BBC News – Israeli tourist ‘gang-raped’ in northern India, two arrested

Manali, Himachal Pradesh, 25 July 2016. Two men have been arrested after a 25-year-old Israeli woman was allegedly gang raped in India’s Himachal Pradesh state.

Police said the woman mistook the car for a taxi and boarded it on Sunday morning in the popular town of Manali to go to a neighbouring district.

She was allegedly taken to a secluded spot and raped there by two men.

Manali is a popular Himalayan destination among foreigners and domestic tourists.

The woman was trying to reunite with her friends in Keylong when she boarded the car, which was carrying six people, police said.

“Arresting the four men who are absconding is our topmost priority. We have alerted police in all nearby districts,” police superintendent Padam Chand said.

The woman is being treated in hospital.

Manali is frequented by foreigners due to its picturesque valleys, but the security of women remains a concern.

An American woman was raped in Manali in 2013 by three men when she boarded a truck.

Scrutiny of sexual violence in India has grown since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus.

The 2012 incident led to protests and new anti-rape laws in India. However, brutal sexual attacks against women and children continue to be reported across the country.

The Tribune – SGPC not to let food regulator test ‘parshad’, langar at gurdwaras

Vishav Bharti, Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, 25 JULY 2016. Giving the thumbs down to the apex food regulator’s plan to check the quality of prasad at religious places, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) said today that it would not allow any agency to check its ‘parshad’ or langar.

Pawan Agarwal, CEO of the Food Safety Standards Association of India (FSSAI), said yesterday that the agency was involving the managements of shrines in helping it implement the food safety management system. Among those mentioned were the Golden Temple, Radha Soami Satsang Beas and Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda.

Talking to The Tribune, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said such a move was against the Sikh Rehat Maryada (code of conduct). “The world knows that our langar is prepared and served while keeping hygiene in mind. The question of allowing any outside agency to examine it doesn’t arise,” he said.

The SGPC controls around 200 gurdwaras in the country, including the Harmandr Sahib (Golden Temple).

When contacted, Hussan Lal, Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, Punjab, said, “If we get any communication from the FSSAI, we will look into the matter.”

Gent – De Lijn Trams

Gent, De Lijn Trams
09 May 2016


Kouter – tracks crossing
No tramservice between Zonnestraat en Lippensplein


No tramservice between Zonnestraat en Lippensplein


No tramservice between Zonnestraat en Lippensplein


No tramservice between Zonnestraat en Lippensplein


Kouter – New tram tracks
No tramservice between Zonnestraat en Lippensplein


Vogelmarkt – New tram tracks
No tramservice between Zonnestraat en Lippensplein

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Sikh Federation – Restrictions lifted across Europe on the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)

Posted to Sikh News Discussion by
Sikh Federation UK <>

London, 25 July 2016. On 18 March 2016 the UK Government lifted the ban on the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) following a legal challenge by leading figures in the Sikh Federation (UK) and historic debates in the House of Commons and Lords.

During the debates the UK Government was pushed to take up the matter of restrictions on the ISYF in the European Union that established a list of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts and subject to restrictive measures on 27 December 2001 as part of its response against terrorism after the attacks of 11 September 2001.

The list included persons and groups active both within and outside the EU. These were additional measures adopted in order to implement UN Security Council resolution 1373 (2001).

The Sikh Federation (UK) has been informed all restrictions have now been lifted against the ISYF across Europe after the UK Government successfully took up the matter in the European Union. Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy put forward a proposal to the Council of the European Union.

Following the lifting of the ban in the UK the Council determined that there were no longer grounds for keeping the ISYF on what has become known as the “EU terror list”.

The Council lifted the ban on the ISYF across Europe by adopting Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/620 that applies to all EU Member States. This will be viewed by India as another blow to its relations with the UK and Europe in trying to silence the voice of Sikhs in the Diaspora.

Bhai Amrik Singh, Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said: “We have now not only lifted the ban on the ISYF in the UK, but Sikhs across Europe will be delighted we have also had the ISYF removed from the EU terror list established in 2001 and last reviewed on 21 December 20015.

We are now extremely confident the ban on the ISYF can be lifted in Canada and are working with Sikhs their. Despite misinformation the US has never imposed a ban on any Sikh organisations. India will then be the only country to retain a ban on the ISYF.”

Gurjeet Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)

The Hindu – UK Foreign Secretary to visit India

New Delhi, 26 July 2016. The United Kingdom is confident of rediscovering ties with India and other “partner countries” under the leadership of Prime Minister Theresa May who took over on July 13 following the Brexit referendum.

The special ties will be “further strengthened” with the visit of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who is likely to come to India later this year, announced Alok Sharma, UK’s Minister of Asia-Pacific Affairs, the first British Minister to visit India since Brexit.

“Despite Brexit, we will have the strongest possible ties with the European Union (EU) while exploring ways to further strengthen our ties with partner countries like India.

“The U.K. is open and welcoming for partners like India,” Mr. Sharma said, addressing a gathering at the residence of the British High Commissioner here.

Indian companies will not leave UK for other European countries, he said.

Hindustan Times – The return of Koh-i-noor: Story of India’s pursuit of the jewel so far.

Jayanth Jacob

New Delhi, The government has decided to make a fresh pitch to get the Koh-i-noor, which in Persian means ‘mountain of light’, back from its present home Britain.

This would be the latest among a series of efforts launched by governments in the past to get the precious stone to head home.

The first Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru made the first move with the British in 1956.

The past fifteen years had many back and forth on the issue, which for many have different connotations and contexts: avenging the past, getting back dues from the colonial masters and getting perhaps most historical of diamonds to where it belongs to: India.

Many in India staunchly believe that the British tricked Sikh ruler Duleep Singh to part with the priceless stone. The Koh-i-noor, which became part of the crown jewel was handed to queen Victoria in July 1850.

In the last decade and half, the issue came up in many forms in parliament. MPs wrote letters individually and collectively, and many put up questions to know what the government was doing to ensure that the diamond is headed home.

The government response was tepid for long.

“Government is continuing to explore ways and means for obtaining a satisfactory resolution of the matter,” was the standard answer.

The Archaeological Survey of India later said it is not covered under the Unesco Convention 1972 dealing with the restitution of cultural property.

But that didn’t stop the diamond coming up in the bilateral meetings, and press conferences around them.

In July 2010 the visiting UK Prime Minister David Cameron said that “if you say yes to one you suddenly find the British Museum would be empty. I think I am afraid to say, to disappoint all your viewers, it’s going to have to stay put.”

That was as clear as it could get. Meanwhile, the notable Keith Vaz, the Indian-origin British Member of Parliament, said that the time had come to return the diamond to India as atonement for its colonial past.

And the matter had reached Supreme Court in the form of a public interest litigation, urging for the return of “stolen” diamond. But the Centre told the court in April this year “It changed hands several times till Shah Sooja of Afghanistan gave it to Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1813.

After Ranjit Singh’s death, his successor Duleep Singh gave the diamond to the British as compensation for the Anglo-Sikh war. The East India Company gifted it to Queen Victoria in 1849 and since then it has been in possession of the British royalty”, submitted solicitor general Ranjit Kumar.

But the Supreme Court didn’t dismiss the petition and time was sought to furnish more details.

Seeking return of such relics of the past, valuables would open a pandora’s box, which could also empty out many prestigious museums in the world.

Then, Koh-i-noor, is another story. – Expelled Akali MLA Refers to Sukhbir Badal as a Sycophant

Sikh24 Editors

Jalandhar, Punjab, 21 July 2016. Launching a coruscating attack on Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Badal, recently expelled MLA Pargat Singh said in a press conference at Jalandhar that Sukhbir only listens to the bootlickers.

In his statement earlier today, Pargat Singh said, “there was no room for straight forward people in the party as the Shiromani Akali Dal has become a party of sycophants and deal brokers.”

It may be recalled here that Ex-Hockey Captain MLA Pargat Singh was suspended from by SAD’s President Sukhbir Badal for breaching discipline of party.

Refuting the allegations of breaching discipline of the party, Pargat Singh said that he was surprised on the working of Shiromani Akali Dal. He clarified that he never spoke out against the Party in any public appearance.

Mocking on the intelligence inputs of Sukhbir Badal, Pargat Singh said that it was funny that Sukhbir relied upon the rumours of his meeting with Navjot Sidhu in Delhi however he was in Chandigarh that day.

Giving indirect indications of entrance into AAP fold, legislator Pargat Singh said that AAP was far better than SAD or Congress. He added that inexperienced people can better govern the state if intention is good.

Expelled Akali MLA Refers to Sukhbir Badal as a Sycophant

Gent – De Lijn Trams

Gent, De Lijn Trams
09 May 2016


Tram stop Zonnestraat
Tram 22 to Gentbrugge


The Gent Tram Network


Temporary Terminus of Tram 22


Temporary Terminus of Tram 22


Temporary Terminus of Tram 22


Temporary Terminus of Tram 22

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue – Phagwara: Sikhs came out with swords to support Muslims against Shiv Sainiks’ attack

Phagwara 23 July 2016. It seems that a new equation between minorities is taking place in the country under the shadow of fear since BJP came to power at center.

It was witnessed when members of Sikh community came out with open swords to support Muslims against the attack by the activists of Shiv Sena in Phagwara, Punjab on Friday.

The problem started on Wednesday when Sena activists allegedly used force to shut shops of a few Muslim families during a protest against disruption in the Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to an HT report ‘after Friday prayers, a delegation from the Muslim community was to submit a memorandum to the administration, seeking action against the Shiv Sena activists for harassing Muslim traders.

The tension escalated when the prayers were going on, Sena activists reached outside the mosque and started raising anti-Pakistan and ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ slogans. They reportedly also dared the people inside the mosque to face them.

People in the mosque came out and both sides exchanged heated words and soon stone pelting ensued at Gaushala road, which left six people injured including two cops.

Sensing the gravity of the situation a group of the Sikh community turned up to lend support to the Muslim side. The Sikh youths were carrying sharp-edged weapons and they also hurled stones at Sena activists.

The cops made no effort to stop the Sena activists from reaching outside the mosque. It was only after the two sides exchanged stones for 25 minutes that the police intervened. Later on the police detained some people from both sides.

Dawn – Only Kashmiris can decide the future of Kashmir, Aziz tells Swaraj

Mateen Haider

Islamabad, 25 July 2016. Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, reacting to Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj’s statement on Kashmir, stated on Sunday that a verdict on the future of Kashmir can only be given by the people of Kashmir.

“Such a verdict on the future of Kashmir can only be given by the people of Kashmir and not by the External Affairs Minister of India.”

Aziz added the right to self-determination has been given to the people of Kashmir by the United Nations Security Council.

“It is high time that India allowed the people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise this right through a free and fair UN supervised plebiscite,” stated the foreign affair adviser.

Aziz further said the world will accept the decision taken by the Kashmiri people, and it is their choice to either integrate with Pakistan or India.

Swaraj had also disagreed with Pakistan terming Burhan Wani, a Hizbul Mujahideen separatist commander, as a martyr and stated Wani was a wanted terrorist.

“India cannot ignore the fact that over 200,000 Kashmiris participated in the funeral prayers of Burhan Muzaffar Wani in 50 different locations throughout Indian-occupied Kashmir, despite strict curfew which still continues 15 days after Wani’s extrajudicial murder on 8 July 2016,” replied Aziz to Swaraj’s earlier statement.

“Let us not forget, as one Indian writer has reminded us, that not long ago the British labelled Indian freedom fighters as traitors and terrorists because at that time India was considered an integral part of the British Empire,” added Aziz.

Aziz assured the people of Kashmir that the government and the people of Pakistan remain firmly committed in their moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiris’ indigenous movement for self-determination and resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions on Kashmir.

Swaraj on Saturday said Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif must understand that “Kashmir can never become a part of Pakistan”.

The Indian minister also accused Pakistan of backing militants with the help of UN-designated terrorists and notorious figures such as Hafiz Saeed, in order to turn the valley into a living hell.

Uptick in violence

The current episode of violence in India-held Kashmir is the worst civilian violence to hit the restive region since 2010, when mass protests broke out against Indian rule.

Wani, a 22-year-old commander of Kashmir’s largest pro-independence militant group Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), was killed along with two other separatists during a brief gun battle with Indian government forces.

Wani joined the HM group at the age of just 15, and was viewed as a hero by many in Kashmir. The state’s former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted after his death that he had become the “new icon of Kashmir’s disaffected”.

Witnesses said tens of thousands attended his funeral despite a curfew imposed by Indian authorities, chanting independence slogans and firing pistol shots in his honour.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called an emergency meeting to discuss escalating violence in India-held Kashmir amid anti-India protests that have left at least 30 people dead and hundreds injured in clashes with authorities.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office has also condemned the violence in Indian-held Kashmir and the extra-judicial killing of Wani.

HM is one of several groups that for decades have been fighting around half a million Indian troops deployed in the region, calling for independence for Kashmir or a merger with Pakistan.

Kashmir has been divided between rivals India and Pakistan since 1947, but both claim the territory in its entirety.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have died in the fighting since 1989.


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