The Statesman – SIT report a cover up of 2002 Gujarat riots: former Army officer

Shah’s version of events has been backed by then Army chief General S Padmanabhan.

Kolkata – West Bengal – India, 20 January 2019. Lt General Zameer Uddin Shah (retd), whose explosive memoir “The Sarkari Mussalman” created a storm in 2018, said on Sunday that the SIT report that cleared then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s name is a “cover up” of the 2002 riots in the state.

“The Army was not given logistical support by the Gujarat administration when we arrived. It took them more than 24 crucial hours when hundreds of lives were lost to provide us with vehicles, guides and other logistical support.

“The SIT report contradicts everything that I have written in my memoir but let me make this very clear. I was never called by the SIT to present my version of events.

I had submitted a detailed report in 2002 itself,” Shah, a decorated Army veteran who was sent to Gujarat to quell the 2002 riots, said during a panel discussion on his book at the closing day of Apeejay Kolkata Literature Festival.

He reiterated that he had written the ‘Gospel truth’, adding that the sequence of events had been recorded in the “war diaries” of the Army.

The memoir, published by Konark Publishers, has courted much controversy over its portions relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Shah said in his memoir that after about 3,000 troops landed at the Ahmedabad airfield by 7 am on 1 March 2002, they had to wait for over a day to receive transport and other logistical support from the state government in order to fan out to the cities and towns which were engulfed in violence.

This delay, he said, happened despite a direct request by him to Modi at 2 am on 1 March in Gandhinagar, in the presence of Union Defence Minister George Fernandes.

The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigative Team (SIT) report, which cleared Modi’s name, had concluded that there was no delay “in requisition and deployment of the Army”, based on testimony of Ashok Narayan, the Additional Chief Secretary (Home).

Shah’s version of events has been backed by then Army chief General S Padmanabhan.

The SIT was headed by R K Raghvan, now ambassador to Cyprus. IANS questions sent to him and his attaché at the embassy have not been answered so far.

Shah was speaking at a session “Jai Hind! For flag and Country” at the closing day of the 10th edition of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival.

The Tribune – Thirty Sikh bodies to hold drive for ‘apolitical’ SGPC

Jalandhar – Panjab – India, 19 January 2019. Members of the Darbar-e-Khalsa and Alliance of Sikh Organisations today sought the reopening of the 2007 case against convicted head of the Dera Sacha Sauda Gurmeet Ram Rahim, wherein he insulted Sikh sentiments by wearing attire similar to Guru Gobind Singh at an event at his Salabatpura dera.

The organisations, representing over 30 Sikh bodies of the state, also gave a call for the gathering of all Sikh organisations in the state and abroad to free the SGPC of the political control ahead of the SGPC elections. They will start a campaign for the same from January 27 onwards from Jalandhar.

They asked Sukhbir Singh Badal, Prakash Singh Badal and the SGPC president to clarify their stand on the 2007 case accusing them of shielding Ram Rahim and preventing a chargesheet on his FIR lodged in the same case by the police.

Miri Piri is most definitely not the control of Sikh affairs by political bodies. It is rather that the Sikh principles control all aspects of life for the Sikhs.
Man in Blue

Waldorpstraat: Gurdwara & Mandir – Leeghwaterplein – Waldorpstraat: Holland Spoor

Waldorpstraat: Gurdwara & Mandir
28 December 2018

The Waldorpstraat is behind the Gurdwara and Mandir

Van der Kunststraat Singh Sabha and the Mandir

HTM Trams

The eastern side of the tramtunnel

Tram 1 to Delft Tanthof

Leeghwaterplein – Tram 1

Holland Spoor

Behind Holland Spoor Station
Note the Den Haag stork !

To see all my pictures:

More Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Emirates News Agency – Dubai Sikh Temple [Gurdwara] celebrates 7th anniversary

Dubai – United Arab Emirates, 20 January 2019. The Sikh Temple, Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar in Dubai celebrated its 7th anniversary on Friday, along with celebrations for the tenth and the last Guru of the Sikh faith, Prakash Purab of Guru Gorbind Singh Ji.

The Gurdwara anniversary celebration on Friday saw thousands of devotees attend and participate in the prayers. Attending the celebrations were Mirza Al Sayegh, Director of the Office of H H Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, and Consul-General Vipul of India in Dubai.

In a speech at the event, Al Sayegh said that India was one of the first countries to recognise the UAE as a sovereign nation. This, he added, was testament to the long history of mutual acceptance and respect between the two countries.

Dr Roop Singh, Secretary-General of the Shromani Gurudwara Prabhemlak Committee, praised the UAE and Dubai government for providing the Sikh community with a space for prayer and reflection via the Gurdwara.

Since its inauguration in 2012, the Dubai Sikh Temple [Gurdwara} has served up to seven million free meals to all its visitors. The Gurdwara has also organised and hosted multiple interfaith activities and outreach initiatives for blue-collar workers, in coordination with the UAE government, other faith groups and private companies.

Dawn – Parents, teenage daughter among 4 killed during Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) ‘encounter’ in Sahiwal; PM seeks report

Three family members, husband, wife and their teenage daughter and their friend were killed in what the Punjab police officials called a shootout with “terrorists” near Sahiwal.

Mian Ramzan & Wasim Riaz

Sahiwal – Panjab – Pakistan, 19 January 2019. The couple’s minor son sustained a bullet injury while two other daughters remained safe.

The family was travelling in a car when the alleged encounter, which the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) officials later termed an ‘intelligence-based operation’, took place on the GT Road in Qadirabad area near Sahiwal.

According to the CTD, the operation was conducted on information about the presence of suspected terrorists, provided by the department and an intelligence agency, the name of which was not specified.

Eyewitnesses, however, strongly refuted the CTD’s version, telling DawnNewsTV that the three family members and their driver were shot dead in “cold blood by the police”. They categorically stated that no weapon was recovered from the vehicle after the alleged shootout.

According to the details provided by police, the CTD Sahiwal officials signalled a car and a motorcycle to stop near the Sahiwal Toll Plaza.

“The [alleged] terrorists retaliated by firing at the CTD officials following which a shootout ensued. Once the firing stopped, four people were found dead, reportedly as a result of firing by their own accomplices, while three terrorists had fled the scene,” read the CTD statement.

As per the CTD statement, suspects identified as Shahid Jabbar and Abdul Rehman were travelling towards Sahiwal and were reportedly in possession of arms and explosives.

“They used to travel with families to avoid police checking. Today, they were warned to surrender but they resorted to firing,” read the statement, adding that Shahid Jabbar, Abdul Rehman, and another unidentified suspect fled from the scene on a motorcycle.

“Recoveries include suicide jackets, hand grenades, rifles, etc.”

‘Family killed in cold blood’

The details of the incident as narrated by the children in the car and eyewitnesses contradict the CTD’s version of what happened.

A video of the crime scene, available with DawnNewsTV, shows the bodies lying in the bullet-riddled car after the firing incident.

In another video, also doing rounds on social media, eyewitnesses and people present at the hospital can be seen suggesting that police shot the family members in cold blood and following the incident, the CTD personnel initially abandoned the wounded children at the crime scene and left.

They alleged that it was only after some time that they returned to the crime scene and shifted the three injured children to a government-run hospital nearby.

The injured boy Umair, who appears to be around 10-years-old and can be seen with a gunshot wound in his leg, while speaking to the media identified the deceased as his parents, teenage sister and his father’s “friend” who was driving the car to Burewala.

In another video, a man who identified himself as an uncle of the children, said that several family members were going from Lahore to a village near Burewala in four vehicles to attend a wedding. He said he was travelling in another vehicle and lost contact with the deceased as their mobile phones were off.

He alleged that the CTD personnel tried to rob the victims as they were carrying cash, jewellery and other valuables, and then killed them.

The deceased were identified by relatives as residents of the Kot Lakhpat area in the suburbs of Lahore. They include grocery store owner Mohammad Khalil, 42, his wife Nabila, 38, their 13-year-old daughter Areeba and their friend, Zeeshan Javed, who was driving the car and police said he was on the country’s wanted terrorist list.

Khalil is survived by his wounded son Umair and two daughters aged below five years.

A post-mortem examination of the deceased was carried out, DawnNewsTV reported. According to the doctors, the victims received bullet injuries in their heads, necks and stomach areas.

The bodies of the three family members have been handed over to their relatives.

Later in the day, family members of the victims and area residents resorted to protesting and blocked Ferozpur road in Lahore.

PM seeks report

Prime Minister Imran Khan contacted Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and sought a report in connection with the Sahiwal incident.

The prime minister also directed to hold a transparent and detailed inquiry into the incident to uncover the facts.

Later in the day, Buzdar ordered the arrest of the CTD officials involved in the tragic incident, DawnNewsTV reported.

Earlier, Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan said that the reality of the fatal incident would become clear only after investigation.

The CTD officials took action against the suspects on a tip-off from an alleged terrorist who had been arrested by the intelligence agencies in Karachi, the minister said.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the Punjab government would soon provide a detailed account of the incident. “The CTD officials say that the people killed in the incident were suspected terrorists,” Chaudhry said.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Inspector General (IG) has announced the formation of a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the incident.

The provincial police chief said that DIG Zulfikar Hameed will head the JIT, which comprises officials from the Inter-Services Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau and Military Intelligence. The team has been asked to submit its report within three days.