The Indian Express – Gurmit Ram Rahim rape case hearing: Day before verdict, victim says she trusts system

Tears in her eyes, she added, “But I have trust in this system till now. Umeed ki kiran hai (There is a ray of hope). We have fought so long for justice, only because the guilty should be punished 100 percent.”

Sukhbir Siwach

Chandigarh, 25 August 2017. A day before a CBI court in Panchkula pronounces its verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, one of the complainants told The Indian Express that she is hopeful that her long wait for justice will end Friday.

“Hamney to suna hai, ye India hai, yahan aasani se nyay nahi milta hai. aur woh bhi jab ladai ek powerful ke khilaf ho. Paise wala kuch bhi kar sakta hai yahan. (We have heard it’s not easy to get justice in India, especially when the fight is against a powerful person. A person who has money can do anything here),” said the complainant, a former sadhvi at the dera.

Tears in her eyes, she added, “But I have trust in this system till now. Umeed ki kiran hai (There is a ray of hope). We have fought so long for justice, only because the guilty should be punished 100 percent.”

“Fortunately, this case was handled by honest officers from CBI. They have tried their best to ensure justice to us. That’s why we have hope,” said the complainant.

The CBI had lodged the FIR against the dera chief in 2002. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had referred the matter to the agency after an anonymous letter purportedly written by a sadhvi began circulating.

In the letter addressed to the PM, Haryana CM and Chief Justice of high court, the sadhvi accused the dera chief of raping her and other sadhvis and pleaded for an inquiry.

Before referring the matter for a CBI probe, the high court had taken a report on the matter from the District and Sessions Judge of Sirsa.

The CBI subsequently succeeded in locating two sadhvis who deposed before a trial court that the dera chief sexually exploited them. In 2008, a CBI court ordered framing of rape charges against the dera chief.

The complainant alleged, “My life has changed after I gave the statement. I can’t move freely. There is danger to my life. I am also apprehensive about lives of my family members”.

“Nothing can happen in the dera without permission of the ‘Baba’ because of his terror. I have heard that if somebody speaks against the Guru, he should be lynched. The followers take his preachings as message of God. The dera chief gives money to followers if they influence their relatives and others to join the dera”.

Ram Rahim rape case hearing: Day before verdict, victim says trusts system

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Sikh24.com – Akal Takht Message: Sikhs Should Remain Vigilant And Protect Gurdwara Sahibs

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar Sahib-Panjab-India, 24 August 2017. The SGPC appointed Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh has appealed to the Sikh masses to remain vigilant and be prepared to guard and protect Gurdwara Sahibs across Punjab, as a precautionary measure in case Sirsa cult disciples try to cause disturbances tomorrow.

In a press note shared with Sikh24, Giani Gurbachan Singh has said that the need of the hour was to ensure the safety of Sikh shrines.

“Though it is the responsibility of the Administration to ensure that law and order is upheld, but still I appeal to Gurdwara management bodies and the local administrations to remain vigilant”, he added.

The CBI’s Court in Panchkula is likely to deliver it’s verdict against Sirsa cult chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim on August 25, in a case pertaining to the raping of a female disciple.

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/08/24/akal-takht-message-sikhs-should-remain-vigilant-and-protect-gurdwara-sahibs/#.WZ-pDtFLfIU

Brussel: Koningsstraat – Royal Palace – Gare Luxembourg – EU Parliament

Brussel MIVB/STIB
18 July 2017

Koningsstraat – Tram 92 0r 93

Royal Palace
18 July 2017

Paleizenplein – Royal Palace

Gare Luxembourg (QL) – EU Parliament
18 July 2017

Former Gare Luxembourg or Quartier Leopold
Now part of the European Parliament complex

European Sikhs discussing discrimination against Sikhs in EU countries

The Singhs leading the discussion

Only one woman in the sangat !

To see all my pictures:

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

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Charity Times – Regulator officially warns Coventry charity

I would like more information
Who are causing disruptions ?
Man in Blue
harjindersingh.amritsar@yahoo.co.uk

Matt Ritchie

Coventry, 24 August 2017. The regulator has officially warned a Coventry Sikh charity that it could take action if the organisation does not improve its management and the safeguarding of trustees and beneficiaries.

Gurdwara Guru Nanak Parkash, Coventry was issued the warning after the Charity Commission said beneficiaries and trustees had been exposed to “undue risk of harm” through repeated disruption on its premises.

The charity operates a Sikh temple (Gurdwara) in Coventry. The regulator said police presence has been required at the charity’s premises on a regular basis.

The official warning states that the commission considers trustees have failed to properly manage the charity’s property, including through failure to prevent the circulation of views or material that were or could be seen to be inappropriately political or extremist in nature on its premises.

Further, trustees had failed to work collectively and implement agreed decisions, the regulator said, and failed to make decisions exclusively in the charity’s interest.

Trustees were rebuked for failing to ensure fair access to the charity’s premises, failure to use premises according to agreed policies and procedures, and failure to adequately manage risks to the charity’s assets.

“The commission has engaged with the charity and has provided regulatory advice and guidance which has not been followed,” the warning read.

Steps the charity has been instructed to take to rectify the situation include safeguarding beneficiaries and trustees from undue risk of harm.

The regulator has told the charity to ensure its facilities are not used as a channel for material that could be considered to support inappropriate political or extremist ideologies or organisations.

Trustees have been told to ensure the charity’s properties are not exposed to undue risk, are used in accordance with the charity’s properties, and provide fair access to the prayer hall and associated facilities.

Failure to remedy the issues could lead to further regulator action being taken, the commission said.

http://www.charitytimes.com/ct/regulator-officially-warns-coventry-charity.php

Dawn – Top US general in Afghanistan claims Taliban cannot win war

Kabul, 25 August 2017. The top US military commander in Afghanistan said on Thursday President Donald Trump’s new strategy is a sign of a long-term commitment to what is already America’s longest war and called on Taliban militants to agree to peace talks.

“The Taliban cannot win on the battlefield; it’s time for them to join the peace process,” General John Nicholson told reporters in Kabul. “We will not fail in Afghanistan; our national security depends on that as well.”

Critics, including Trump himself, have argued in the past that Afghanistan is no closer to peace despite billions of dollars spent on aid and nearly 16 years of US and allied military operations.

In February, General Nicholson told the US Congress he needed “a few thousand” more troops in Afghanistan, mostly to help advise Afghan security forces that are battling Taliban and fighters from other militant groups.

Trump has now approved an extended American presence in Afghanistan, although neither he nor his military leaders have provided any specifics about troop numbers or timelines.

The current US force for the predominantly advise-and-assist mission in Afghanistan stands at around 8,400, well down from around 100,000 during the “surge” decided on by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.

Several thousand more troops are often in the country on “temporary” or other uncounted missions.

Nicholson said new advisers from the United States and Nato coalition allies would increase the training missions, including at specialised military schools, and expand the Afghan air force and special forces.

He also praised Trump’s decision not to impose “arbitrary” deadlines on the American mission in Afghanistan. “This policy announcement… is proof of our continued commitment,” he said.

The Taliban government was overthrown by US-backed Afghan forces in late 2001 but US forces have been bogged down there ever since. About 2,400 US troops have been killed in Afghanistan.

The US military and intelligence officials are concerned that a new Taliban victory would allow Al Qaeda and the militant Islamic State group to establish bases in Afghanistan.

That could allow them to plot attacks against the United States and its allies, they fear, just as Osama bin Laden had done with the Sept 11, 2001, strikes that triggered the war in Afghanistan.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1353792/top-us-general-in-afghanistan-claims-taliban-cannot-win-war