The Times of India – Pakistan Sikhs object to ETPB fundraising plan

Yudhvir Rana

Amritsar-Panjab-India, 2 October 2017, A section of Sikhs in Pakistan have objected to the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Muslim chairman leading a delegation of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) to Canada and the USA to seek funds from the rich and influential Sikhs settled there to develop a gurdwara in Pakistan.

“The ETPB had announced that the Pakistan government will construct one hundred rooms at Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib. Now, its Muslim chairman has not only backed out from his promise but has announced to lead a delegation to Canada and the USA to collect donations.

It is highly objectionable and is direct intervention of the ETPB in the Sikh religious affairs,” said a rights activist and president of Peshawar-based Khalsa Peace and Justice Foundation of Pakistan, Radesh Singh Tony, while talking to TOI on Friday.

ETPB chairman Farooq-ul-Saddiq had recently visited Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib along with the board’s additional secretary Tariq Khan, PSGPC president Tara Singh and member, Punjab (Pakistan) Provincial Assembly Ramesh Singh Arora.

On the occasion, Farooq had said that the ETPB had made a policy to facilitate Sikhs from across the world to perform ‘sewa’ (voluntary service) in gurdwaras of Pakistan.

“Whosoever wants to do karsewa in Gurdwaras of Pakistan are welcome but they should bring their own money and spend it on their own. We will provide them with technical assistance only,” Farooq had said, adding that he would lead a delegation next month to convince Sikhs about the ETPB plans.

“Legally, the ETPB and the PSGPC are two different bodies and the ETPB’s chairman has no right to take decision for the committee,” said a Pakistani Sikh advocate Hira Singh.

Singh, who is also president of the Karachi-based Sri Guru Nanak Satsang Sabha, alleged that the Sikh leadership of the PSGPC had their own vested interests for remaining quite.

“They draw salaries and enjoy other facilities provided to them by the ETPB,” he said.

While cautioning the Sikhs living in the USA and Canada who may generously donate to the ETPB for the cause, Hira Singh alleged that funds could be embezzled as there was no transparency.

Radesh Singh said they had also demanded Farooq’s resignation since he had failed to live up to the expectations of the minority communities.


The Tribune – Mixed response to SGPC stand

Neeraj Bagga, Tribune News Service

Amritsar, 1 October 2017. The SGPC’s decision that its president Kirpal Singh Badungar will not appear before a government-appointed commission probing sacrilege cases has evoked a mixed response.

United Akali Dal (UAD) president Bhai Mohkam Singh said the SGPC move would help those involved in desecration go scot-free. He said the stand proved that the then SAD-BJP government had allegedly played a role in such incidents.

He said most of the desecration cases had occurred in 2015 and 2016 and the Akali government had remained in power for nearly a year and a half since then. He also accused the the government of implicating those Sikhs in false cases who had been searching for culprits.

Former SGPC secretary Manjit Singh Calcutta said the Akal Takht Jathedar never appeared before any court or commission.

However, the Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission had summoned only the SGPC president and sought record of the Akal Takht. He said the SGPC was constituted after the promulgation of an Act and its president could appear in a court, adding that its former presidents had done so in the past.

Meanwhile, Jathedars of three Takhts, including Akal Takht, and other Sikh religious institutions, endorsed the SGPC’s decision.

Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said the Akal Takht was the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs and an independent institute whose record could not be shared.

Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, Damdami Taksal head Giani Harnam Singh Dhumma, Nihang organisations head Baba Balbir Singh, too, supported the SGPC’s decision.

Dhumma accused the Congress government of hatching a conspiracy to interfere in the affairs of the Sikh community.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) backed the SGPC’s decision to reject the commission. “This (setting up the commission) is a conspiracy hatched by the Congress to weaken top Sikh institutions. We warn the commission to desist from interfering in the affairs of these institutions,” the DSGMC said.

Gravensteen – Gent-Sint-Pieters – Leuven NMBS

23 September 2017


Tram 4 to Muide

Tram 1 to Evergem

Gent-Sint-Pieters – Leuven NMBS
23 september 2017

Waiting for train to Eupen via Brussel and Leuven

Leuven, platform 1 being resurfaced

ICE High-speed train on its way to Brussel

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Express & Star – Tipton school bans boy from wearing Sikh bangle

An eight-year-old boy has been banned from wearing his Sikh bangle to school as it is considered to be jewellery and against its uniform policy

Richard Guttridge

Tipton, 2 October 2017. Kaiden Singh was told by teachers at Summerhill Primary School in Tipton he would not be allowed to wear his Kara – a silver [steel] bracelet worn by many Sikhs as a symbol of faith and one of the religion’s ‘five Ks’.

The school is now facing a backlash from Kaiden’s parents and The Sikh Federation which insists the pupil has a legal right to wear the bangle.

Headteacher Kerry Rochester said his parents signed an agreement stating they accepted the school’s uniform policy and that a meeting had been planned for this week to discuss the matter further.

Kaiden’s father Sunnie Singh claimed his son was told to remove the Kara when he started at Summerhill last month.

The Sikh Federation has waded into the row and warned the school could be in for a legal battle if it does not change its stance, citing a case in Wales in 2008 when a 14-year-old girl won a High Court discrimination claim after being told to remove her Kara.

Bhai Amrik Singh, chair of the Sikh Federation UK, said: “Summerhill Primary School in Tipton may not be aware of the legal ruling. We suggest the school headteacher and governors urgently reverse their decision as legal advise will confirm eight-year-old Kaiden Singh has the legal right to wear his Kara to school.

“If this case ends up in court it could cost the school hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayer money and also see a few heads role in senior positions at the school.”

Miss Rochester said: “Our school uniform policy does state no jewellery, only ear studs if a child has pierced ears.

“All parents are made aware of this when they send their children to our school. And, as with all parents, Kaiden’s mum and dad signed the school’s agreement form accepting our policies when he started in September.

“We are a bit taken aback by this because we do consider religious items and we had arranged to meet Kaiden’s parents on Wednesday to discuss the matter with them.”

The Hindu – Dhinakaran booked, 10 others held for ‘derogatory’ remarks against Modi, Palaniswami

Salem-Tamil Nadu-India, 2 October 2017

Mr Dhinakaran’s loyalists P Vetrivel and V Pugazhenthi have also been named as accused in the case, the police said.

Sidelined AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran was on Monday booked and 10 of his supporters were held in connection with distribution of pamphlets allegedly containing defamatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami, in Chennai.

Former MLA Venkatachalam and local AIADMK functionary Saravanan were among the 10 arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by one Vinayakam, alleging that the accused were found distributing the pamphlets among the public outside a hall, where Mr Palaniswami was holding a meeting with senior officials on October 1.

The pamphlets contained “derogatory remarks” against the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister, the police said.

Mr Dhinakaran and his loyalists P Vetrivel, one of the 18 AIADMK MLAs recently disqualified from the Tamil Nadu Assembly under the anti-defection law, and V Pugazhenthi have also been named as accused in the case, the police said.

This is the second case slapped against Mr Dhinakaran, who is engaged in a tussle for power with Mr Palaniswami, by the State police.

Earlier, the sidelined AIADMK leader, along with Tamil actor and party functionary Senthil, had been booked for allegedly making defamatory remarks against P Kumar, the party MP from Tiruchirappalli.

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had restrained the Tiruchirappalli police from arresting them.

Responding to the latest case against him, Mr Dhinakaran alleged that it was filed since his rival Mr Palaniswami — who holds the Home portfolio — “is the police minister”.

“This government is anyway going to fall. They are doing such these things since he [Palaniswami] is the police Minister… Let them do what they want. The AIADMK supporters and the people are going to send them home,” Mr. Dhinakaran said.