The Statesman – Drugs still sell ‘like potatoes’: Punjab MLA buys heroin on Facebook Live

Ludhiana legislator Simarjeet Singh Bains hands over half of the purchased drugs to Police Commissioner Sukhchain Singh Gill for laboratory tests, says he will get the remaining chitta examined in a private lab.

Chandigarh, 12 March 2019. To make a point that drugs are still easily available in Punjab, Lok Insaf Party (LIP) leader and Ludhiana MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains bought heroin on Facebook Live on Monday.

Streaming the clip of the buying process live on social media, Bains told viewers that white heroin was being sold “like potatoes” in Ludhiana and alleged that the police administration was hand-in-glove with the drug mafia. The MLA asked how the station house officers (SHOs) were unaware while banned substances were being sold openly in the city.

The Facebook Live video continued till Bains approached Ludhiana Police Commissioner Sukhchain Singh Gill, handing him over half of the purchased drugs for laboratory tests.

The other half, the MLA said, was not given by him to the police fearing they could manipulate the chemical test report. He claimed that he would get the remaining of chitta examined in a private lab.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had on Thursday claimed that his government broke “the back of drug mafia in the state within four weeks of forming government”.

But the demand for catching “big fish” in the drug cases was heard in the Punjab Assembly recently despite the CM challenging all those who had been pointing fingers at the government for not acting against influential drug dealers.

Citing figures of the arrests and seizures in the drug cases, Amarinder had said: “We know one-two people who are out of the country, and we will also catch them,” said Captain Amarinder while vowing to continue “to fight the battle against drugs from the front, not resting till it is completely eliminated from the State”.

LIP MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains had asked why no action had been taken against the persons whose names had been mentioned in the report submitted by the Special Task Force (STF) on drugs, then headed by Harpreet Sidhu.

“The names were mentioned in the STF report…your own cabinet minister had read the entire report before the media. Why no action has been taken against that? Every day, youngsters are dying due to overdose,” he had asked.

Bains urged the government to prepare the cases of the “big fish” and sent them to the courts “so that they should know what wrong they have done to the Punjabi youth”.

Congress MLA Fateh Jung Bajwa also demanded to act against the persons named in the STF report.

The Tribune – Punjab Democratic Alliance announces 7 candidates for LS polls

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 11 March 2019. The Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA) on Monday announced the names of seven candidates for the coming Lok Sabha elections.

The alliance comprises Sukhpal Singh Khaira-led Punjab Ekta Party (PEP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Lok Insaaf Party (LIP), Punjab Manch led by suspended AAP MP Dharamvira Gandhi, CPI and the Revolutionary Marxist Party of India (RMPI).

The PDA has fielded suspended AAP MP Dharamvira Gandhi from Patiala seat, Paramjit Kaur Khalra from Khadur Sahib, Manwinder Singh Giaspura from Fatehgarh Sahib (SC), Baldev Singh Jaiton form Faridkot (SC), Vikram Singh Sodhi from Anandpur Sahib, former bureaucrat Khushi Ram from Hoshiarpur (SC) and Balwinder Kumar from Jalandhar (SC) seat.

In a meeting held here, PDA leaders also arrived at a consensus on the 12 out of total 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, according to a release issued by Khaira.

Out of them, the BSP will field its candidates from Anandpur Sahib, Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur, the PEP will contest on Bathinda, Faridkot and Khadur Sahib and the LIP, led by Bains brothers, will field candidates from Ludhiana, Amritsar and Fatehgarh Sahib seats.

The Punjab Manch, CPI and the RMPI have been given Patiala, Ferozepur and Gurdaspur, respectively.

Earlier, the PDA was in talks with SAD (Taksali), breakaway faction of Akali Dal, for an alliance.

In the release issued here, Khaira stated that the alliance had been forged to “liberate” Punjab from the “clutches of corrupt” traditional parties of Congress, SAD-BJP that have “looted” the state turn wise for the past many decades.

“Taksali Akalis should not have announced seats on their own. We are still open for alliance with SAD (Taksali),” he added.


24 February 2019

Chamber of Commerce and de Krook Library

De Krook Library

New path around the Krook

This part is not quite finished

And the bridge is still not connected to the Brabantdam

From the Krook to the Brabantdam – Missing Link

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Indian High Commission in London feels the heat of Sikh and Kashmiri response to Modi’s warmongering

London – UK, 9 March 2019. Hundreds of Sikhs and Kashmiris gathered outside the Indian High Commission in London today, to protest Indian warmongering in South Asia. Vociferous sloganeering in favour of Khalistan and freedom in Kashmir by leading diaspora organisations will have seriously worried India amid the current tensions in the region.

The demonstration flared up when pro-India counter protestors produced placards disrespectful of Sikh religious symbols. The counter protestors were given a robust response, causing them to flee the site. A number of Indian flags were torn as police hastily intervened.

The heightened tensions between India and Pakistan have led Sikh nationalists to call for international intervention to prevent military conflict which they say Indian PM Modi is engineering for domestic electoral purposes.

At the same time, they have urged the UN to solve long running conflicts in the region by implementing the right of self-determination in both Kashmir and Indian occupied Punjab.

Sikh nationalists vow to defend their homeland in case of India – Pakistan war

Joga Singh of the World Sikh Parliament, speaking to the gathered international media, called for urgent steps to stop a war that would devastate the Sikh homeland and population.

Amrik Singh Sahota (Council of Khalistan) urged Sikhs and Kashmiris in Indian controlled territories to act to stop the war and for Sikh soldiers to return to Punjab and protect its people in case full scale hostilities break out.

Dupinderjeet Singh and Parmjit Singh Pamma (Sikhs for Justice) demanded that a plebiscite in Kashmir be held, along with a referendum in Indian occupied Punjab so that democratic outcomes may underpin permanent resolution of conflicts in those regions.

Balbir Singh Bains (Sikh Relief) called for the immediate release of Sikh political prisoners by India, including three recently jailed for life simply for non-violent activism linked to the Sikh struggle for self-determination.

Other Sikh leaders, including Avtar Singh Sanghera (Babbar Akali Organisation), Gurcharan Singh (Dal Khalsa), Kulwant Singh Mothada (Shiromani Akali Dal, Amritsar), Gurcharan Singh (Frankfurt Gurdwara), Balvinder Singh Dhillon and Sukvinder Singh (United Khalsa Dal) called for a united struggle by the Sikh nation to defeat Indian colonialism and secure freedom.

They lauded Pakistan PM for his measured response to Indian aggression and said all other stakeholders in the region must work together to defeat Hindutva vote bank politics at this crisis point.

Kashmiri groups demand conflict resolution, not escalation

Kashmiri leaders also urged global action to follow up the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 2018 report calling for a halt to Indian hostilities in Kashmir and the delivery of long promised self-determination in the disputed territory.

Raja Sikander Khan (GPKSC) condemned the daily atrocities by Indian security forces that have left thousands of innocent Kashmiris dead or maimed.

The brutal use of pellet guns, detention of legitimate political activists and authentic Kashmiri leaders was condemned by Chaudry Dilpazir.

The need to respect the massive backing of the Kashmiri people for freedom was plain for the world to see said a raft of Kashmiri leaders, including Naeem Abbasi (OPWA) and Miah Saleem (PPP) and Mr Malik (PML-N).

In case India doubted the ground reality, surely a UN supervised plebiscite was now needed as the only way to avoid bloodshed and catastrophic international conflict said others, such as Sirdar Hayat, Chaudry Liakat, and Tariq Irfan (OPWC).

Indian narrative put under severe international scrutiny

The repeated collective action by Kashmiri and Sikh groups is seen by observers as a game changer which will worry Indian policy makers.

Decades of massive human rights abuses by Indian security forces has galvanised such groups in to collaborative political action on the international stage.

Events such as today’s protest threaten New Delhi’s rhetoric which asserts democratic credentials whilst at the same time crushing dissent and brazenly breaching internationally recognised human rights, most of all the right of self-determination.

The international media’s exposure of India’s false claims over its ‘air strikes” last month has already badly damaged Modi’s propaganda efforts. Imran Khan’s superior diplomatic moves have also made the Indian PM look foolish. Going by events in London today, his Hindutva agenda will face many more challenges in the weeks and months ahead.

Issued by Ranjit Singh Srai
Tel: 07803 169625

Dawn – Repatriating ‘IS brides’

Editorial, 12 March 2019. The case of Shamima Begum has triggered a fierce debate in the UK on how to respond to the issue of citizens who joined the militant Islamic State group in Syria now seeking to return home. Born and raised in Britain, Shamima was just 15 when she left in 2015.

Discovered last month in a Syrian refugee camp, nine months pregnant and unrepentant, she nonetheless wished to return home.

Her statements triggered a wave of moral outrage in the country, with Home Secretary Sajid Javid leading the charge to block ‘terrorists’ from entering the UK, and stripping Shamima of citizenship, a move decried as effectively rendering her stateless, thus contravening Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

News of her newborn’s death emerged on Friday, a tragedy that might have been avoided had they been repatriated to the UK.

There has been some contrite policy revision since, with the Foreign Office indicating that it was mulling ways to bring children of British IS fighters back to the UK.

But with reports that two more British women of Pakistani descent similarly having had their citizenship revoked, the government insists such women freely chose to join IS and must accept the consequences, a legally and morally questionable position against citizens essentially brainwashed by a death cult.

In truth, the UK ought to reckon with the consequences of its past and current actions. Shamima, like many young British Muslims born to migrant parents, grew up against the backdrop of the UK’s involvement in the Iraq War and racial profiling post-7/7, as well as the Brexit vote and Windrush scandal in recent years.

All these played heavily into the question of British identity and whether some citizens are more ‘British’ than others, a coded way of redefining the rights of non-white citizens as revocable privileges.

And while many migrant communities remain insular, clinging to regressive traditions, this cannot be seen in isolation to the racist attacks and anti-immigration rhetoric they’ve experienced since the 1960s.

These factors, and their analogues in other European countries, contributed to the alienation that made these so-called IS brides so susceptible to extremist propaganda and recruitment by IS.

Indeed, it is testament to how effectively the far-right agenda has permeated mainstream British politics that, instead of considering Shamima a citizen, a minor when she left, and likely a non-combatant, and debating how such citizens are to be repatriated, deradicalised and held accountable, the government is seeking to divest itself of a many-headed hydra it has had a large role in creating.

Britain, and the West at large, must realise the folly of this form of nativism. Instead of mulling over ways to denationalise their own citizens, the UK and the European Union must resolve this issue through deradicalising repatriation programmes that are premised on international human rights obligations, and compassion.