The Asian Age – Row over bid to ‘rewrite’ Sikh history in books

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), a top religious body of the Sikhs, has sought an apology from CM Captain Amarinder Singh.

Tanveer Thakur

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 5 May 2018. A political controversy has erupted in Punjab over an alleged attempt by the state government to “expunge” a few chapters on Sikh history from school textbooks for Classes 11 and 12 students enrolled for Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) exams.

The Opposition Akali Dal and the AAP both are trying to corner the ruling Congress on the emotive issue by saying that the state government is deliberately trying to tamper with Sikh history chapters in the school books.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), a top religious body of the Sikhs, has sought an apology from chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

Chapters allegedely removed from the books were on Sikh gurus and warriors, Anglo-Sikh wars, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Sikh struggle against Mughals and Ahmad Shah Abdali and the origin and growth of Sikhism.

The controversy erupted when PSEB came out with a new syllabus of history for Classes 11 and 12. While the new Class 12 history textbook is out, the final draft of textbook for Class 11 has been almost finalised and will be printed within two weeks.

The leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly and AAP leader Sukhpal Khaira has accused chief minister of acting at the behest of the BJP in tinkering with the chapters on Sikh gurus in history textbooks.

Chief minister Amarinder Singh, who is a well-known military historian, has said that the new syllabus is an attempt to align the books with Ncert course so that students from Punjab can compete nationally.

He said that the Opposition parties are playing politics over an issue involving religious sentiments and sensitivities. The SGPC was party to all the discussions on the issue since his government took over in March last year, he said.

The SAD has kicked up a storm by accusing the PSEB of diluting the content on Sikh history by deleting most of the 23 chapters pertaining to the Sikh gurus and their teachings from the Class 12 book on the pretext of shifting the content to Class 11 books.

SAD president and former Punjab deputy chief minister Sardar Sukhbir Singh Badal challenged the chief minister to produce before media copies of the PSEB’s new book on history for Class 11 to prove his claim that chapters on Sikh history deleted from the syllabus of Class 12 and had merely been shifted to the syllabus of Class 11.

“I dare the chief minister to share with everyone the new book containing all the old chapters on Sikh history today itself before his officers try to deceive the people by getting a new book printed now to hide their mischief in deleting Sikh history from the syllabus,” said Mr Badal.

The SAD and the AAP want a probe and action against those responsible for this change.

The Tribune – Indian drug-dealer jailed in England

London – UK, 03 May 2018. An Indian-origin drug dealer has been jailed for nearly eight years by a UK court for conspiring to supply 10 kg of cocaine in London.

Gurdip Samra, 44, was arrested in November last year as part of a joint operation by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and Scotland Yard’s Organised Crime Partnerships (OCP).

The officers first arrested Samra’s accomplice, Mark Lammin, after accosting him as he carried 10 kg of cocaine in a large holdall in Surrey, south-east England.

A short time later, officers stopped a black Range Rover, which was parked in the vicinity of his planned drugs handover and arrested Samra.

The duo was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court earlier this week, with Samra jailed for seven years and eight months and Lammin sentenced to six years and six months behind bars. He and Samra were both charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. (PTI)

Gent: Sint-Pieters – Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten – Vredeshuis – Gentbrugge: Braemstraat

07 March 2018

Waiting for the train to Brussel / Eupen

On my way !

Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten
13 March 2018

Restauration project

I hope it will be done with respect !

14 March 2018

Picture of the battle of Passchendaele (WW I)
Vrede = Peace

17 March 2018

Evi not well ….

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Herald – ‘Tortured’ Scots Sikh ‘should have his murder charge in India invalidated’

Martin Williams

Glasgow – Scotland – UK, 04 May 2018. Campaigners say a murder charge against a Scottish Sikh man being held in India should be invalidated following claims he was tortured.

Jagtar Singh Johal, from Dumbarton, was arrested in Punjab last November.

Supporters of Mr Johal allege he has been brutally tortured while being held by the Indian authorities.

The 31-year-old is one of 10 men accused of being involved in the murder of Hindu nationalist leader Ravinder Gosain. He was shot dead in October last year.

Mr Johal and the other accused were brought to court in Mohali amid tight security.

The prosecution counsel said that the charge sheet against them ran to nearly 1,500 pages.

The national investigating agency (NIA), which was established by the Indian government to combat terror in India, has named 172 witnesses in the case.

Jagtar Singh Johal: Trial blow for Scot jailed in India

The Official Free Jaggi Now campaign said: “These shambolic proceedings are invalidated by the fact that Jagtar Singh Johal has allegedly suffered torture, and despite diplomatic concerns raised by Britain no investigation of the torture has taken place.

“The NIA courts denied an independent medical examination during police remand, when Jagtar Singh was most vulnerable. To date Indian authorities have not granted permission for British consular staff to meet Jagtar Singh in private.

“Any proceedings based on confessions extracted during torture, with no investigation of torture are invalidated according to international standards on human rights and judicial process.”

The human rights organisation Redress said the charges were “compromised” by the “strong allegations” that Jagtar Singh Johal had suffered severe torture while in the custody of the Indian police.

Mr Johal, otherwise known as Jaggi, asserts that from November 4 to 7, shortly after his arrest in a street in India, police tortured him by applying electric shocks to his ears, nipples and privatae areas, forcing his limbs apart.

Jagtar Singh Johal ‘tortured and electrocuted’ by Indian police in Punjab

Mr Johal’s lawyers in India report that at a secret court hearing on November 10, witnesses observed that he had severe difficulty standing or walking, and had to be assisted as he entered and left the room.

Redress said: “Jagtar has still not been granted an independent medical examination, six months after the alleged torture, despite repeated requests by his lawyers. As far as Redress is aware India has taken no steps to investigate the allegations.”

Counsel has told the court: “We have sufficient evidence against Johal.”

Campaigners, including members of the Sikh Federation and Sikhs from across Europe protested outside the UN in Geneva over events in India.

Mr Johal’s brother Gurpreet Singh was due to be at the protest.

Senior News Reporter

The Hindu – Gosain murder part of a Khalistani conspiracy: NIA

Chargesheet filed in Punjab court says Dubai-trained gunmen killed Punjab RSS leader and targeted eight others

Special Correspondent

New Delhi – India, 04 May 2018. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has said that the Sikh extremist elements alleged to have killed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member Ravinder Gosain in Ludhiana last year were trained in Dubai.

The agency said that day-to-day coordination of the crimes was done by Pakistan-based Harmeet Singh, alias ‘PhD’, a senior member of the banned Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF).

The NIA said Gosain’s murder and targeted killings of eight others from January 2016 were “part of a conspiracy to destabilise Punjab hatched by Sikh extremist elements and others located in various parts of the world”.

Planned attack

The NIA filed a chargesheet against 15 persons in a special court in Punjab on Friday. The agency said Gosain had just returned from a shakha meeting when he was shot dead outside his house.

“During investigation, it was found that the killing of Mr Gosain was part of a transnational conspiracy hatched by the senior leadership of the KLF. Eight incidents of targeted killings or attempted killings were executed as part of this conspiracy between January 2016 and October 2017 in Punjab.

All the persons targeted belonged to certain specific communities and organisations,” the NIA said in its chargesheet.

It was found that the conspiracy had its footprints in several countries including Pakistan, the UK, Australia, France, Italy and the UAE. The NIA said large sums of money were supplied through Italy, Australia and the UK to the accused Hardeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh.

These funds were used by them to buy weapons for executing the killings and other logistics.

“The conspiracy included recruitment and training of Hardeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh in Italy and Dubai, respectively. Hardeep Singh is a permanent resident of Italy, while accused Ramandeep Singh belongs to Ludhiana. Both these persons were trained by one Gursharanbir Singh, a UK national.

Funding of operations

Another UK national, Jagtar Singh Johal, who has been arrested in the case, was involved in the funding of the conspiracy. Day-to-day coordination of the conspiracy was done by Pakistan-based Harmeet Singh @ PhD,” NIA said.

The chargesheet is based on evidence collected from oral, documentary, material and electronic sources. Besides, evidence has been sought from several other countries.

The Home Ministry informed Parliament on December 27 that the ISI of Pakistan was making efforts to provide “moral and financial support” to pro-Khalistan elements for anti-India activities and to revive militancy in Punjab.