The Asian Age – Arundhati Roy, others seek action against cops for ‘vicious attack’ on activists

The statement comes a day after the Supreme Court directed that the five activists be kept under house arrest.

New Delhi – India, 30 August 2018. Leading intellectuals and civil society members on Thursday demanded action against Maharashtra police for launching a “vicious and malafide attack” against human rights activists and called for an immediate end to “such political acts of vendetta”.

The arrests of the five activists, in a nationwide crackdown on Tuesday, highlights the violation of all due procedures and is a mockery of the legal system, said a joint statement signed by author Arundhati Roy, lawyer Prashant Bhushan, as well as activists Aruna Roy and Jignesh Mevani, among others.

The statement comes a day after the Supreme Court directed that the five activists be kept under house arrest.

They have also demanded that police return the laptops and mobiles seized during the “illegal arrest” of the activists.

“They want to divert attention from real issue and discredit the Dalit movement. The so-called Maoist plot to kill the Prime Minister is an effort to garner sympathy. Dalits will hold protest rallies at various places on 5 September against the government,” Mevani said at a press conference.

“What is happening today is more dangerous than the Emergency,” Bhushan added.

Maharashtra police arrested Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha, and raided the homes of several others as part of its probe into the ‘Elgar Parishad’ conclave in Koregaon-Bhima village near Pune on December 31, 2017.

Others whose premises were reportedly searched this week were Father Stan Swamy, Susan Abraham, Kranthi Tekula and Anand Teltumbde.

The Tribune – Debate on Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report

The SAD Badal MLA’s did not take part in the debate

Akalis colluded with dera
Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa Congress

It is clear that Akali leaders, including the Badals, had links with dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The then Akali-BJP government knew that dera followers were involved in sacrilege incidents, but they turned a blind eye towards it.

The dera chief was let off by the Akalis in 2012 for committing sacrilege by dressing up like Guru Gobind Singh. They have politicised the Sikh religion and I have no problem in leading a tirade to free the Sikhs and the gurdwaras from the Akali Dal-controlled SGPC.

Both Badals should be sentenced to life imprisonment, as their involvement in sacrilege incidents has been proved.

Badals must pay for ‘sins’ 
Navjot Singh Sidhu Congress

The voice of the people is clear and they want you (the CM) to act against the Akalis. The Badals are the masands of the Sikh quom. They ran away from the debate because they have no explanation to give for a dark phase in the history of Sikhs. Sukhbir is known to win over people with money.

But I was not for sale and I am standing here with my pride intact. But those who are witnesses in the cases against the Badals have been bought over. The same could be true for Himmat Singh. However, I would like Sukhbir to explain what happened to Rs 100 crore he allegedly took from the dera chief for allowing his movie to be released.

They played political game
Manpreet Singh Badal Congress

The then Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Badal deliberately ignored the inputs regarding sacrilege incidents. It was clearly a part of their political game to polarise the vote bank. In fact, Badal has been indulging in polarisation of votes on religious lines right from the beginning of his political career.

He was the Home Minister when the Nihangs were massacred in Amritsar. He had specific inputs about it, but still chose to ignore these and let these Nihangs die. The incident later led to the onset of terrorism in Punjab and over 21,000 people were killed.

Arrest Ex-DGP Saini
Tript Rajinder Bajwa Congress

Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has decimated the very philosophy of the Akali Dal and gave the reins of the once Panthic party into hands of his family members. Badal and Sukhbir failed on every front in dealing with the sacrilege incidents.

The then DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, who ordered firing at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura, was involved in Ludhiana’s infamous Saini Motors case. There are civil and police officers who are afraid of acting against him.

But why can’t Saini be arrested? Is he above the law? If anybody has any apprehension, let me constitute a Special Investigating Team to arrest him.

Want Captain to do justice
H S Phoolka AAP

I call upon the SGPC members to listen to their inner voice and work for the ‘Panth’, rather than the Akali Dal.
I laud Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for speaking truth on the issue of 1984 anti-Sikh riots [Pogroms] and call upon him to do justice to the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report by withdrawing the investigation of sacrilege cases from the CBI.

A special court to hear sacrilege cases should be set up. But it seems that the Congress is after the small fish, while leaving the mastermind out. I want to ask why no action was taken against former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini despite his indictment by the Commission?

Gentbrugge Schooldreef – Gent-Sint-Pieters – Leuven: Simran’s birthday

Gentbrugge Schooldreef
09 August 2018

Tram 2 to Melle Leeuw

20 July 2018

Gent-Sint-Pieters – IC to Leuven via Mechelen

Gent-Sint-Pieters – IC to Leuven via Mechelen

Simran Kaur’s Birthday
20 July 2018

The birthday cake !

Gelukkige Verjaardag

Happy birthday

I messed up the sequence of the pictures.
We now jump back to 20 July and will return to August
in due course.
Man in Blue

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Premier – Man charged over fires at Methodist Church and Gurdwara in Edinburgh

A man has been charged over fires at a Methodist church and at a Sikh temple in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh – Lothian – Scotland, 30 August 2018. Police and fire crews were called to the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Sheriff Brae at around 5 am on Tuesday. No-one was injured. The blaze was condemned by the Church of Scotland.

A 49 year old man was arrested on Wednesday and Police Scotland said he has now been charged over the incident.

He has also been charged in connection with a second fire at The City of Edinburgh Methodist Church in Junction Place which also happened in the early hours of the same day.

The man is due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday.

The gurdwara, situated in a former church, is the only Sikh centre in the Scottish capital, serving a community of more than 500 people.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “A man has now been charged following the suspicious fire at the Gurdwara in Sheriff Brae, Edinburgh.

“The 49-year-old is due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday 30th August, where he will also appear in relation to a second fire at the Methodist Church in Junction Place which also happened in the early hours of Tuesday 28th August.”

Dawn – Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) concerned over increase in media curbs

Ikram Junaidi

Islamabad – Islamabad Capital Territory, 30 August 2018. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Wednesday expressed concern over increase in media curbs and held both government and military agencies responsible for the situation.

While launching its fact-finding report “Curbs on freedom of expression in Pakistan” at a press conference, the commission called on the federal and provincial governments and other state institutions and services to take appropriate steps to prohibit and prevent unauthorised, illegal interference with freedom of expression in the country.

“There should be no interference in the sale and distribution of any newspaper, nor should any TV channels be deliberately displaced. The system of issuing ‘press advice’ on the part of state agencies must cease immediately and the complaints documented in HRCP’s report redressed.

The state must also set up complete and effective information commissions in each province to implement its obligations under the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017,” speakers said on the occasion.

HRCP spokesperson I A Rehman said that in a number of areas newspapers were banned. On the other hand, no one was ready to tell who has banned Dawn, The News and Jang, he said.

“HRCP talked to a number of bookshop owners, stall holders and hawkers over the issue and they confirmed that the complaints were correct, but none of them was ready to be quoted out of fear,” he said.

“Press advice is given even during live TV programmes. There is fear in the environment due to which not only people will stop speaking but they will also stop thinking,” he said.

Mr Rehman said that the journalist community had been deliberately divided by some elements. Massive campaigns were launched against some journalists on social media, he said.

Former Awami National Party Senator Afrasiab Khattak, who worked on the report, said that for the past few years the country had been facing a creeping coup.

“Initially media groups were controlled and now efforts have been started to control journalists. It is our duty to stand with those who have been raising voice as democracy cannot be ensured without freedom of media,” he said.

He said that security departments wanted to dominate, but they did not want to become accountable. He said the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement came into being because political parties stopped speaking about the rights of people.

Former Senator Farhatullah Babar said it had been observed that rather than approaching journalists directly the owners were approached to stop news and force the journalists to exercise self-censorship.

He said the civil-military equation had been written on terms of military alone and consequently some state institutions exercised power without accountability and were averse to transparency. This lay at the root of curbs on expression, he said.

Mr Babar said the freedom of expression was the right of every citizen, not only of journalists, and asked people to make maximum use of the right to information law to expose wrongdoings, promote transparency and accountability.

He also called for implementing the December 2016 unanimous report of the Senate on speedy and inexpensive justice that also included legislation to make the Inter-Services Intelligence accountable for its actions.

Senior journalist M Ziauddin said that it was strange that no one took responsibility about banning the circulation of newspapers and news channels.

“In the past after such issues negotiations were used to be held between media and the government but now the government also seems helpless. If there is an issue of Khalai Makhlooq, it should talk to us. Today, the situation is worse than the Press and Publication Ordinance which was used in the past to curb media,” he said.

Veteran journalist Rashid Rehman said the HRCP wanted to launch the report before the general elections, but while the report was being finalised and printed, things had become even worse.

“While anchorpersons speak, voice is muted a number of times. Even on social media and an organised campaign has been started,” he said.

Rights activist Marvi Sirmed said that there were a number of examples in which journalists, who were criticising a state institution, were threatened by militant organisations despite the fact that they had never filed any story against militants.