The Indian Express – Tarn Taran Blast Case: NIA court dismisses bail plea of accused

The court observed that evidence pointed to the accused was active member of pro-Khalistan terrorist gang. The court said it was of the opinion that there was sufficient ground for believing that accusation against the applicant/accused is prima facie true.

A special NIA court has dismissed the bail application of one of the accused in Tarn Taran blast case. The accused Malkit Singh alias Shera had applied for the bail on health grounds. His plea was rejected Monday.

While the defence said that he was falsely implicated, it also added that the applicant was a patient of diabetes.

The Public Prosecutor appearing on behalf of the NIA submitted that there was more than sufficient evidence against the accused.

He submitted that during the course of investigation incriminating role of accused had emerged and he was highly radicalised towards Khalistan movement. The prosecution added that the accused was part of gang that had planned terrorist activities.

The court observed that evidence pointed to the accused was active member of pro-Khalistan terrorist gang. The court said it was of the opinion that there was sufficient ground for believing that accusation against the applicant/accused is prima facie true.

Shera is one of the accused in a bomb blast case which had taken place on the outskirts of Pandori Gola village in Tarn Taran district on September 4 last year.

The Tribune – Dalit women break shackles, seek share in reserved land

Sangrur – Panjab – India, 02 June 2020. Having stayed behind the veil for many years, local Dalit women have finally begun to stand up for their rights.

They have been leading protests against upper castes and the Panchayat Department, demanding 33 per cent reserved village common land on annual lease.

“It’s a fight for our self-respect. Five to six years back, in a majority of villages, upper castes, who had taken the land in the name of their Dalit servants, would cultivate the reserved land.

The Dalits would have to face humiliation whenever they went even to a roadside to get fodder for animals. But now we do not wish to remain landless,” said Nikki Kaur from Kulara village.

Parmjit Kaur, zonal secretary, Zameen Prapti Sangharash Committee, said they had been fighting for the reserved land for Dalits in about 50 villages of the district.

“This year, women have come in large numbers and with their support, we have succeeded in getting the reserved land for Dalits in 33 villages,” she said.

“In many villages, we have proved through joint farming that reserved land can help Dalits,” said a protester.

Bimal Kaur, district cashier, Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union, Punjab, said they were working in 40 villages of the district and had got the land allotted to Dalits in 33 villages.

Gentbrugge – Melle – Gentbrugge

Gentbrugge – Melle – Gentbrugge
31 March 2020

This part of Melle is still mostly rural

I do not know whether this is an authentic farm house
or a 21st century imitation

This definitely is authentic rural countryside

Another rural or quasi rural house

We are getting nearer to the Heusdenbaan and Gentbrugge
More new estates

John Youngestraat
More about John Younge tomorrow

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Hansard – Lord Singh of Wimbledon

Speech made in the House of Lords

My Lords, the first week of June will mark the 30th anniversary of the Indian Government’s attack on the Golden Temple [Harmandr Sahib], the Vatican of the Sikhs.

The attack was deliberately timed to coincide with the martyrdom anniversary of the temple’s [Gurdwara’s] founder Guru Arjan, when the huge complex would be full to overflowing with pilgrims. Tanks and armoured vehicles were used.

On conservative estimates, well over 2,000 pilgrims were killed. Eye-witnesses told of how some who surrendered were tied up in their own turbans and shot.

Other eye-witnesses outside the temple complex, including my own in-laws, described with horror how they saw groups of pilgrims being herded together and then dispatched with hand grenades.

Many of the atrocities were reported in the British and world press. The President of India at the time, Zail Singh, a Sikh, who was the nominal head of India’s armed services, was not even consulted.

Every June Sikhs remember the huge loss of life and the mindless damage to the Golden Temple, the historic centre of the Sikh faith. The question arises: why did Indira Gandhi resort to such brute force against the Sikhs?

The Indian government version, unquestioningly accepted by our Government, and I speak as a British Sikh, was that there were 17 wanted ​separatists “holed-up”, to use the Indian Government’s jargon, in the Golden Temple [Harmandr Sahib].

They were a threat to a country of 1 billion people. The absurdity is obvious. In addition, this version does not explain why 40 other historic gurdwaras in Punjab were attacked at the same time.

Sikh gurdwaras are open to all. Why were the so-called separatists not simply arrested by the hundreds of soldiers and police who daily entered the gurdwara for the traditional free food?

What Sikhs were demanding at the time was a fair share of Punjab’s river waters to irrigate their fields, and, more importantly, fair treatment for all India’s minorities against growing evidence of majority bigotry.

Earlier in the same year hundreds of Muslims in Mumbai were massacred, with the mob carrying barriers proclaiming: “Majorities have their rights”.

The true reason for Mrs Gandhi’s vindictive attitude to Sikhs stemmed from her prison conviction for electoral fraud in the election of 1975 and her seizing power and imposing dictatorial rule. Her son Sanjay had married a Sikh and she turned to Sikhs for support.

Sikhs, although less than 2% of the population, were at the forefront of the opposition to dictatorial rule, in which the poor, particularly Muslims, were forcibly sterilised and others dumped in the wilderness to make Delhi a tidier place for the Asian Games.

Maneka Gandhi, Sanjay’s wife, true to Sikh democratic traditions, openly opposed the dictatorship.

Sikhs were never forgiven by Mrs Gandhi. When she returned to office, she cynically decided to play to majority religious bigotry, first against the Muslims and then even more vindictively against Sikhs.

The June 1984 carnage in the Golden Temple far exceeded in numbers and barbarity the 1919 massacre led by General Dyer at the nearby Jallianwala Bagh. Even worse was to come.

The widespread killing of thousands of Sikhs following Mrs Gandhi’s assassination was blamed on spontaneous mob violence.

All the evidence is that it was pre-planned for the anniversary of Guru Nanak’s birthday and was simply brought forward, with the government-controlled All India Radio constantly inciting the killers with the words “Khoon ka badla khoon”, meaning “Take blood for blood”.

The army was confined to barracks for three full days to allow free rein to organised gangs carrying Sikh voter lists, armed with identical steel rods and an unusually plentiful supply of kerosene, to go around the capital in municipal buses beating and burning male Sikhs and gang-raping women and young girls.

Prominent Hindus and Sikhs begged the new Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, to order troops to restore order. His chilling response was: “When a big tree falls, the ground is bound to shake”. The same scenes were enacted throughout the country.

We know all about the disappearances and killings in General Pinochet’s Chile, but a WikiLeaks document carrying a signed report from the American embassy in India shows that more Sikhs were brutally murdered in just three days in 1984 than those killed in Pinochet’s 17-year rule.

I turn to our Government’s involvement, as revealed in documents that have now come to light.

In their initial reaction, the present Government said that support for Mrs Gandhi was “minimal”. I beg them to ​think again in the light of the evidence of persecution of Sikhs that was freely known at the time.

A Government committed to human rights must question the morality of “minimal” involvement in the persecution of minorities. The released documents praise Mrs Gandhi and cast aspersions on UK Sikhs, with not one word of concern over the murder of thousands of Sikhs.

I was not in the least surprised to read of SAS involvement; I wrote about it at the time in the summer 1984 issue of the Sikh Messenger.

Nor was I surprised by evidence linking British support for Mrs Gandhi to a £5 billion arms contract and the need to “keep Mrs Gandhi happy”.

In November 1984 I went to see a senior Cabinet Minister to seek government support to end the pogrom against Sikhs.

I received the reply: “Indarjit, we know exactly what is going on but we’re walking on a tightrope; we’ve already lost one important contract”.

At the time I was a member of the UNA, where we discussed the killings. The director, Malcolm Harper, formally raised evidence-based concerns with the Government, asking them to support a UN inquiry into the killings.

I made a presentation to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights, then chaired by the noble Lord, Lord Avebury.

The APPG decided to send two parliamentarians to investigate but the High Commission refused them visas. They appealed, saying that the visit would help to improve Hindu/Sikh relations. They were again refused.

Sikhs accept that today’s Government are in no way responsible for the mistakes of the past. However, they can and must help to heal wounds. I was in Westminster Abbey this morning and heard Archbishop Desmond Tutu quote the words:

“The time for the healing of the wounds has come”.

This is true for the wounds in the Sikh community, opened further by the new revelations.

I take this opportunity to thank many in the Hindu community who hid and sheltered Sikhs at the time of the killings.

Others risked their lives carefully documenting the names of Congress Party leaders inciting mobs to kill. Sikhs owe them a great debt.

Two of the three main political parties in India have declared their support for an open inquiry. Even Rahul Gandhi, leader of the Congress Party, has admitted that some Congress officials were involved in the killings.

Speaking in the Indian Parliament in 2005 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made the revealing comment:

“Twenty-one years have passed, and yet the feeling persists that somehow the truth has not come out”.

I urge the Government to add their support for an open, independent inquiry into the massacre or genocide of Sikhs in 1984 in the same way that they are backing a UN-led inquiry into the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Against this, all offers of government assistance and offers to talk to Sikhs pale into an unnecessary distraction.

Eighty-three thousand Sikhs gave their lives supporting Britain in the two world wars. In comparison, giving public support for an open, UN inquiry is a small ask.

Not to do so will give a clear message to Britain’s half a million Sikhs and others concerned with human rights that the UK Government are ambivalent and selective on issues of human rights.

As director of the ​Network of Sikh Organisations, the oldest and largest grouping of Sikhs in the UK, and of the more recently formed Sikh Council UK, I offer my full and unconditional support to the Government to help end the 30-year nightmare suffered by Sikhs.

We are confident that our Government will not let us down.

The Hindu – China has moved troops in significant numbers: Rajnath Singh

Important dialogue between senior military leaders on 06 June, he says

Special Correspondent

New Delhi – India, 03 June 2020. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday acknowledged that China had moved troops in “significant numbers” in the ongoing stand-off at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

There was an important dialogue between the two countries scheduled on 06 June to resolve the issue, he stated.

Separately, sources said a dialogue was held on Tuesday at the Major General level.

“It is true that there have been differences on the border at this time. A significant number of Chinese troops have come in. India too has done what it should,” Mr Singh told CNN News18.

“As of now, negotiations are going on at the military level. On 06 June, there will be talks between senior military officers. I discussed this with the Army Chief today,” he said.

Dialogue between military commanders had been going on daily, sources said, including at the level of Major Generals and on Tuesday too. No concrete resolution had been achieved, it had been learnt and the talks would continue, the sources said.

Mr Singh observed that China should also think seriously in this regard so that the issue was resolved completely.

Referring to the differences in perception between the two countries on the alignment of the LAC, he said there was something constantly going on between India and China regarding the border.

“There will hardly be a year when there is no face-off on the border between both the Indian Army and the Chinese Army,” he said. Sometime there had been such tensions that firearms had been snatched, he noted.

Specifically asked to comment on reports of Chinese troops moving inside Indian territory, he said without getting into specifics, “India will not infringe on anyone’s sovereignty and at the same time India will let not anyone infringe on its sovereignty.”

For close to a month now, Indian and Chinese troops have been engaged in stand-offs at several locations along the LAC after Chinese troops moved into Indian territory at Pangong Tso, Galwan Nalah, Hot Springs in eastern Ladakh and Naku La in Sikkim.

Chinese troops have set up tents and brought in equipment inside at some places while also building up presence close to Indian positions on their side of the border.

Mr Singh later said on Twitter quoting the interview that India’s negotiation with China was on and so he “would not like to express doubts.”

“If the issue is resolved through dialogue then what else can be a good thing,” he said and added that the ‘forehead of India’ would not bend under any circumstances.

The News – Pakistan slams extrajudicial killing of 13 Kashmiris by Indian troops

Islamabad – Pakistan, 02 June 2020. Pakistan slams the extrajudicial killing of 13 Kashmiris in a single day by Indian troops in Indian-occupied Kashmir, a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.

The ministry said Pakistan was deeply concerned over unabated extrajudicial killings of Kashmiri youth in fake encounters and so-called “anti-infiltration” operations.

“While the international community is preoccupied with fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, India is busy intensifying its brutalisation of the Kashmiri people,” it said, adding that the killing of the Kashmiris speaks volumes about Indian government’s continuing crimes against humanity.

“To hide these crimes, the Indian authorities use the oft-repeated, unsubstantiated allegations of ‘training’ and ‘infiltration’ of Kashmiri resistance fighters,” the Foreign Office said.

“India must realise that its malicious propaganda carries no credibility with the international community. The RSS-BJP combine stands exposed before the world for its illegal and inhuman actions and extremist ‘Hindutva’ agenda.”

The Foreign Office added, “India must realise that neither can its brutalisation break the will of the Kashmiri people nor can its anti-Pakistan propaganda divert attention from India’s state-terrorism and egregious violations of human rights in occupied Kashmir.”

It added the martyrdom of each Kashmiri will further fortify people’s resolve for freedom from Indian occupation.

“Kashmiris will never give up their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in the UNSC resolutions and the leadership and people of Pakistan will never flinch in their commitment of full support for the Kashmiris towards that end.”

The Foreign Office further urged the international community to take immediate steps to stop India from committing serious crimes against the Kashmiri people and hold it accountable under international law and relevant human rights Conventions. – Akal Takht directs SGPC to install Bhai Waryam Singh’s portrait in Central Sikh Museum

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 01 June 2020. In a press note shared with Sikh24, the SGPC appointed officiating Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh has informed that the portrait of political Sikh prisoner Bhai Waryam Singh will be installed in the Central Sikh Museum.

Giani Harpreet Singh has made this announcement a day before Bhai Waryam Singh’s Antim Ardas to be held at his village in Uttar Pradesh.

“Bhai Waryam Singh spent his whole life in jail while adhering to Sikh principles. Keeping in view his sacrifice, I have directed SGPC to install Bhai Waryam Singh’s portrait in the central Sikh museum,” said Giani Harpreet Singh.

It may be recalled here that 69 years old political Sikh prisoner Bhai Waryam Singh had passed away on 24 May. Following 26 years of imprisonment, he was released in 2016 considering his good conduct during imprisonment.

Also read :Political Sikh prisoner Bhai Waryam Singh passes away [

Gentbrugge – Melle – Gentbrugge

Gentbrugge – Melle – Gentbrugge
31 March 2020

Bromeliastraat – Brusselsesteenweg

Zwaanhoeklos, after crossing Brusselsesteenweg

This look like something belonging to a former factory


This looks promising, but it is a ‘cul de sac’

We are on the southern end of the familiar Oude Brusselseweg

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Indian Express – Nanded gurdwaras now Covid Care Centres: ‘Most comfortable’

Officials were scouting for suitable locations to set up Level-1 Covid Care Centres (CCCs) when the gurdwaras, Langar Sahib and Sachkhand Shri Hazur Sahib, made available three buildings used to house pilgrims.

Srinath Rao

Nanded – Maharashtra – India, 02 June 2020. Nanded popped up on the national Covid radar early last month when at least 1,263 of 4,218 pilgrims from Punjab, who were evacuated in buses from two gurdwaras in the district during the lock-down, went on to test positive.

Today, officials say they had the medical infrastructure in place when the district recorded its own first Covid case on 22 April, but would not have been able to keep pace with the outbreak without help from these gurdwaras.

Officials were scouting for suitable locations to set up Level-1 Covid Care Centres (CCCs) when the gurdwaras, Langar Sahib and Sachkhand Shri Hazur Sahib, made available three buildings used to house pilgrims.

“The administrators simply handed over the keys when the corporation made its request. The rooms are huge, clean and air-conditioned.

The quarantine facilities are the best and most comfortable that you can expect to find anywhere,” said Dr Sureshsingh Bisen, Medical Health Officer, Nanded Waghala Municipal Corporation (NWMC).

“We have housed positive cases at the Langar Sahib’s 150-bed Yatri Nivas. The gurdwara took it upon itself to prepare food for the patients. Our staff in PPE kits delivered the food to the rooms,” Bisen said.

At the Sachkhand Gurdwara, suspect cases are housed in the NRI Yatri Nivas, and positive patients at Panjab Bhavan next door, both in separate compounds, divided by barriers. “Any suspect case that tests positive is shifted from the Nivas to the Bhavan,” Bisen said.

Gurdwara authorities are not keen to talk about their efforts. But officials say that till about two weeks ago, the 500 beds available were “almost full”.

Currently, nine patients are housed in Punjab Bhavan and 100 of their high-risk contacts in quarantine at NRI Yatri Nivas.

In all, Nanded has 20 CCCs with 3,040 beds for “pre-mild” and “mild” cases, seven Dedicated Covid Health Centres (DCHCs) with 480 beds for “moderate” cases, and nine Dedicated Covid Hospitals (DCHs) with 649 beds, 121 ICU beds and 38 ventilators for “severe” cases.

The current case count is 149 in 43 days, with 120 recoveries and eight deaths. And at the moment, only one of the district’s 38 ventilators is in use, to treat an 80-year-old female patient at the Dr Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital, the only patient currently in a DCH.

So far, the district has not needed to call into action six DCHs set up in private hospitals.

“Since we had time to prepare, we identified nine DCHs in Nanded town and its periphery, with central oxygen facilities and separate entrances and exits, as per ICMR guidelines,” said Dr Neelkanth Bhosikar, the Civil Surgeon.

Given the relatively low rate of infection currently among a population of nearly 34 lakh in 18 talukas, Bhosikar insists that the facilities have not been stretched.

“Most of our patients are asymptomatic carriers who have recovered after quarantine. We have not seen a large number of patients being admitted to DCHCs and DCHs,” he said.

At the Shri Guru Gobind Singh Memorial Hospital, which houses the government’s frontline DHC, 50 beds with a central oxygen connection, 10 ICU beds with ventilators, and a team of 18 doctors are ready.

“This facility was identified in the first week of April, and we were able to attend video conference training sessions with experts from Mumbai and Pune, A 50-bed DCHC is also nearing completion.

We had started construction last year and decided to convert it into a Level-II facility. It will be operational within two weeks,” said Dr Sumit Lomte, the nodal officer.

However, officials in Nanded acknowledge that constant vigil is the key. For a start, with the NWMC employing only 40 doctors, the district embarked on a recruitment drive for doctors, nurses, data entry operators, and Class III and IV employees.

“We have selected the candidates,” said Bisen, the medical officer.

Even at the two gurdwaras, he said, the NWMC’s Class III and IV employees were hesitant after one of them tested positive. “They would wear PPE kits 24 hours because they were afraid.

We counselled them and told them to wear the kits only while serving food and medicine to patients, and while cleaning their rooms,” he said.

Outside Nanded town, meanwhile, the death of a woman in the predominantly tribal Kinwat taluka, 150 km away, has caused concern.

“The results came after she had died, it was positive. The taluka has a CCC and DCHC but the nearest DCH is several hours away. The woman had walked home all the way from Pune, about 450 km away,” said Bhosikar, the Civil Surgeon.

The Print – Netaji’s grandnephew Chandra Bose dropped as Bengal BJP V-P for ‘speaking up against CAA’

Chandra Kumar Bose says Modi a tall leader but BJP has become a machine to win polls, topple governments.
Bengal BJP says he was dropped with 2021 elections in mind.

Madhuparna Das

Kolkata – West Bengal – India, 02 June 2020. Bose had been vocal against the Citizenship Amendment Act passed by Narendra Modi’s government, and wrote multiple letters to the PM and Home Minister Amit Shah to offer citizenship to all persecuted communities from neighbouring countries, and not isolating Muslims to be kept out.

Speaking to ThePrint, Bose said he was dropped as an office-bearer for “going against the party line” on the CAA, but the BJP leadership said that he was politically “irrelevant” and “embarrassing the party routinely”. However, he remains a member of the party.

Bose said he was not consulted before being shunted out, nor was the decision communicated to him personally. He had attended a video conference with central leaders 10 days ago, after Cyclone Amphan struck Bengal, and said he received no indications that he would be dropped.

On speaking out against the CAA, Bose said he would always prefer to have faith in his ideology than blindly following the party line.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a tall leader, but the party that has spread too much everywhere now, and has just become a machine to win elections and topple governments. They are not looking at issues sensitively,” he said.

“How can they segregate Muslims like this? What kind of politics is that? If the whole country erupted in protest, including all the universities, IIMs and IITs, there is something really wrong.

It needs to be addressed. But it seems my suggestions did not go down well with the central leaders,” said the 59-year-old information technology entrepreneur.

Bose alleged that he received no response to his letters, which is when he chose to speak to the media about his opinions and also opened up on social media.

“My point was simple. I just requested the government to drop the names of religions and maintain that citizenship would be given to all persecuted communities.

Anyway, not many Muslims from Pakistan would seek citizenship here. There was no need to identify and isolate one particular community,” Bose said.

“This is the same as Mamata Banerjee polarising people and practising vote-bank politics. Everyone does that, including the Congress. I joined the BJP to work on inclusive growth of people, and I made it clear to Modiji and Shahji.

BJP ideology is opposite to Netaji’s

Bose was pragmatic about why the BJP took him into its fold and made him its state vice-president.

“The BJP is just a platform for me. I never had any political background. Why did they induct me in the first place?

It was not me they inducted; it was Netaji’s lineage. So, now, it is not an insult to me but to Netaji,” he said, but ruled out quitting the BJP immediately.

“It is the party’s decision, and I have accepted it. I will try to meet Modiji and Shahji. Modiji has done a lot for Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

But he also needs to understand that only building statues and naming institutes after him does not serve the purpose of paying tribute to his sacrifices,” Bose said.

“They need to follow his ideology too, and the BJP’s ideology is diametrically opposite to his. Just using Netaji’s name cannot win them elections, they need to address issues.

Just badmouthing Mamata Banerjee will not earn them people’s faith, they need to highlight what good we have done for the people,” he added.

Family name doesn’t matter, nobody above the party

The state leadership of the BJP, meanwhile, seems to have no difference of opinion on dropping Bose as vice-president.

And speaking to ThePrint, Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said while he had taken note of Bose’s dissension, he insisted the decision was based on who could help the BJP win the 2021 elections.

“I know he had been making comments against the party and its decisions, but I do not want to say (that was the reason for his ouster).

The party has given positions to those it needs for winning the 2021 assembly elections. There are many people who were shuffled. We will give them other important tasks according to requirements,” Ghosh said.

Asked about the optics of dropping a member of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s family, Ghosh stated: “Families do not matter to the BJP, work does. Family matters in the Congress; we do not believe in such things.”

A vice-president of the BJP who spoke anonymously added: “Chandra Bose was not adhering to party rules for long.

At a time when Amit Shahji says that we will give our lives for the CAA, he was going on commenting against the legislation.”

The vice-president further added: “Nobody takes him seriously in the party. He never worked in the field. Following Netaji’s ideology does not mean wearing his uniform once in a year and chanting ‘Jai Hind’ slogans.

“Netaji never spoke of secularism; it was brought by Indira Gandhi in the 1970s. All these statements he is making, do not make sense.

He has become politically irrelevant. Holding an important position, he had been routinely embarrassing the party. The BJP is a regimented party. Nobody is above the party here.”