The Statesman – Dissenter is a not an anti-national: Chidambaram

Chennai, 28 February 2016. Amid the raging debate over slapping of sedition charge against JNU students, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday said a dissenter was not an anti-national and claimed there was a sense of insecurity and fear among large sections of people under the BJP-led regime.

“Dissent is the essence of democracy,” he said.

http://www.thestatesman.com/news/india/dissenter-is-a-not-an-anti-national-chidambaram/126532.html

Sikh24.com – Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar’s Bail plea may be accepted after hearing of 23 year old case

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar Sahib, Punjab, 26 February 2016. On March 1, 2016, an Amritsar court will hear a 23-year-old case which has been reopened by the Punjab police against Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar.

The case belongs to Sadar (Batala) police station, which was registered under the TADA Act 23 years ago. However, despite Professor Bhullar being incarcerated ever since his extradition from Germany, no hearing ever took place in the case.

Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar was transferred last year to Amritsar jail from Delhi’s Tihar Jail. He is suffering from mental illness and has many other medical complications. His release became possible with the hunger protest by Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa after it was approved by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

As per the Sikh Relief organization, the court will hear Professor Bhullar’s bail plea on March 1 as well.

http://www.sikh24.com/2016/02/26/prof-davinderpal-singh-bhullars-bail-plea-maybe-accepted-after-hearing-of-23-year-old-case/#.VtPl4dDWojU

Leuven – Sint-Truiden – Halmaal : Guru Nanak Nagar Kirtan

Leuven NMBS Station
08 November 2015

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Leuven NMBS station

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Leuven NMBS station

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Leuven NMBS station
Train to Brussel, Gent and Oostende

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Leuven NMBS station
Doubledecker train to Sint-Truiden, Hasselt and Genk

Sint-Truiden
08 November 2015

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Sint-Truiden NMBS Station

Halmaal – Guru Nanak Nagar Kirtan
08 November 2015

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Sangat Sahib Gurdwara
20 Halmaal-Dorp
B-3800 Sint-Truiden

To see all my pictures :

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

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Published in: on February 29, 2016 at 7:02 am  Leave a Comment  

Sikh247.com – Spy Caught ! German Police Arrest Man Targetting Sikhs

Posted by Amrik Singh <scsh2014@gmail.com>

For the second time within twelve months, an Indian Spy has been arrested in Germany after the courts issued a warrant for his arrest, due to his illegal activities in tracing Sikhs living in Germany, including breaches of security at the immigration office he was employed in.

The man whose name has not been released by German authorities is aged 58 years old and was sending files comprised of Sikh activists immigration history and other personal information to his handlers in India.

In early 2015, another male as arrested for similar activity and he admitted to living a double life as a German citizen, but also working for the Indian Government Agencies who wish to crack down on Sikh Activists living in Europe, Canada and America.

http://www.sikh247.com/europe/spy-caught-german-police-arrest-man-targetting-sikhs/

The Hindu – Sedition case filed against Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Sitaram Yechury

Asif Yar Khan & Marri Ramu

Hyderabad, 29 February 2016. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and six other persons were booked under sedition charges at the Saroornagar police station in Cyberabad, Telangana on Saturday.

The move followed a district court directive on a plea by a city-based advocate, seeking action for their extending support to Jawaharlal Nehru University students accused of sedition.

City-based advocate Janardhan Goud, on whose plea the Ranga Reddy district courts ordered the filing of a sedition case against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and other political leaders, said that even after knowing that the Delhi police had registered a case against Jawaharlal Nehru University student Kanhaiya Kumar on the charge of sedition, Mr Gandhi and the others visited the JNU campus and supported the students, inviting equal liability in the crime.

‘Rahul, others have equal liability’

The Saroornagar police filed the case under Sections 124 and 124-A of the Indian Penal Code and 156 (iii) of the Cr.PC. “It’s a court-referred case. Legal opinion will be sought,” Inspector S. Lingaiah told The Hindu.

The FIR also named Congress leaders, Anand Sharma and Ajay Maken and K C Tyagi of the JD(U).

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sedition-case-filed-against-rahul-yechury/article8292967.ece

BBC News – Is the US undermining India’s solar power programme?

Justin Rowlatt South Asia correspondent

India, 27 February 2016. Whatever happened to all the talk of international co-operation to tackle climate change that we heard during the climate conference in Paris just a few months ago?

That is what many environmentalists are asking after the United States delivered a damaging blow to India’s ambitious solar power programme this week.

In response to a US complaint, a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel has ruled that India’s National Solar Mission breaches trade rules.

It judged that India’s policies on buying locally made solar power equipment discriminates against imports.

“The ink is barely dry on the UN Paris Climate Agreement, but clearly trade still trumps real action on climate change,” Sam Cossar-Gilbert of Friends of the Earth International said in a statement.

But is the decision really as damaging as many commentators seem to think?

Let’s start at the beginning.

Solar centrepiece

One of the biggest achievements at the Paris climate change conference was drawing India into the architecture of international climate agreements.

It refused to commit to a ceiling on carbon dioxide emissions but did promise big increases in the carbon efficiency of the economy – the amount of carbon emitted per unit of GDP.

A key part of that commitment was the promise of huge investment in renewable technologies, including a vast increase in solar power.

India said it would add 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022.

That’s more than the current solar capacity of the world’s top five solar-producing countries combined.

And – you guessed it – the National Solar Mission was the centrepiece of the whole shebang.

India’s National Solar Mission

– Launched on 11 January 2010 by then PM Manmohan Singh
– Targets ramping up India’s solar power capacity to 100 GW by 2022
– Aims to reduce the cost of solar power generation in the country through long-term policy, aggressive research and development (R&D), and domestic production of critical raw materials, components and products
– Aims to make India a global leader in solar energy

But while the US was carefully reeling India into the climate talks it had simultaneously lodged a complaint with the WTO, arguing that India’s solar programme created unfair barriers to the import of US-made solar panels.

It is certainly true that India’s plans include a “buy local” policy.

The Solar Mission is explicitly designed to make India one of the biggest players in the rapidly growing international solar industry.

Indeed, developing solar is a key thrust of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s signature “Make in India” policy.

Pros and cons

And here’s where the interesting economic arguments come in.

Because the presumption in most of the commentaries I’ve read on this is that buying local content is necessarily a good thing.

Take a look at this article in the online environmental magazine Grist, or this piece in the Huffington Post, which maintains: “The ruling shows that decades-old, over-reaching trade rules are out of sync with the global challenge to 100% clean energy.”

Lots of economists would say that that is muddle-headed.

Think about what the “buy local” rules are really about.

They are there to shield local capitalists – Indian-based solar panel companies – from competition from abroad.

That means one of two things.

Secure behind the protective barrier, they get to pocket extra profits.

Alternatively they are able to run less efficient businesses.

Either way the people who buy the panels lose out because they end up paying more.

The case is made very well in this Forbes article, which argues that the WTO rules are there to right an inherent imbalance between producers and consumers.

Environmental benefits

The problem is that local businesses tend to feel very strongly indeed about creating that comfortable competition-free space, so they lobby government hard for it.

Their customers aren’t so motivated to make a fuss so the manufacturers tend to win out.

That’s where the WTO agreements come in, tilting the trade disputes like this in favour of consumers.

That is why – runs the argument – the WTO ruling against India will actually have huge environmental benefits.

The WTO is ensuring that India’s solar ambitions are achieved in the most efficient way possible because the Indian businesses that want to generate solar power get to buy the cheapest solar panels.

That is certainly what the American solar industry says.

“This decision helps us bring clean energy to the people of India, as that nation’s demand for electricity rapidly grows,” Dan Whitten of the Solar Energy Industries Association told PV-Tech magazine.

India, of course, disagrees.

It argues that developing an indigenous solar industry will in time boost international competition and therefore reduce the price of solar panels for everyone.

And no doubt India will be tempted to point to the hypocrisy in US trade policy.

While the US argues for unfettered free markets in international forums like the WTO, it doesn’t practice what it preaches at home.

Half of all US states have subsidies for renewables.

Perhaps India should file a counter-complaint with the WTO against the US.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35668342

The Tribune – Portugal orders probe on Pamma’s complaint

Manish Sirhindi

Tribune News Service

Patiala, 26 February 2016. After blocking India’s attempts to extradite Babbar Khalsa International activist Paramjit Singh Pamma, the Portuguese authorities have now ordered an inquiry into the criminal complaint filed on his behalf against three Punjab cops, who visited Portugal to bring him back.

US-based human rights group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) had sought European Arrest Warrants (EAW) against DIG Balkar Sidhu, SP Ashish Kapoor and DSP Rajinder Sohal. Pamma is wanted for the alleged murder of RSS head Rulda Singh in 2009.

Pamma alleged he was tortured by Kapoor while the latter was posted at Mohali while Sidhu and Sohal faced the charge of extra judicial killing of Surjit Singh in May 1992, and Tajinder Singh Billu in May 1993, respectively.

In the recent order Rosa Rocha, adviser to the Prosecutor General’s office stated that “the complaint filed with the Attorney General of the Republic by an Indian citizen, Paramjit Singh Pamma, has been forwarded to the Department of Investigation and Penal Action in Lisbon”.

Pamma’ lawyer Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said the complaint against the Punjab cops was filed under laws Number 31/2004 and 59/2007 which provide jurisdiction over crimes committed outside Portugal.

After being arrested by the Portugal police from Algarve region in December last year on basis of a red corner notice issued by India, Pamma filed a complaint there against the cops on January 28. The trio returned to India the same day fearing detention by the Portuguese authorities.

He said the EAW was valid throughout all member states of the European Union (EU) and persons’ subject of such warrants may be detained by any EU member state”.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/portugal-orders-probe-on-pamma-s-complaint/201740.html

Vilvoorde NMBS Station and Brussel Airport & Erps-Kwerps – Leuven – Sint-Truiden

Vilvoorde
07 November 2015

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Vilvoorde NMBS station

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Vilvoorde NMBS station
Got a bus to the airport from here

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Brussel Airport – Gebouw 9
Waiting for De Lijn bus 652 to take me back to Erps

Erps-Kwerps – Leuven – Sint-Truiden
08 November 2015

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De Lijn bustop Erps Kerk – Peperstraat
Bus 652 from Erps to Leuven

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Leuven –  Martelarenlaan
Behind Leuven NMBS station

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Leuven –  Martelarenlaan
Behind Leuven NMBS station

To see all my pictures :

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

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

SCUK – UK Government Confirms – No Dossier From Modi

I published an earlier article by the Sikh Federation UK on the subject in which they expressed their doubts in spite of Baroness Williams’ assurances.
Man in Blue

Sikh Council UK has received written confirmation from the UK Government that no dossier was handed over during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK in November 2015 as alleged by Indian media.

This comes in a letter from Baroness Williams, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the DCLG who was passed a letter from Sikh Council UK sent to the Prime Minister for her to reply.

In a clear statement, Baroness Williams says, “I can categorically state that no information was given to the Prime Minister or any other member of government, before, during or after Prime Minister Modi’s visit, pertaining to such an issue.”

PM Modi arrived in the UK on 12 November 2015 for a high profile three day visit. As part of the visit, PM Modi at short notice met with a delegation of Sikhs to respond to longstanding human rights concerns previously raised with his office.

In the run up to the visit, reports appeared in Indian media referring to a dossier containing names of individuals, Sikh media outlets and Gurdwaras that are allegedly promoting the radicalisation of young Sikhs and involved in extremist activities for PM Modi to hand over to the UK authorities.

Secretary General of Sikh Council UK, Gurmel Singh said, “Reports of the dossier were extremely widespread and have served to spread fear amongst Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike both in the UK and across the world.

Sikh Council UK therefore wrote to the UK Prime Minister on 17 November 2015 to seek information about whether a dossier had been handed over and, if so, what its contents were and we have now received a very clear reply.”

He added, “Sikh Council UK has been investigating, challenging and collating evidence of improper reporting by the Indian media for several months now. We have a number of case studies and will shortly be publishing a detailed report detailing our concerns and requesting action from the media, regulators, government, politicians and the community.”

For further information, please contact:

Balvinder Kaur – 07867 608417 – <info@sikhcounciluk.org>

Gurinder Singh Josan – 07967 680635 – <gurinders.josan@sikhcounciluk.org>

Dawn – MQM’s Altaf Hussain case halts as Asma refuses to submit apology

Wajih Ahmad Sheikh

Lahore, 27 February 2016. Proceedings in the MQM chief’s media blackout case before a Lahore High Court full bench reached a deadlock on Friday after counsel for the party refused to submit a written apology for her critical remarks about the bench’s order banning coverage of Altaf Hussain’s activities in both electronic and print media.

At the outset of the proceedings, the petitioners’ counsel alleged that Advocate Asma Jahangir, counsel for the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, had spoken of the sub judice matter in a “contemptuous” manner during a television programme.

Advocates Azhar Siddique and Aftab Virk played a recording of the television programme before the crowded court. They said it was a usual practice of Ms Jahangir to mock orders of the courts.

When asked for an explanation, Ms Jahangir expressed her regret and tendered an oral apology.

Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, who heads the bench, asked the counsel to submit a written apology — which Ms Jahangir refused.

She said she did not accept it whole-heartedly. But she said she “apologised orally out of respect for the dignity of the institution (judiciary).” She also expressed her distrust of the bench.

The bench rose and resumed hearing after half an hour with the stance of the MQM’s counsel unchanged.

At this Justice Naqvi said to Ms Jahangir: “You have double standards… You are committing contempt of court and you should submit an apology in writing.” Ms Jahangir, however, again refused to submit written apology.

The heated dialogues between the bench and the counsel provoked a chanting match between the lawyers present in the court.

Lahore High Court Bar Association’s president Pir Masood Chishti requested Justice Naqvi to adjourn hearing to avoid any chaos in the court. The bench deferred hearing till March 28.

Earlier at one point, Justice Naqvi addressed MQM Senator Attiqur Rehman and said that let there be no misconception that protests and hunger strikes would influence the court.

Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Barrister Saif and other leaders of the MQM were also present on the occasion.

Sources close to Ms Jahangir said she would request the chief justice of the LHC to transfer the case to another judge, “as the best possible way out of this situation”.

One of the petitioners Abdullah Malik filed an application with Old Anarkali police for registration of a case against the lawyers and leaders of the MQM for chanting slogans against the judiciary and trying to malign it.

The petitions were filed in wake of Altaf Hussain’s speeches against state institutions including army and rangers. The bench had on Sept 7, 2015 ordered a complete blackout of MQM’s chief activities in both electronic and print media. Justice Mazhar Iqbal Sidhu and Justice Erum Sajjad Gull are the other members of the full bench.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1242222/altaf-case-halts-as-asma-refuses-to-submit-apology