The New Indian Express – AAP welcomes Supreme Court decision for new SIT to probe 186 anti-Sikh riot cases

New Delhi-India, 11 January 2018. Delhi’s ruling AAP today welcomed a Supreme Court order to constitute a new three-member special investigation team to monitor the re-investigation into 186 cases related to the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 which were closed earlier.

AAP leader Jarnail Singh, fighting for the families affected by the anti-Sikh riots, also urged the Supreme Court to direct the CBI, or an independent investigation agency, to investigate the cases.

“We have no trust in Delhi Police, which was directly involved in killings and made the biggest cover up in the history of India,” Singh alleged.

“The cases should be monitored by Supreme Court as it was done in Gujarat riot cases and resulted in a few convictions,” he added.

Large-scale riots had broken out in Delhi in the aftermath of the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by two Sikh security guards on October 31, 1984. The violence claimed 2,733 lives in the national capital alone.

Deciding to set up a new SIT, the Supreme Court today held that the previous SIT had not carried out further probe into the 186 cases in which closure reports were filed.

It said a supervisory body it had appointed found that out of 241 cases, 186 cases were closed without investigation.

On August 16 last year, the court had appointed the supervisory panel to examine the SIT’s decision to close 241 cases.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2018/jan/10/aap-welcomes-supreme-court-decision-for-new-sit-to-probe-186-anti-sikh-riot-cases-1750121.html

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The Tribune – Sidhu announces Rs 24 lakh for Baba Banda Singh Bahadur memorial

Mohali-Panjab-India, 10 January 2018. Punjab Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday announced Rs 24 lakh for the development of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur memorial in Chappar Chiri here.

Sidhu said the fund would be used for the development of the site as well as the facilitation of tourists.

The memorial was set up in 2011 to acknowledge the valour of the Sikhs in a historic battle with the Mughals.

Sidhu’s visit to the memorial came after the MLA from Mohali Balbir Singh Sidhu demanded sprucing up of the basic infrastructure of the memorial, an official release said.

Sidhu announced Rs 12 lakh on the behalf of Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa for the restoration of the approach road towards the memorial as well as Rs 12 lakh from his own discretionary quota for the beautification of the memorial and facilitation of tourists.

“The Punjab Government will develop historical and heritage sites of the state as tourist hubs to attract tourists from both country and abroad,” Sidhu said.

He said heritage festivals would be revived in the state and his department would hold such festivals in Patiala, Amritsar, Bathinda, and Kapurthala.

“The main motive is to create ample employment opportunities through the rich and glorious cultural heritage of the state,” said Sidhu. (PTI)

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/sidhu-announces-rs-24-lakh-for-baba-banda-singh-bahadur-memorial/526575.html

Heverlee Parcum – Gentbrugge Braemstraat – Gent Gebroeders De Smetstraat

Parcum, Abdij van Park
Heverlee
3 December 2017


Evi – Pyar Kaur

Braemstraat
Farys and Stad Gent works
4 December 2017

Very muddy street !


Starting work on the last stretch
Junction of Braemstraat / Schoolstraat


Dams of pebbles to get to the sidewalks

Gent Gebroeders De Smetstraat
7 December 2017


De Lijn Tram 1 to Flanders Expo

To see all my pictures:

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

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Human Rights Without Frontiers – Believers of all faiths and atheists in prison: 24 countries of particular concern

A Report by Human Rights Without Frontiers

10 January 2018

HRWF International, 10 January 2018, Human Rights Without Frontiers International has released its 2017 database of believers and non-believers who have been imprisoned for exercising their freedom of religion or belief.

Twenty-four countries in all were identified by Human Rights Without Frontiers International for depriving believers and unbelievers of their freedom in 2017: Algeria, Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen.

“In 2017, we documented over 2200 individual cases of illegal imprisonment of believers and non-believers and we carried out campaigns to get their release, some with success,” according to Fautré, director of Human Rights Without Frontiers International.

Among all denominations, Christians of all faiths were in jail in the highest number of countries: Protestants in 13 countries, Catholics and Orthodox in 2 countries.

However, members of a dozen other religious or belief communities are known to have been in jail in 2017: Jehovah’s Witnesses in 6 countries; Sunnis in 4 countries; Shias, Said Nursi and Tabligh Jamaat followers in 3 countries; Ahmadis, Baha’is, Buddhists and Sufis in 2 countries; Atheists in Egypt, Falun Gong practitioners in China, and Scientologists in Russia.

“Prison terms are usually imposed on peaceful and law-abiding members of religious or belief groups on the basis of laws restricting their freedom to change religion, share one’s beliefs, and practice their right to freedom of association, worship and assembly.

Additionally, they may be imprisoned simply because of their religious identity”, Fautré said.

According to the database, China, Iran and South Korea recorded the largest number of freedom of religion or belief prisoners.

In China, Falun Gong practitioners, whose movement was banned in 1999, are massively put in prison, a number of Catholic priests and bishops have also been missing, since their arrests many years ago for being faithful to the Pope instead of swearing allegiance to the Communist Party.

Evangelical and Pentecostal Protestants belonging to the mushrooming network of house churches, and Uyghur Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists, both of which are systematically suspected of separatism, are also particular targets of the regime.

In Iran, the Baha’is, whose movement is considered a heresy of Islam, make up the highest number of prisoners. They are followed by home-grown Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians who extensively carry out missionary activities among their fellow citizens despite the risk of imprisonment and execution.

Baluchi** and Kurdish Sunnis as well as Sufis are also particularly targeted.

In South Korea, over 300 young objectors to military service were still serving 18-month prison terms at the end of 2017. Since the Korean War, more than 19,200 Jehovah’s Witnesses have reportedly been sentenced to a combined total of over 37,200 years in prison for refusing to perform military service.

Eritrea, Singapore and Tajikistan are other countries which still imprison conscientious objectors.

“Our best wish for 2018 is that the EU converts its words into action and fully uses the EU Guidelines on Freedom of Religion or Belief to help release many FoRB prisoners of conscience,” Fautré hopes.

The lists of prisoners per country can be consulted at:

http://hrwf.eu/forb-intro/forb-and-blasphemy-prisoners-list/

(*) Human Rights Without Frontiers International has been monitoring freedom of religion or belief as a non-religious organization since 1989. In 2017 it covered in its daily newsletter more than 70 countries where there were incidents related to freedom of religion or belief, intolerance and discrimination. See its news database at
http://hrwf.eu/newsletters/forb/

(**) Both in Afghanistan and in Baluchistan Shia Hazaras are targeted by extremists. I am not aware of any bias against Sunis in Baluchistan.
Man in Blue

For further information, contact:

Email: international.secretariat.brussels@hrwf.net
Email: w.fautre@hrwf.net

http://www.hrwf.eu

The Hindu – Supreme Court to form its own special team to probe 186 anti-Sikh riots cases

These cases were not investigated further by the Union government’s SIT

Krishnadas Rajagopal

New Delhi-India, 10 January 2018. In a relief to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims, the Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to set up its own three-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe 186 cases not investigated further by the Union government’s SIT.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said the three-member SIT would be headed by a former High Court judge and have a former IPS officer not below or who is equivalent to the rank of an IG and a serving IPS officer, all available in Delhi.

On the government’s insistence, the Bench posted the matter for January 11, so that the Centre, represented by Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, and senior advocate H S Phoolka, who is appearing for the victims, could suggest names for the new special probe team.

“Regard being had to the nature of the cases, we think it appropriate that a fresh SIT be constituted for carrying on further investigation,” the court recorded in its order.

When the victims recalled that such an SIT had been quashed following objections that said investigation was the police’s forte and not the court’s, Chief Justice Misra said: “That is history. This is we [Supreme Court] who are doing it.”

The decision to form a new SIT was based on a confidential report placed on record on December 11, 2017 by an apex court-appointed supervisory committee of former Supreme Court judges, Justices K S Radhakrishnan and J M Panchal.

This committee was tasked with vetting the investigation into 241 anti-Sikh riots cases closed by the government’s SIT. These 186 cases are a part of those cases.

On August 16 last year, the court decided to independently examine the investigation records of the 241 cases and confirm that there was nothing more to do on them.

Death of 3,325 people

A total of 3,325 people were killed in the 1984 riots. Delhi alone accounted for 2,733 deaths, while the rest occurred in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other States.

The government SIT was set up on February 12, 2015, following a recommendation by the Justice (retd.) G P Mathur committee. It was headed by Pramod Asthana, an IPS officer of 1986 batch and comprised retired district and sessions judge Rakesh Kapoor and additional deputy commissioner of Delhi Police Kumar Gyanesh.

The SIT questioned Congress leader Sajjan Kumar thrice and asked him questions about the allegations that he instigated a mob in Janakpuri on November 1, 1984, which led to the killing of two Sikhs, Sohan Singh and his son-in-law, Avtar Singh.

The Centre had told the court that out of a total 293 cases investigated by the SIT, closure reports were filed for 241 cases.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-to-form-new-sit-to-probe-186-anti-skih-riots-cases/article22411073.ece?homepage=true