The Asian Age – A year after Gauri Lankesh murder, SIT says case in final stage of investigation

The SIT, which has arrested 12 people in connection with the case, also said that a chargesheet will be filed in 2 months.

Bengaluru – Karnataka – India, 05 September 2018. Activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder case is in the final stage of investigation and a chargesheet will be filed in two months, a senior SIT official probing the killing said Wednesday.

The Special Investigation Team, under the leadership of Additional Commissioner of Police (West) B K Singh, has arrested 12 people in connection with the killing of Lankesh, known for her strong anti-Hindutva stand, on September 5 last year.

Some of the people arrested in the case are allegedly linked to Sanatan Sanstha and its allied outfit Hindu Janajagruti Samiti.

“The case is in the final stage of investigation. We will file a chargesheet in the case in two months,” Investigating Officer M N Anucheth said.

Lankesh was shot dead on the night of September 5, 2017, from a close range in front of her Rajarajeshwari Nagar house around 8 pm.

The SIT got a breakthrough in its probe when a Gujarat-based forensic lab confirmed that Parashuram Waghmare shot and killed her.

The SIT, formed by then chief minister Siddaramaiah, has arrested suspected mastermind Amol Kale and shooter Parashuram Waghmare among others. A few others are yet to be nabbed. Sanatan Sanstha has claimed that those arrested were not its members.

Investigations revealed that Lankesh was among 26 people, including Prof K S Bhagwan, Girish Karnad and Chandrashekar Patil, were in rightwing extremists’ list, as they were critical of Hindutva ideology.

Speaking to news agency PTI on Tuesday, Lankesh’s sister Kavitha Lankesh said the rightwing outfit Sanatan Sanstha should be treated like any other terrorist organisation if its involvement in killings of rationalists, including that of Narendra Dabholkar, was proved.

Kavitha Lankesh expressed her happiness over the progress made by SIT, saying the investigating agency has made arrests and also guided CBI and other agencies to nab the killers of rationalists Govind Pansare and Dabholkar, besides progressive scholar M M Kalburgi.

Gauri Memorial Trust and her supporters are organising a series of events to mark the first anniversary of her death. They are also planning to stage ‘Raj Bhavan Chalo’ march and demand a ban on Sanatan Sanstha.

In a counter move, members of Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad, some of them lawyers fighting for the accused, criticised the SIT for invoking Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act against the accused.

“We dare SIT to file a chargesheet. The trial should begin as soon as possible. KCOCA was invoked to please the Leftists ahead of Gauri’s first death anniversary on September 5,” N P Amrithesh, an advocate, told reporters on Tuesday.

He alleged that the chargesheet against the first accused Naveen Kumar was filed in haste ahead of elections in the state.

Amrithesh charged that the accused were tortured by police and demanded a judicial probe into it. “The so-called confessional statements of accused recorded by police under duress have no legal sanctity. SIT has used third degree on the accused and this needs to be probed,” Amrithesh said.

HVP president Virendra Ichalkaranjikar alleged the invocation of KCOCA against 12 people is unwarranted and politically motivated. He criticised the state government for its double standards and playing politics to appease Leftists.

Ichalkaranjikar alleged the government did not invoke KCOCA in Abid Pasha’s case. Pasha is a member of Popular Front of India, who had confessed to have killed eight RSS activists in Karnataka in 2016, he said.

“Why did the government not appoint an SIT to probe the killing of RSS workers?” Ichalkaranjikar questioned.

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and affiliated Hindu outfits are planning to stage a protest march against attempts to portray Sanatan Sanstha as a terror outfit.

The Tribune – Ex-minister Birmi resigns from SAD

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana – Panjab – India, 04 September 2018. Former minister Malkit Singh Birmi on Tuesday resigned from the primary membership of the SAD citing “indictment” of the party head in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report.

“I became restless and was not able to continue and submitted my resignation to the SAD president. My moral responsibility towards society compels me to take this decision,” he said.

Birmi had joined SAD in 2014 just before the Lok Sabha polls. He remained Minister of State in the Congress government also before joining the Akalis. He made it clear that for the time being, he was not interested in joining any party. “As of now, I am not joining any party,” he said.

Gent – Vogelmarkt and Gentbrugse Meersen

22 July 2018

Tram 2 to Melle Leeuw

Gentbrugse Meersen
22 July 2018

Allotments – Hovenieringen – Volkstuintjes


Lush vegetation along the Rietgracht

The names of babies and their date of birth

The names of babies and their date of birth

I messed up the sequence of the pictures
We jumped 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

Edinburgh Evening News – Chief Inspector Kevin McLean: Heartened by support for Sikhs

Edinburgh – Lothian – Scotland, 05 September 2018. I would like to begin by reflecting on the recent shocking attacks on the Gurdwara and Leith Methodist Church. The targeting of two separate places of worship has clearly been an upsetting and worrying time for the Sikh and Christian communities. Thankfully this appears to have been an isolated incident.

I will not tolerate any attempts to target communities by any misguided individual or groups. In the aftermath of the incidents I was able to put a significant number of Community, CID and Response resources into the investigation and local area, which allowed us to swiftly identify a suspect and put them before the court.

Since the incident my Community Inspector and Sergeant have been in daily contact with our friends from the Gurdwara, which has sadly suffered from fire and smoke damage, and the groups and businesses that use the Methodist site. It’s heartening to hear that the Sikh community has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and kindness they have received from the wider Leith neighbourhood.

Leith is renowned for being a welcoming, diverse and multicultural area and they have demonstrated this togetherness again this week. On another positive note, I want to highlight the excellent work that continues to be carried out throughout the North East of the city in relation to Operation Drift, our summer Portobello Promenade community safety operation.

The hot summer has attracted a large number of visitors to Portobello Promenade to take advantage of the beach, and cooling sea breeze. Throughout this period my Community Officers have been carrying out patrols of the area alongside Council Environmental Wardens and HM Coastguard. Other activities included bike marking, water safety and offering crime prevention advice.

Finally, as the schools return and the nights begin to get darker, I would like to turn my attention to road safety. I would remind those who do the school run not to park on zig-zag lines next to schools. Speeding is always a top concern in any community especially near schools. Drivers should always drive cautiously near schools and slow down.

My Community Officers are currently working with pupils in our local primary schools to design bespoke driver awareness leaflets which my officers will hand out to drivers during forthcoming weeks of action. As always, I cannot stress enough the need for strong relationships with communities and our partners.

Please speak to our community officers, phone 101 or phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. All our activity is highlighted on our Twitter account, @EdinPolNE, where you’ll find information about events, crime prevention and issues that matter to you. Chief Inspector Kevin McLean is North East Edinburgh Area Commander.

Dawn – Upholding minorities’ rights is the responsibility of an Islamic republic: Fawad Chaudhry

Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 05 September 2018. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday asserted that it is the responsibility of an Islamic republic to uphold the rights of its minorities.

Chaudhry’s statement comes a day after he defended the appointment of leading international academic Atif Mian to the government’s Economic Advisory Council amidst a vicious online campaign that targeted the latter for his Ahmadiyya faith.

Chaudhry had said that those who had objections to Mian’s appointment “are basically extremists, and we will not bow to extremists.”

“Protecting minorities is our responsibility. It is the religious duty of each Muslim, not just the government, to protect minorities and respect those that they live with,” he had said.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government came under fire after Chaudhry’s statement, with many criticising the government for its dismissal of the backlash against Mian’s appointment.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad after a cabinet meeting today, Chaudhry responded to a question saying: “Protection of minorities is an integral part of Islam. When we speak about Khatm-i-Nabuwwat, we recognise that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last prophet. And along with that we also recognise Islamic education.”

“It was an integral part of the state of Madina that minorities would be protected there. Minorities here will be given rights. Pakistan is an Islamic republic. And why was Pakistan itself created? What was the issue when Hindustan was united? That the Muslim minority faced a lot of cruelty.

On the basis of that, we separated from that country. Should we now disregard that basis [for the creation of Pakistan]?” he asked.

“Is it not said that if you take one life, it is like killing all of mankind?” he continued.

“If you think that we should drown all our minorities in the Arabian sea, or that they have no rights here, they have no religious or economic freedom, or freedom to live, then this must be your opinion only.

Our interpretation of the state of Madina is that Islam means security, peace and moving forward together,” he asserted.

“It is not just the responsibility of the government to protect minorities, it is the responsibility of each Muslim,” he reiterated.

“Because of these things,” Chaudhry said, referring to the persecution of minorities, “The entire world makes fun of us.”

Pakistani prisoners on death row in Iran to get relief

Chaudhry said that approximately 3,000 Pakistani prisoners on death row in Iran will be granted relief since Tehran amended its anti-narcotics laws.

“From Pakistan’s point of view, it is a source of relief that in Iran they amended their anti-narcotics laws, so the quantity and severity in cases has been amended,” he explained.

“We are hopeful that Pakistanis on death row in Iran will be given some relief,” he added.

The Pakistani government spoke to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in this regard when he visited Islamabad in August, Chaudhry said, adding that the Pakistani embassy was also in touch with the prosecutor general in Tehran with respect to the matter.

Recovery of money illegally taken abroad

The cabinet today took several decisions for the recovery of money taken abroad illegally or gained through corruption, Radio Pakistan reported.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar, who was addressing the press conference alongside Chaudhry, said a whistle-blower law would be enforced immediately through an ordinance envisaging a reward worth 20 per cent for those who would help recover such money, and that the names of informants would remain confidential.

The special assistant said another ordinance on mutual legal assistance would be issued which would help remove bottlenecks in the way of seeking information from foreign countries regarding illegal wealth.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed the Foreign Ministry to dispatch a high-powered delegation to Switzerland to expedite ratification of a treaty on exchange of information on bank accounts. He said the treaty had been signed in 2013 but was not ratified, Radio Pakistan reported.

Akbar said that the government would also hire firms that would detect and help recover illegal money and in the case of recoveries, the firm would get an agreed upon share of the recovered amount.

He said PM Khan would also receive reports on the implementation of these measures on a fortnightly basis.

Chaudhry also announced the return of Rs80 billion to the Finance Ministry and parliament in the form of the prime minister’s discretionary funds. He said that the money had been saved through ending schemes such as the Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme.

The cabinet also made decisions on initiatives regarding education, health, water and sanitation. “Although they fall under the provinces, we think they are important and will be driven by the federal government,” Chaudhry said.

Among them is the decision to set up a task force on education led by Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood. It will include prominent educationists, representatives of seminaries and skill development personnel. Its first objective is to include 250 million out of school children in the education network.