The News – Contempt petitions against Nawaz: LHC bench dissolved after judge’s recusal

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 02 April 2018. The bench formed by the Lahore High Court chief justice to hear a contempt of court case against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz was dissolved as a judge recused himself from the bench.

Justice Shahid Mobeen, member of the three-judge full bench of the LHC, recused himself on personal reasons.

Last week, the LHC Chief Justice Yawar Ali formed the new full bench headed by Justice Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi, which also comprised Justice Shahid Mobeen and Justice Atir Mehmood to hear the case.

Justice Shahid Bilal Hasan who was previously a member of the bench has been transferred to the Multan bench.

The previous bench was formed on March 19 to hear petitions against the alleged anti-judiciary speeches of Sharifs and other PML-N leaders.

The petitioners contended that the PML-N leadership had been making derogatory speeches against Supreme Court judges since the verdict of Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification in the Panama Papers case.

The Tribune – Bharat Bandh: 8 killed as protests over SC/ST Act turn violent

Bhopal – Madhya Prades – India, 2 April 2018. Eight people were killed and several others were injured in violence in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan during the nationwide bandh called on Monday by Dalit outfits against the Supreme Court order on the SC/ST Act, prompting authorities to clamp curfew in three MP districts, including Bhind, where the Army was called in to control the situation.

Five people have been killed so far in Madhya Pradesh, two in Uttar Pradesh and one in Rajasthan.

IG Law and Order Makrand Deuskar confirmed four deaths in Gwalior and Morena.

Uttar Pradesh police have confirmed one death in Muzaffarnagar.

A student leader, identified as Rahul Pathak, died in firing in MP’s Morena district, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Umesh Shukla said. Pathak was allegedly shot during protests by agitators and he succumbed to injuries en route to hospital, he said.

Two protesters were killed in Gwalior and one in Bhind. Several policemen were also wounded.

As the violence escalated, curfew was imposed in the entire city, Shukla said. Police said the protesters also stopped a train in Morena.

Curfew was imposed in Gwalior and Bhind districts also following violence, officials said.

Gwalior Commissioner BM Sharma said, “Curfew has been imposed in several parts of Gwalior city following violence during the protest.” However, Sharma did not share more details.

Eyewitnesses claimed that a person also suffered bullet injuries in the violence in Gwalior and was admitted to hospital.

Curfew was also imposed in Bhind city, and Mehgaon, Lahar and Gohad areas of the district, Bhind Superintendent of Police Prashant Khare said.

Six people were injured in the firing by protesters in the district, he said.

The Army has been called in in Bhind to control the situation, Khare said.

In Rajasthan, one person was killed and two others were wounded in police firing in Alwar’s Kherthal Thana. Twenty-five policemen were also wounded in the violence.

A report from Jhabua also said protesters looted shops during the agitation, triggering tension in the tribal town.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan appealed to the protesters to maintain peace in the state as the Centre had filed a review petition in the Supreme Court on the issue of dilution of the SC/ST laws.

Protests were also held in the state capital Bhopal with agitators blocking a road on the Board Office Square near the statue of B R Ambedkar.

More than two dozen vehicles were damaged with several of them set on fire by the protesters during the protests in the state, eyewitnesses said.

In Morena district, the Chhattisgarh Express was stopped by protesters and was still there at the station, they said.

Leuven NMBS – Gent Kortrijksepoortstraat

Leuven NMBS
03 February 2018

Platform resurfacing almost finished

But not quite …

Still some work to be done at the eastern end

It took a while but this looks good now
platform along track 1

Gent Kortrijksepoortstraat
04 February 2018

An ancient Brabant tax disc on a Gent bicycle

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Statesman – Iraq deaths: Signs of Sikhism helped identify Indians in mass grave

Ranjeet Jamwal

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 2 April 2018. Locating the mortal remains of 39 Indians killed in Iraq by the Islamic State terrorists was a Herculean task as staying in Mosul, which remained an ISIS stronghold for long, was still a risky affair due to explosives planted even inside the houses by the terrorist organisation (ISIS).

The city was declared free of ISIS only in December 2017.

Addressing a press conference in Amritsar after bringing the mortal remains of 38 men from Iraq through a special plane at Amritsar, the minister of state for external affairs, General (retired) VK Singh said after the Iraq Army re-captured several ISIS strongholds last year, he first went to the country in search of these 39 men in July 2017. But as the security situation was still not good there, he returned and went to Iraq in October again.

Stepping up the efforts to find out the missing Indians, General Singh then located the private company that had employed all 39 missing Indians. A man who used to provide food to these Indians was also located. A campaign was also launched through local TV and radio for getting information from the public about the missing Indians.

Based on the information received from various sources, Indian government found information about a mass grave in Badush, a village northwest of Mosul in Iraq. “We went to Badush with the Iraqi army and found a big heap of soil there. Anyone could make out that it was far from a natural formation.

When it was dug in the presence of Indian ambassador, human remains were found there.”

“We found long hair and karas (a steel or iron bracelet) there. From it, we could make out that those buried there could be Indians,” General Singh said. Twenty-seven of the 39 missing Indian were from Punjab and many of them were Sikhs. Articles of Sikh faith came handy to establish that they were Indians.

The minister said following this, the bodies were exhumed for DNA testing which confirmed the identity of 38 of 39 missing Indians. In one case, DNA has matched only about 70 per cent, so his body has not been brought to India.

On the cause of death, Gen Singh said forensic experts have said that some of 39 Indian died of bullet injuries. “But bullet injuries are not the same about everyone and even forensic experts are not sure about the cause of death of some others. Their bones are broken, it is difficult to say if they were slaughtered or what was the cause of their death,” he said.

Compensation not like distributing biscuits: V K Singh

Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh courted a controversy by saying that “distributing compensation was not like distributing biscuits”. He was replying to a question from the Press regarding announcing compensation to the families of the victims.

Dawn – Strike, security clampdown in India-held Kashmir day after fierce fighting leaves 20 dead

Srinagar – Jammu & Kashmir – India, 02 April 2018. A security clampdown and a strike sponsored by separatists fighting against Indian rule shut most of India-held Kashmir on Monday, a day after deadly protests and fierce fighting killed 16 combatants, 13 Indian soldiers and 13 suspected militants, and four civilians.

Armed police and paramilitary soldiers in riot gear fanned out across the region and are patrolling streets in anticipation of anti-India protests and clashes.

Authorities have also clamped a curfew in the old parts of Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar, the urban centre of protests and clashes against Indian rule. According to Times of India, internet service has also been suspended in the area.

Pakistan on Sunday had condemned the brutal and indiscriminate use of force by the Indian forces.

Political leaders also condemned the violence, calling for action against India.

The Prime Minister has condemned Indian brutality in Kashmir that resulted in martyrdom of 20 Kashmiris. This act of barbarism in Indian Occupied Kashmir is violation of human rights: Foreign Office of Pakistan.

The foreign minister termed Sunday the “worst day of state terrorism in Kashmir valley”.

“A movement that is rooted in the heart and soul of a people and represents their innermost aspirations and a struggle for identity, cannot be crushed with the physical might,” Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said. “New phase in the Kashmiris’ struggle for right to self-determination is inspired by legendary valour of Burhran Wani”.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan also took to Twitter to condemn the violence and demanded the United Nations to act against India.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed submitted a resolution condemning violence by Indian forces in the region.

Fierce clashes

Twenty people were killed in India-held Kashmir in some of the fiercest clashes this year in the region on Sunday.
A masked Kashmiri protester shouts slogans as he stands amid tear gas smoke during a protest against the killing of rebels in Srinagar.

Thirteen Kashmiris described by Indian authorities as militants and three Indian soldiers died in several clashes south of Srinagar.

Another four Kashmiris were killed and scores of others injured when police opened fire on thousands of demonstrators who poured onto the streets, throwing stones and chanting slogans against Indian occupation.

Troops had used tear gas and pellet guns to disperse the crowd, and later opened fire. Most of the injured sustained pellet wounds, but six had gunshot wounds, said S.P. Vaid, the director general of police in India-held Kashmir.

Local residents have put the number of injured at over 50.

Thousands of Kashmiris hit the streets, raising anti-India slogans and demanding an end to Indian rule over the region as troops launched “anti-militant” operations in three southern villages.

By the time authorities handed over the bodies of some of the suspected militants to their families, tens of thousands had gathered to attend their funerals while shouting slogans like “Go India, go back” and “We want freedom”.

Vaid said the army received information on Saturday night about suspected militants hiding in an area near Dragad village in Shopian district, about 50km south of Srinagar.

In Dragad, seven bodies of suspected militants were recovered, including ‘top commanders’. “They were killed in a gun battle,” Vaid said, adding that the owner of the house in which they were trapped was also killed.

While eight of the dead were identified as local cadres of the area’s largest militant group, Hizbul Mujahideen, troops were still clearing off the rubble of a destroyed house at a third gun battle site where bodies of three suspected militants lay, Vaid said.

The area residents said soldiers had blasted several civilian homes with explosives while fighting the suspected militants.

Another suspected militant was killed in Dialgam village in Anantnag district, while one was arrested, Vaid said.

Two Indian soldiers and one civilian were killed in another gun battle in Kachdoora village, where a battle with a separate group of four to five suspected militants was ongoing, Vaid had said.

Foreign Office spokesman Dr Faisal had said that “this mindless killing spree had exposed, yet again, the ugly, inhuman face of the state-terrorism that India had been perpetrating against the Kashmiris for decades”.

India and Pakistan each administer parts of Kashmir, but both claim the territory in its entirety. Rebels have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989. They demand that Kashmir be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.