The Asian Age – Saharanpur violence: Mayawati slams clean chit to eight Thakurs

The eight had been arrested for allegedly attacking three Dalits on May 23.

Lucknow, 16 June 2017. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing caste violence in Saharanpur has given a clean chit to the eight accused who happened to be Thakurs.

The eight had been arrested for allegedly attacking three Dalits on May 23. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati slammed the move, saying once again, it proved the anti-Dalit mentality of the BJP.

The SIT moved an application before a local court two days ago seeking their release, saying that they were found innocent during the investigation.

Saharanpur SSP Babloo Kumar said, “During investigation, we found that the eight accused were falsely named in the FIR lodged on various charges including attempt to murder. We had moved an application in the court under section 169 CrPC and requested their release. The court has accepted the application and has also allowed the release”.

Seventeen persons were arrested and sent to jail during a series of clashes in Saharanpur between Thakurs and Dalits last month, of which eight belonged to the Thakur community. With the SIT giving them a clean chit, it is only the Dalit youths, including Bhim army chief Chandra Shekhar and Shiv Kumar (the village head of Shabbirpur village where the clashes took place) that are in jail now.

The SIT has been verifying claims of over 100 affidavits that families of other accused have filed in cases related to the violence.

http://www.asianage.com/india/politics/160617/saharanpur-violence-mayawati-slams-clean-chit-to-eight-thakurs.html

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Sikh24.com – 550th Guru Nanak’s Birth Anniversary: Punjab government announces to refurbish Sultanpur Lodhi

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh-Panjab-India, 17 June 2017. The Congress led Punjab government on June 15 announced to refurbish Sultanpur Lodhi town in the wake of upcoming 550th birth anniversary of first Sikh master Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji in 2019.

Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh made this announcement in the Punjab assembly while answering to MLA Navtej Singh Cheema’s query seeking construction of a new guest house in Sultanpur Lodhi during the question hour.

He announced that the basic infrastructure of Sultanpur Lodhi town will refurbished in the wake of upcoming 550th birth anniversary of first Sikh master Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji in 2019.

Replying to another question, Captain Amarinder Singh said that the Punjab government was going to issue a white paper on the state’s financial crisis due to misrule in Punjab SAD-BJP led government in last 10 years.

Answering a query pertaining to shortage of manpower in Health Department of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh said that not only Punjab instead every department was facing shortage of manpower as the Punjab government lacks sufficient funds.

In Sultanpur Lodhi, Guru Nanak Dev Ji spent more than 14 years and in 1497 Guru Sahib disappeared in holy Rivulet (Kali Bein) flowing along the North end of the city and then re-appeared after three days with the teaching of “na koi hindu, na koi muslman” (no one is Hindu, no one is Muslim) which led to the birth of a new religion, Sikhi.

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/06/17/550th-guru-nanaks-birth-anniversary-punjab-government-announces-to-refurbish-sultanpur-lodhi/#.WUYU8cYlHIU

Gent: Veldstraat-Zonnestraat, Zonnestraat-Korte Meer and Van Beverenplein

Veldstraat, Zonnestraat
21 May 2017

Gent Zonnestraat: Zwijnaarde – Melle Leeuw
New frequent Tram 2 service

Gent Zonnestraat – Tram 2 to Melle Leeuw

Zonnestraat, Korte Meer
23 May 2017

Gent Zonnestraat – Tram 2 to Zwijnaarde

Gent Zonnestraat – Tram 2 to Zwijnaarde

Korte Meer – Tram 1 to Wondelgem / Evergem

Van Beverenplein
Order of Malta
23 May 2017

Order of Malta
Excellent facility, where adults can take a shower, do their laundry and children can play

To see all my pictures:

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

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

BBC News – Sikh community urged to face ‘taboo’ issue of addiction

Derby-Derbyshire-East Midlands-UK, 17 June 2017. Sikhs needs to start talking openly about addiction to tackle the problems of “shame” and “stigma”, a recovering alcoholic has said.

Jaz Rai, who runs the Sikh Recovery Network, said there was a growing problem with all kinds of addiction within his community and people were not getting the help they needed.

He said addiction was “condemned” in their faith.

Mr Rai is holding several events at Derby Gurdwara to help rid the “taboo”.

He said he wanted to help people “get out of the misery” he had suffered.

A study found alcohol-related hospital admissions in the Punjabi community had risen and it noted a loss of status was feared more than health issues.

Lakhwinder Chahal, who attends the same Gurdwara, said: “When I was growing up we had some family members who were alcoholic.

“It was so hard at times, when they didn’t know what they were doing… the whole family suffered because there was some violence as well.

“I know of so many people who have suffered because of alcohol, with domestic violence. The people get hurt, the children are scared.”

At one point Mr Rai was drinking a litre of vodka a day, which put his job at risk and saw him convicted of drink driving.

‘Ostracised’

He quit when given an ultimatum by his wife to choose their family or alcohol.

Mr Rai said: “Drug and alcohol addiction is a problem in every community, but in the Sikh community it is taboo.

“There is a lot of stigma attached to it and addicts are quickly labelled and ostracised by our community.

“It’s condemned in our faith and in our holy scriptures.”

He added: “I am willing to do anything to get people out of that misery and give them the chance of having what I have.”

The weekend Derby programme will consist of talks, workshops and open sessions where people of any background or faith can discuss their issues.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-derbyshire-40292645

Dawn – Exports to Afghanistan drop by over a quarter in a year

Mubarak Zeb Khan

Islamabad, 18 June 2017. Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan fell by a significant 27 per cent over the past one year, thanks to growing mistrust between the two countries as well as downgrade of Nato presence in the war-ravaged nation.

According to officials on Friday, the worsening law and order situation in Afghanistan over the past months was another factor that contributed to the decrease in exports.

Hundreds of people and security personnel have been killed in bomb blasts and gun attacks by militants in Afghanistan recently.

Withdrawal of Nato forces, increased trust deficit and poor security are causes of the fall [bold]

The deteriorating security situation has triggered an intermittent war of words between the two countries with Afghan officials holding Pakistan responsible for each such incident.

For the first time, the commerce ministry of Pakistan admitted that frequent closures of the Pakistan-Afghan border had also contributed to the steady decline in exports to the neighbouring country.

Another reason was the diversion of Afghan trade to Iran.

Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan had reached an all-time high of $2.4bn in 2010-11. It remained over $2bn annually in the subsequent two years, 2011-12 and 2012-13. Since then, exports started to dwindle and hit $1.43bn in 2015-16.

In the first quarter of the current fiscal, exports were recorded at $362.5 million. It clearly reflects that the annual exports to Afghanistan will now be around $1bn when the figure for the 2016-17 was finalised.

Contrary to this, imports from Afghanistan have witnessed a growth of 26pc as it reached $409m in 2015-16 against $323m in the previous year.

Talks on several issues have been on the back burner for the last couple of years because of Kabul’s loss of interest in concluding a trade liberalisation regime with Pakistan.

In 2014, both sides agreed to initiate negotiation on a bilateral preferential trade agreement (PTA). Pakistan shared a draft text of the agrement with Afghanistan.

In 2015, Afghanistan conveyed to Pakistan that it would formally respond to the draft PTA latest by January 2016.

“We have not received any response so far from Afghanistan,” a commerce ministry official said.

Moreover, to encourage business-to-business interaction between the two countries, a joint business council (JBC) comprising leading businessmen from both sides was established.

The first meeting of the JBC was scheduled for August 2015. When Kabul failed to send its response, a new date for the JBC meeting was scheduled, 17 February 2016, in Islamabad.

According to the official, the Afghan government initially confirmed its participation in the meeting but later changed its mind. “Since then no meeting of the JBC has been planned,” the official said.

According to another official source, Pakistan has recently reminded the Afghan side to convene the 7th meeting of Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority (APTTCA) in Kabul as had been agreed during the last meeting held in 2016.

A similar request was also sent to Afghanistan for sharing the draft text of the amended Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement as was agreed in the last meeting of APTTCA held in Islamabad last year.

According to the source, both the Afghan transit and Afghan traders have suffered heavy demurrage, detention and over stay charges owing to the closure of border.

The deadlock between Afghanistan and Pakistan was due to Kabul’s insistence that India should be included in bilateral and trilateral agreements.

Kabul wanted to include India in Trilateral Transit Trade Agreement, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Kabul, according to officials, also wants market access to India and Saarc countries through Wagha border.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1340270/exports-to-afghanistan-drop-by-over-a-quarter-in-a-year