The Indian Express – 30 years on, man held for crimes in 1984 anti-Sikh riots

Alok Singh

New Delhi-India, 1 December 2017. After 30 years of being on the run, Om Prakash (64), was arrested by Delhi Police from his village in Bihar on Wednesday. Prakash is a proclaimed offender in case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, which erupted soon after the assassination of the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.

On November 2, 1984, when he was 33 years old, he had allegedly barged into a liquor store in the city’s Gole Market and committed vandalism, arson and theft.

“According to the FIR, registered in 1984, he was accompanied by 12 more persons, who were subsequently arrested one after the other by the then police team from Mandir Marg police station,” said a police officer.

A case under IPC sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house), 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 457 (lurking house-trespass or house-breaking by night in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 380 (theft in dwelling house) and 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) had been registered at Mandir Marg police station.

Police said a team from Mandir Marg police station, led by SI Jai Singh, ASI Inder Singh and head constable Vipul, tracked him down to his village in Chhapra in Bihar Wednesday.

Sources said in the 30 years, he kept changing his locations. He got married and has three children. Police said both his sons work in multinational companies.

Police said after the incident in 1984, all accused, including him, were arrested, but they got bail. Later, a chargesheet was filed and it went to court for trial.

“Prakash and his associates, Babu Singh and Raghunand, attended the initial hearings. But later, they jumped parole and fled Delhi. On March 28, 1987, a city court had declared them proclaimed offenders,” said the police source, adding that efforts are on to nab the other two.

30 years on, man held for crimes in 1984 anti-Sikh riots

The Tribune – Government to hand over all targeted killings to NIA

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, 30 November 2017. Due to possible national and international ramifications of the conspiracy behind the targeted killings in the state, the Punjab Government has decided to hand over the investigation of seven cases to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Disclosing this here on Thursday, an official spokesperson said it had been decided to transfer the cases to the NIA under Section 6 of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, 2008, since the modus operandi in all cases was the same.

It had also been found that the inter-state as well as international perpetrators and terrorist angle involved in the criminal conspiracy, to disturb peace and communal harmony in the border state of Punjab by selectively targeting leaders of certain groups, were the same.

The decision to transfer the cases was taken after an NIA team, led by its Director Y C Modi, held discussions with officials of the Punjab Police on Monday.

The two teams mutually felt that the Central agency was better equipped to undertake further investigations into the cases. With handlers, conspirators and financers in all these targeted killings operating from foreign soil, the investigations needed to be more broad-based, they both agreed.

Following the decision, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has directed the Punjab Police to hand over all material in the cases to the NIA for further investigation into the cases, in which the police had recently arrested UK citizen Jagtar Singh Johal and some others to solve the cases of targeted killing of RSS/Shiv Sena/DSS leaders in the state between January 2016 and October 2017.

The Chief Minister has directed that complete support be extended to the NIA to uncover the full extent of the conspiracy to disturb Punjab’s peace and harmony.

The spokesperson said the move was aimed at ensuring that the foreign-based networks conspiring against Punjab were dismantled and action taken against foreign handlers (both organisations and individuals) through cooperation with the Ministry of External Affairs, Interpol, Europol, foreign governments, etc.

It was vital to crack down on such elements that are carrying out murder and mayhem, and revive terrorism in Punjab.

The seven cases being handed over to the NIA include killing of RSS leader Ravinder Gosain, in which the investigation had already been handed over to the agency before the terror module was busted by the Punjab Police. Gosain was killed in Ludhiana on October 17.

Gent: Veldstraat – Ketelvaart – De Krook

Gent: Veldstraat – Ketelvaart – De Krook
03 November 2017

De Leie

Bridge connecting Koophandelsplein to Nederkouter


Bridge connecting Handelsbeurs to Ketelvest


To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Times of India – Is new SGPC president tankhiya?

Yudhvir Rana

Amritsar-Panjab-India, 1 December 2017. Was the newly elected SGPC ​president, Gobind Singh Longowal, declared ​’tankhiya’ (guilty of religious misconduct) ​by the Akal Takht ​ for having visited Dera Sacha Sauda to seek votes for SAD (B) during assembly elections?

On April 17, 2017, the Sikh high priests* had pronounced religious atonement of Sikh leaders who had approached Dera Sacha Sauda in violation of the Akal Takht directives to seek its support ahead the assembly elections.

Out of the 44 Sikh leaders, 39, including patit (apostate) and sabat surat (unshorn hair) belonging to SAD(B), Congress and AAP, had appeared before the high priests.

The Akal Takht had then categorized 21 Sikh leaders as sabat surat and 18 as patit. It had also declared sabat surat as tankhaiya and pronounced five days religious punishment to them.

Longowal’s name 17th in the list of Sabat Surat Sikhs issued by Akal Takht.

The sabat surat Sikhs, including Longowal, were directed to sweep the road between Gurdwara Saragarhi to Darshani Deori, Ghanta Ghar, the road leading to Golden Temple, wash parikarma of Golden Temple, polish shoes for two hours, serve langar for two hours, listen to kirtan for one hour and then follow it up with offering degh of karah parshad for Rs 501 and donate Rs 5,100 each in the golak of Akal Takht and then offer prayer for forgiveness.

On April 4, Sikh high priests had released the list of Sikh leaders who had gone to the Dera, seeking help during assembly elections and directed them to appear before the Akal Takht on April 17.

Earlier, SGPC’s former president Kirpal Singh Badungar had constituted a sub-committee on the instructions of Akal Takht to find the role of Sikh leaders for allegedly violating its (Takht) directives issued in 2007.

The directive prevents Sikhs from having any kind of political, religious or social relations with Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

When asked, Longowal denied it, saying, “I had given in writing to the Akal Takht that I had not gone to Dera.” He claimed his name had appeared in the list by “mistake”.

Akal Takht jathedar Gurbachan Singh said he didn’t know the names of persons who were declared tankhiya. “But if a person completes the atonement, he is exonerated of charges and joins mainstream Sikhism”.

*There are no Sikh priests, these persons are jathedars without jatha
Man in Blue

Dawn – Skewed priorities

Editorial, 30 November 2017. Nawaz Sharif is unhappy and he wants the country and the world to know it.

But Mr Sharif’s reaction to the end of the Faizabad protest is puzzling. The ousted prime minister would like the country to believe that not only does he disapprove of his government’s handling of the protest, but that he was unaware of the decisions being made to try and bring the protest to an end.

Yet, on Saturday, when the police-led operation to try and end the Faizabad protest was under way and protests had begun to erupt in cities across the country, Mr Sharif was pictured in a meeting in his Raiwind residence with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

In that meeting, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal reportedly briefed Mr Sharif about the police operation as did the Punjab chief minister on his government’s plans to deal with protests erupting in the province.

But after the spectacular failure of those plans and the shocking concessions made to the protesters, the three-term prime minister and president of the PML-N would like to pretend that his government’s decisions have nothing to do with him.

There are two other elements of Mr Sharif’s self-serving description of the events of the past few days that are disturbing.

First, the former prime minister is reportedly concerned that the outside world will once again see Pakistan as a defender of extremism and this may impact investments in the country, particularly Chinese investments under CPEC.

Consider for a moment what that implies: Mr Sharif is more concerned about the image of Pakistan in foreign capitals than the security of the denizens of Pakistan’s cities, including the federal capital, which was under siege for nearly three weeks.

While the country must be mindful of the image of Pakistan in an interconnected world, the obsession with foreign perceptions and desperation to please external benefactors is arguably part of the reason the country lurches from crisis to crisis.

The PML-N government’s fundamental duty is the people of Pakistan, ensuring their safety and security and protecting their rights. If that duty is kept front and centre and informs all governmental decision-making, the country’s image will automatically improve and concerns in foreign capitals will dissipate.

Second, Mr Sharif’s lament that governance is suffering is to ignore that he is the reason his government is deeply distracted. Ever since the Panama Papers issue erupted, and certainly since Mr Sharif’s ouster in July, the federal cabinet appears to exist largely to help Mr Sharif deal with his legal and political struggles.

Moreover, the succession struggle in the PML-N between Mr Sharif’s side of the family and Shahbaz Sharif’s family appears to have severely damaged necessary coordination between Lahore and Islamabad. Arguably, the Faizabad debacle began with Mr Sharif’s own selfishness in recent months.