeet Singh, Tribune News service

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 20 March 2018. Fourteen of the 20 AAP MLAs, led by Leader of the Opposition Sukhpal Khaira, on Tuesday staged a walkout from the House over the Congress government’s “failure” to check the drug menace.

Lok Insaaf Party legislators Simarjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Bains joined the AAP leaders in walking out during Governor’s Address, but returned later. AAP MLAs Amarjit Singh Sandoa and Kultar Singh Sandhwan remained seated, while four others were absent.

Governor V P Singh Badnore listed the pre-poll promises being fulfilled by the state government, even as the SAD-BJP MLAs skipped the proceedings on the opening day of the Budget session.

In his address, Badnore said: “The government is seriously concerned about the problems of its employees and pensioners. It has decided to clear their pending dues on priority and evolve an appropriate mechanism to resolve their genuine grievances”.

Among the government’s achievements, he mentioned busting of eight terror modules involved in sectarian killings, timely lifting of rabi and kharif crops, setting up of the Special Task Force (STF) to tackle drug addiction, submitting of interim reports by the Justice Mehtab Singh (retd) Commission of Inquiry probing false cases, launch of the farm debt relief scheme, and formation of the Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission of Inquiry to look into sacrilege cases.

A passing reference was made to the directions issued to Deputy Commissioners and other officers to ensure no cartelisation or favouritism. However, the speech did not mention the steps being taken to rein in the mafia in various trades, including cable network, transport and sand mining.

He said: “The state is seriously concerned about illegitimate demands and averments of our neighbouring states. All possible measures would be taken to protect the river waters of Punjab”.

He also talked about reforms in the education sector, efforts to simplify payments for social welfare schemes, the new culture policy, the new industrial and business policy, and mega placement drives.

Gent Veldstraat – Gurdwara – Moscou

Gent Veldstraat
28 January 2018

The piper piping ….

Gent Gurdwara
28 January 2018

Istria sangat reading Sukhmani Sahib

Not just the women !

Mata Sahib Kaur Gurdwara
Kortrijksepoortstraat 49
B-9000 Gent – Oost-Vlaanderen

Gent Moscou
28 January 2018

Josef Vervaenestraat
Tram tracks but no trams

Josef Vervaenestraat
Buses rerouted to serve Moscou

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Asian Image – Sikh students serve up ‘Langar on Campus’

Students served up more than 500 free meals as part of ‘Langar on Campus’.

Birmingham – West Midlands – UK, 21 March 2018. Birmingham City University Students’ Union and its Sikh Society hosted the ‘Langar on Campus’ in the Atrium at Millennium Point.

‘Langar’, meaning kitchen in Punjabi, is an important institution in Sikhism, where free food is offered to anyone who attends.

This is the third time a large-scale langar has been held at Birmingham City University in the UK, and this year over 500 people from across the city came to enjoy a hot meal and gain a greater insight into the Sikh faith.

‘Langar on Campus’ is an event organised by Sikh students in universities all across the world, where students, staff and community members from all backgrounds come together and eat.

Everyone sits on a carpet together at the same level, signifying equality, and only vegetarian food is served in order to cater for everyone, no matter what their diet is.

The langar started in 15th century India by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism and the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus.

It was designed to uphold the principle of equality between all people regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender or social status; a revolutionary concept in the caste-ordered society of India at that time.

Often, langars will be attached to gurdwaras, a place of worship for Sikhs.

Traditionally, everyone shares the tasks of preparation, cooking, serving and cleaning in the langar, and food is donated from members of the local community.

One of the most famous langars is the kitchen at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, which provides food for upwards of 100,000 people during religious holidays and weekends. However, open-air langars, like the one in Millennium Point, are also popular and are among the most attended community meals anywhere in the world.

Amrit Kaur, Secretary of Birmingham City University Sikh Society, said, “Our Sikh Society were blessed with the opportunity to organise the third annual ‘Langar on Campus’ event.

“Through this event, we were able to spread the beautiful message of our first Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, that everyone is welcome to a free vegetarian meal regardless of their religion, gender or colour. We dearly hope everyone enjoyed the event as much as we did”.

Dawn – Twenty-six killed in Kabul as IS suicide bomber targets Nauroz celebrations

Kabul – Afghanistan, 21 March 2018. A suicide bomber on Wednesday killed at least 26 people, many of them teenagers, after detonating a device among a crowd of people in Kabul who were celebrating the Persian new year Nauroz, officials said.

The militant Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, the fifth suicide bombing in the Afghan capital in recent weeks ─ via its propaganda arm Amaq, SITE Intelligence Group said.

The Taliban earlier denied involvement on Twitter.

Another 18 people were wounded in the blast, Interior Ministry Spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said, “all of them civilians”.

There were fears the figure could rise, however, with the Health Ministry giving a higher toll of 29 people killed and 52 wounded. Afghan officials often give conflicting tolls in the wake of attacks.

The bomber, who was on foot, detonated his device in front of Kabul University and a hospital that was opposite, Rahimi said.

The blast occurred less than 200 metres from Karte Sakhi shrine where many Afghans gather every year to mark Nauroz, but had been unable to reach it due to heavy security for the holiday.

So he “detonated himself among teenagers returning from there”, Kabul police chief Mohammad Daud Amin told Tolo News.

Bloodstains could be seen among scattered belongings on the road at the site of the attack. A man who was standing metres from where the explosion happened told Tolo that he saw “at least four bodies in blood” on the ground.

IS has attacked the same shrine once before, in October 2016, when gunmen killed 18 people gathered to mark Ashura.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, whose government has been repeatedly lambasted for its inability to protect its citizens, condemned the attack in a statement as a “crime against humanity”.

Taliban and IS militants have increasingly targeted the war-weary city in recent months as United States and Afghan forces ramp up air strikes and ground offensives against the groups.

Wednesday’s blast comes days after a Taliban suicide attacker blew up a bomb-laden car in Kabul, causing multiple casualties.

Some Western and Afghan security experts believe the Haqqani Network has been behind some of the attacks in Kabul in recent months, including those claimed by IS.

The Taliban, Afghanistan’s largest militant group, faces growing pressure to take up a recent offer by President Ghani of peace talks to end the 16-year war. So far it has given only a muted response.

Little incentive for talks

This latest suicide attack underscores the growing challenge facing Afghan and foreign forces to protect the already heavily militarised city.

Authorities had increased security ahead of Nauroz festivities, which militants have previously struck with deadly force.

General John Nicholson, who leads US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, recently told reporters that protecting Kabul was a priority for foreign troops.

“Kabul is our main effort right now, to harden Kabul, to protect the people of Kabul and the international community that are here because of the strategic impact that has and the importance to the campaign,” Nicholson said.

But he acknowledged that preventing further attacks would be challenging in the sprawling city that is poorly mapped and extremely porous.

The latest attack comes as US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford visits Afghanistan to assess the military campaign against insurgents, weeks before the start of the spring fighting season, which is expected to be particularly bloody this year.

Despite calls for the Taliban to sit down with the Afghan government, the group appears to have few reasons to negotiate.

The Taliban has been resurgent since the withdrawal of US-led Nato combat troops at the end of 2014, taking back territory and devastating Afghanistan’s beleaguered security forces.

In October, insurgents controlled or influenced nearly half of Afghanistan’s districts, double the percentage in 2015, the US government’s office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said in January.

Over the same period, the watchdog said, the number of districts under Afghan government control or influence fell to its lowest level since December 2015.