The Hindustan Times – SIT files first chargesheet in Gauri Lankesh murder case

The 650-page charge sheet filed before the First Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate details the role of alleged gunrunner and Hindutva activist T Naveen Kumar alone as an accomplice in Gauri Lankesh’s murder, which had triggered a nationwide outrage.

Bengaluru – Karnataka – India, 30 May 2018. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh on Wednesday filed its first charge sheet in the sensational case, naming alleged gunrunner and Hindutva activist T Naveen Kumar as an accused.

Naveen Kumar has been charged under section 302 (murder), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 118 (concealing a conspiracy) and 114 (abetment to the crime) of the IPC, and also under provisions of the Arms Act, SIT sources told PTI.

The charge sheet contains the statement of about 131 witnesses, the sources said.

The SIT has submitted that it would submit more documents relating to the case in future.

Lankesh, 55, known for her left leaning and strong anti-Hindutva views, was shot dead in front of her house here on September five last year.

Naveen Kumar was arrested for alleged illegal possession of firearm and ammunition on February 18. During the probe, the SIT claimed, it had found evidence of his involvement in the killing of Lankesh, and also arrested him in that case.

The Arms Act case against Naveen Kumar would be heard by a city court on Thursday.

Naveen Kumar, hailing from Maddur in Mandya district, was arrested with a firearm and bullets when he was waiting for a client at Majestic bus stand in Bengaluru.

Sources claimed he had not only supplied firearms to the assassins of Lankesh but also conducted a recce of the area around her residence and provided them vital inputs about her.

He is also suspected to have ferried the prime accused to a place close to Lankesh’s house.

Police said Naveen Kumar had named a man from Shivamogga Praveen Kumar, arrested by the city police in connection with an illegal arms case in May, in the Gauri Lankesh murder case.

The sources said the SIT has taken into custody four more people suspected of involvement in Lankesh’s killing.

They have been identified as Manohar Edve (30), Sujith Kumar alias Praveen (37), Amol Kale alias Bhaisab (40) and Amit Degwekar alias Pradeep.

While Edve and Praveen are from Karnataka, Kale and Degvekar are from Maharashtra and Goa respectively.

They were arrested for hatching a plan to kill Kannada writer K S Bhagawan, known for his anti-Hindutva stance, the sources said.

“Their involvement in Gauri Lankesh case is very much likely. That’s why we have taken them into custody and are interrogating them closely,” said a source in the SIT.

The Tribune – One bomber in Canada Indian restaurant attack may be woman: Police

Mississauga – Ontario – Canada, 30 May 2018. One of the two bombers of an Indian restaurant in this Toronto suburb that left 15 injured last week, was likely a woman, according to Regional Police Superintendent Rob Ryan.

Although police initially said that the two attackers, who put a homemade bomb at the Bombay Bhel restaurant on May 24 were men, Ryan told a news conference on Tuesday that “investigators now believe one suspect could be a woman”.

“There is evidence that has come to light through witnesses and some other video that leads investigators to believe that it just may not be a male,” he added.

“Suspects went to great length to hide their identities,” he said. However, he did not make it clear which of the two persons captured in the surveillance video released by police, was thought to be a woman.

The pictures circulated by the police showed both with their faces covered with cloth and the hoods of their jackets pulled over their head.

While Ryan did not provide any further information at the news conference about the improvised explosive device beyond calling it “homemade”, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said that according to the police, it contained nails, “suggesting it was likely intended to maximise injuries”.

Police agencies in the region were still looking for the two suspects and “it is a complex case and is going to take time to solve”, Ryan said.

Ryan said that the reason for the attack was still a mystery.

“We do not have a clear motive and no one has claimed responsibility” and “we don’t have any messaging during the incident, before the incident,” he said.

“There is nothing to suggest it was a terrorist or a hate crime,” he added.

They also do not have indication if the restaurant or anyone in it was targeted in the attack, he said.

Ryan said that about 30 people who were in the restaurant during the the birthday celebrations when the attack took place, had been interviewed and the restaurant was cooperating with the probe.

The Toronto Star newspaper reported that Bombay Bhel owner, Mohan Nagpal, had a lengthy interview with the investigators on Saturday.

A post on the restaurant’s Facebook page said: “We are co-operating with the police during their investigation at this time as we have no knowledge of motivation for this terrible incident.”

Gent-Sint-Pieters – Leuven NMBS

14 April 2018

Track 8

Track 8 12:13 to Aalst and Brussel Airport

Track 9, 10, 11 and 12
The platform along track 7 and 8 is the next one to be renewed

Leuven NMBS
14 April 2018

Track 1 16:19 to Brussel and Blankenberge

Track A: S train to Brussel and ‘s Gravenbrakel
Stop boarding

Track A: S train to Brussel and ‘s Gravenbrakel

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Globe Newswire – United Sikhs call upon USA & Pakistan government for justice in assassination of humanitarian volunteer

Militants reportedly shot activist Charanjeet Singh in his own grocery store

Peshawar – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – Pakistan, 30 May 2018. In response to the reported militant attack that tragically claimed the life of United Sikhs volunteer Charanjeet Singh, 52, the global nonprofit organization today urged the United States of America and Pakistan government officials to provide necessary security measures for the local Sikh community.

Immediately after news of the crime broke, United Sikhs reached out to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Peshawar Mayor Muhammad Asim Khan, the USA Consulate, Department of State and Commission on International Religious Freedom to address the heinous violation of human rights.

“We call upon the government to urgently implement additional security measures to protect the Sikh community, as we are in a state of shock at this horrific crime,” said United Sikhs Pakistan Coordinator Herdyal Singh, who is related to the victim.

“Our International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy legal division is actively working with local authorities to ensure the perpetrators are apprehended swiftly and justice is served. We ask anyone with any information on the attack to come forward.”

A father of three (one daughter, 16, and two sons, 18 and 20), Charanjeet Singh opened his shop in Peshawar to provide for his family. He volunteered with United Sikhs on a number of international relief efforts, including assistance programs for Pakistan’s internally displaced people.

He is being remembered by the community as a beloved human rights and interfaith activist.

In light of this tragic news, United Sikhs also reminds the global Sikh community to be vigilant against hate crimes and report them immediately to our ICHRA legal team via the online reporting form:

About United Sikhs

United Sikhs is a United Nations-affiliated, global charity that advocates for civil and human rights.

Our International Civil & Human Rights Advocacy helps advance the economic, social and spiritual empowerment of minorities and other marginalized groups and individuals in need, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social status, age or ability.

We achieve this by protecting and enforcing the civil and human rights of minorities and marginalized groups in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Megan Daly
United Sikhs
(323) 514-0078

The Hindu – Tell RSS what is wrong with their ideology: Chidambaram to Pranab

Ex-Finance Minister advises Pranab

Special Correspondent

New Delhi – India, 30 May 2018. Former Union Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram has a word of advice for former President Pranab Mukherjee on his impending visit on June 7 to Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh headquarters in Nagpur, that he should elucidate on what is wrong with its ideology.

Mr Mukherjee has been invited to be the chief guest at the valedictory function of Sangh Shiksha Varg, a training camp for RSS volunteers, at their headquarters.

Now that Mr. Mukherjee has accepted the invitation, there is no point debating on whether he should go or not, Mr Chidambaram said. “More important thing to say is, Sir now that you have accepted invitation, please go there and tell them what is wrong with their ideology,” he said. He said that he himself would not have accepted the invitation.

He was speaking at the launch of Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi’s book Straight Talk.

His comments come after Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala wrote to the former President asking him to decline the invite. He said that Mr Mukherjee’s decision comes as a “rude shock” to secular minds of the country.

The Statesman – India fears mass influx as monsoon threatens Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh camp

Bangladesh is looking at options like repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar or their transfer to a safer location. It is also looking at safeguarding the existing shacks of the refugees and steps to prevent an epidemic when the rains hit.

Dhaka – Bangladesh, 25 April 2018. With only two months to go for the monsoon rains to arrive, relocating Rohingya refugees to a safe place has emerged as a serious concern for the Bangladesh government.

It has also created a sense or worry for India’s Border Security Force (BSF) as intelligence inputs hint at mass influx when floods overwhelm the grounds where they are housed in refugee camps.

Over 1.15 million registered Rohingyas have been residing in the south-eastern part of Bangladesh, known as the Cox’s Bazar region, after they fled Myanmar to escape a military crackdown on their villages in Rakhine State on the night of August 24-25, last year.

Bangladesh is looking at options like repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar or their transfer to a safer location. It is also looking at safeguarding the existing shacks of the refugees and steps to prevent an epidemic when the rains hit.

The BSF, on its part, has put its troops along the 4,096 km India-Bangladesh border on alert to intercept any infiltration by the Rohingya refugees into India.

The Indian government has taken the position that they will not allow mass influx of illegal migrants as some Rohingyas had been found to have links with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence for delivering fake Indian currency into the country. They were also said to be trying to illegally obtain Indian identification.

The BSF says it will have to follow the government’s order to the tee. “We have intelligence inputs that Rohingyas would try to enter India when the rains come and we are putting in place plans to stop them,” a BSF official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

“All the Integrated Check Post commanders along the border have been instructed to be vigilant and stop any illegal entry,” he said. Although the nearest Indian border is about 100 km away, the ability of refugess to face hardships and traverse long distances in search of a safe haven is known.

Most of refugees live in flimsy, bamboo-and-plastic structures perched on what were once forested hills, as a visit by a group of 15 Indian and Bangladeshi journalists to Cox’s Bazar camp showed.

It would lead to a disaster if they remain in the area when Bangladesh gets lashed by cyclones, at the peak of rainy season in July. The visit of journalists was facilitated by the BSF and hosted by Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB).

According to Bangladesh’s meteorological department, the highest incidence of rainfall is recorded in the south-eastern part of the country where the biggest makeshift camps of Rohingyas’ are located, in Kutupalong and Balukhali, an area of around 144 square kilometres.

Computer modelling by the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugess (UNHCR) shows that hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees would be threatened by floods and landslides during the monsoon.

“Up to a third of the land could be flooded, leaving lakhs of refugees living in the plains homeless… Refugee population living on slopes will also be at risk of landslide,” said an UNHCR report.

To cope with the situation the government is seeking relocation of the refugees back to their homeland. “The Bangladesh government is in a hurry to repatriate the refugees as per an agreement signed between it and the Myanmar government in November last year,” Brigadier General S.M. Rakibullah of BGB told IANS.

“We recently sent a list of around 100,000 Rohingyas to Myanmar for their identification and repatriation, but only a few of them were considered as nationals by their government,” said Rakibullah, Additional Director General and Regional Commander of Adhoc Region Headquarters in Cox’s Bazar, adding that “the repatriation of refugees is considerably delayed”.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also expressed concern for the Rohingyas in view of the coming monsoons and has ordered new homes to be built for them on a nearby island called Bhasan Char, according to an official in Bangladesh’s Ministry of Information.

But it would be impossible to do that for all the 1.15 million refugees. Cox’s Bazar Assistant Director Rubel told IANS: “As water swallows the whole area south of Naff river during the monsoon season, evacuation of Rohingyas would become very difficult then”.

However, relocation to another area may not be easy as most of the places are populated by local Bangladeshis who are unlikely to take the presence of hundreds of thousands of refugees very kindly.

Officials point out that as it may not be possible to relocate a large number of refugees before monsoons, interim measures need to be taken.

And they are doing that. These include using bulldozers to improve roads, stabilise the slopes and level the land in the Kutupalong-Balukhali camp. The bamboo shacks on the hills are being strengthened by sandbags, but officials point out that when rains become extremely heavy, this measure may not help much.

Also, emergency medical centres to tackle cholera or mosquito-borne disease are being set up, and so are search and rescue and first aid teams, according to an official. Several international agencies, including UNHCR, are working alongside Bangladesh personnel to prepare for the coming rains.

But Nur Hussain, 40, whose brother was killed in the military crackdown in Myanmar, is not convinced. “My mud house and other makeshift shacks are not built to withstand storms, heavy rains or floods,” he said, looking at the skies with foreboding eyes.

My excuses, I lost the link to the newspaper article and even google cannot find it back – Giani Gurbachan Singh speaks up against Punjab Police for false indictment of Sikh youths

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 28 May 2018. In a surprising move on May 26, the SGPC appointed Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh issued a statement against false indictment of NRI Sikh youths in various cases by the Punjab police.

He has sought a neutral and independent probe into the claims of Punjab police about involvement of NRI Sikh youths in various murders of Hindu leaders.

Citing the example of Gurjant Singh, a resident of Ludhiana, Giani Gurbachan Singh said that he was implicated in a false case by the NIA and Punjab Police.

“Under the tutelage of the International Sikh Federation, Gurjant had objected to indecent songs in Punjabi and exposed elements targeting Gurmat ideology on social media but the NIA and Punjab police have falsely indicted him in five targeted killings in the state” he said.

He has asked Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh to get his case investigated by a neutral agency.

Giani Gurbachan Singh has directed the apex Sikh body SGPC, Sikh organisations and Sikh masses to come forward to provide justice to these Sikh youths.

Gent: View from the top-floor of NT Gent – Gentbrugge Schooldreef

Gent: View from the top
13 April 2018

Sint-Baafs cathedral seen from NT Gent’s theatre

The horrible offices on the Reep

Sint-Baafsplein and Lange Kruisstraat

The theatre’s roof

The theatre’s roof

Gentbrugge Schooldreef
14 April 2018

Gentbrugge Schooldreef
Tram 2 to Zwijnaarde

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue – Sikh peace activist gunned down in Pakistan

Peshawar – Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa – Pakistan, 29 May 2018. A human rights activist and Sikh community leader Charanjeet Singh was shot dead by bike-borne assailants in Peshawar in broad daylight on Tuesday.

Singh, who had shifted to Peshawar with his family nearly two decades ago, was a highly respectable figure in the region. He was known for promoting religious harmony and discouraging violence.

Although the exact motive behind the incident is still unknown, community and local political leaders suspect the hand of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) hand in the attack.

In the run-up to the upcoming general election, which is scheduled for July 25, the political atmosphere of the country is getting increasingly turbulent. While the Pakistan Army and the ISI have been covertly supporting extremism, a few players are contesting to bring a more liberal government in Islamabad.

Various religious representatives in the past have accused Pakistan government of turning a blind eye to the discrimination and atrocities being meted out to the minorities in the country.

Despite having a separate ministry for the minorities, Islamabad establishment has failed to alleviate minorities’ pain and sufferings.

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan’s internal affairs policies, by and large, are decided by influential army generals, who mainly work for the welfare of the Muslims of Punjab province.
About 60,000 Sikhs live in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, including 15,000 in Peshawar alone, who have time and again raised the issue of discrimination.

Aninews seems very keen to blame the ISI, but there are any number of actors in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa that could be behind the murder of Charanjeet Singh.

Dawn – National Security Committee expresses satisfaction over constitutional reforms in Fata and Gilgit-Baltistan

A meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) on Tuesday expressed satisfaction over the transformational reforms introduced by the government with regard to Fata and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Sanaullah Khan

Islamabad – Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 29 May 2018. The committee observed that the mainstreaming of Fata and its merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the transfer of all the powers to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan who will enjoy similar rights which the people of other provinces have without any discrimination “have gone a long way in fulfilling the aspirations of the people of these regions with far-reaching outcomes for national life”.

The 24th NSC meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, was attended by Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, National Security Adviser retired Lt General Nasser Khan Janjua, the army chief and other senior civil and military officials.

The NSC condemned the “reign of terror unleashed by Indian occupation forces on innocent Kashmiris and resolved that Pakistan would continue to play its role in realising the right of the people of Kashmir to self-determination”.

During the meeting, the interior ministry official briefed the committee on the basic features of the new visa policy aimed at making Pakistan a tourist and business-friendly country. In view of this policy, it was agreed that the ‘visa on arrival’ facility should be initiated as a pilot project in the first instance.

Earlier this week, ousted prime minister and PML-N “supreme leader” Nawaz Sharif had appeared to draw a parallel between his own recent statement on the Mumbai attack case and the contents of a new book jointly penned by former ISI chief Lt General Asad Durrani and former RAW chief A S Dulat, and called for the National Security Council (NSC) to re-convene on the matter as it had in his (Sharif’s) case.

The NSC had unanimously termed Nawaz Sharif’s statements regarding the 2008 Mumbai attacks as incorrect and misleading.