The Indian Express – Mohali: Police bust terror module, arrest 5 Babbar Khalsa men

Police also recovered a .32 bore pistol along with a magazine and four live cartridges and 15 letter pads of the BKI from the accused.

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 01 April 2019. In a major breakthrough, the State Special Operation Cell (SSOC) of the Punjab Police busted a terror module and arrested five “highly radicalised” members of the banned Babbar Khalsa International (BKI).

Police also recovered a .32 bore pistol along with a magazine and four live cartridges and 15 letter pads of the BKI from the accused.

Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of SSOC, Mohali, Varinder Paul Singh, said that acting on a tip off they had busted a militant module comprising of highly radicalised youth, who were planning to kill specific targets, including Hindu leaders and members of Dera Sacha Sauda.

Those arrested include Harvinder Singh, a resident of Rally village in Sector 12, Panchkula, Sultan Singh, a resident of Saidpura village in Kurukshetra, Haryana, Karamjeet Singh, a resident of Raoke Kalan village in Moga district, Lovepreet Singh, a resident of Baliyan village in Sangrur district and, Gurpreet Singh alias Preet, a resident of Sector 20-C, Chandigarh.

Three other accused who were named in the FIR, but are yet to be arrested, are Rupinder Singh, a resident of Niwasri village in Kurukshetra district in Haryana, Daler Singh Bunty, a resident of Rohini in New Delhi and Ranjit Singh, a resident of Pakhoke village in Gurdaspur district. Ranjit Singh is a former chief of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) and is based in Germany, police said.

It is always difficult to make out what are facts or fiction in these stories. I suspect that the people arrested are in favour of Khalistan and have grudges against leaders of the Dera Sacha Sauda and certain radical Hindu leaders. But one .32 bore pistol and 15 letter pads are not very convincing evidence of serious offences planeed.
Man in Blue

The Tribune – Tarn Taran’s Darshani Deori – Second such attempt

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 31 March 2019. The SGPC action of suspending Darbar Sahib manager Partap Singh and withdrawing kar sewa responsibilities from the Jagtar Singh-led group that started dismantling “Darshani Deori” in Tarn Taran on Saturday night, has failed to impress the Sikh sangat.

It is doubting the intention of the SGPC as it is not the first time that the demolition has been attempted.
On September 16, 2018, too, the sangat had prevented the demolition of this “deori”.

At that time too, the Jagtar Singh-led kar sewa group, “armed with the permission of the SGPC”, was in the process to begin its demolition when the sangat objected to the move. At that point, senior SGPC officials had halted the process.

The SGPC in its resolution dated 01 June 2018, had recommended the re-construction of the deori as its condition was dilapidated. However, Roop Singh, chief secretary, SGPC, claimed that the demolition bid was a conspiracy to malign the image of the committee.

Hoepertingen – Limburg

Hoepertingen Kruispunt
25 March 2019

Kabir Super Market

Tongeren 13 km – Sint-Truiden 7 km

Hoepertingen Gurdwara
After last year’s fire

25 March 2019

It was in this corridor next to the divan that the fire started

The original building will be knocked down
and replaced by a new structure

Guru Ram Dass Sikh Study & Cultural Centre
Smisstraat 8
B-3840 Borgloon

A morning walk in Hoepertingen
26 March 2019

Honorary consulate of Ukraine
Truierweg, Hoepertingen

Left the EU flag, right the Ukranian flag

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue – One hundred years of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre: What Tagore wrote in 1919 resounds today

In this month’s column, Gopalkrishna Gandhi re-reads two letters that Rabindranath Tagore wrote, before and after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 13 April 2019.

A fortnight from now, on April 13, “Jallianwala Bagh” will reach its centenary. If the name of any physical spot, a precinct, has become a symbol of something that changed history, it is Jallianwala.

Golgotha two millennia ago, Auschwitz seventy years ago, Sharpeville, South Africa, in 1960, Tiananmen Square, China, in 1989, are others in the same league of history-changers.

One hundred years are a long time in political history. Long enough for any event to be plastered over by subsequent happenings, later occurrences. Long enough for the event to turn from the vivid colours of felt experience into the sepia of fading memory. But not so, Jallianwala, Amritsar.

On April 13, 1919, Amritsar became India. An India outraged, bloodied, but made amazingly and unprecedentedly resolute. Jallianwala Bagh was no site of an event or occurrence but of a trauma. A trauma so deep as to have altered the very composition of India’s political psyche, the chemistry of Indians as a people.

This column, Kitabistani, is about books. But today, not a new book but an act of writing that is one hundred years old, must occupy it. And one that is not in the form of a book either, but two letters.

Rabindranath Tagore was, at the time of the mowing down of men and women and children at the Bagh, “Sir” Rabindranath. And he had been a Nobel Laureate for Literature for six years.

One day prior to the massacre, on April 12, 1919, he wrote a letter to Mahatma Gandhi from Santiniketan. In this most moving text he wrote about what he called “the great gift of freedom”:

“…India’s opportunity for winning it will come to her when she can prove that she is morally superior to the people who rule her by their right of conquest. She must willingly accept her penance of suffering, the suffering which is the crown of the great. Armed with her utter faith in goodness, she must stand unabashed before the arrogance that scoffs at the power of spirit.”

Tagore ended the letter, as a poet would, with a verse. “Give me”, he said in it, “the faith of the life in death, of the victory in defeat, of the power hidden in the frailness of beauty, of the dignity of pain that accepts hurt but disdains to return it”.

If the prescient brilliance of the letter is incredible, so is its sagacity. This letter from the Poet to the Mahatma must have been in the tracks of the Raj’s postal system when Jallianwala bled.

It reached its destination, fortunately uncensored, some days later, by which time Jallianwala had singed the nation’s soul.

On May 30, 1919, after what must have been a period of intense agony and cogitation caused not just by the carnage of April 13, but the callousness of the Raj thereafter, in terms of insulting punishments and humiliations, Tagore picked up his pen, this time not just that of a Nobel Laureate but that of a Knight of the British Empire, to write a letter to the Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford.

It bears full and repeated reading. Readers of this column can access it in multiple ways. I will quote from it elliptically.

Telling His Excellency that Jallianwala had “revealed to our minds the helplessness of our position as British subjects in India”, Tagore said what had occurred was “without parallel in the history of civilised governments, barring some conspicuous exceptions, recent and remote.” News of the sufferings , he wrote, had “trickled through the gagged silence, reaching every corner of India”.

The indignation caused to India had, he said, been ignored by its rulers who, he said, were “possibly congratulating themselves for imparting what they imagine as salutary lessons”. Some, he said with pain, had “gone to the brutal length of making fun of our suffering without receiving the least check from the same authority”.

The concluding part of the letter is pure redemption. “The time has come”, he wrote to the Viceroy, “when badges of honour make our shame glaring in their incongruous context of humiliation”.

And in words that must have stung its reader, Tagore went on: “ I for my part, wish to stand, shorn of all special distinctions, by the side of my countrymen who, for their so-called insignificance, are liable to suffer a degradation not fit for human beings”. In conclusion, he asked of the Viceroy “…relieve me of the title of knighthood”.

Tagore’s chastisement of the “arrogance that scoffs at the power of spirit” must sober any State anywhere. And his description of the power of “gagged speech” will empower those who value freedom everywhere. But beyond even those signal impacts, these two letters of his have to be reckoned, this centenary year, as paraphrasing his song, our nation’s anthem.

The Hindu – Uproar after Punjab drug officer is shot dead

Neha Shorie had cancelled the accused’s ‘chemist’ licence

Vikas Vasudeva

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 30 March 2019. A day after a woman officer of the Punjab government’s Drug and Food Chemical Laboratory was shot dead in her office, opposition parties and government employee unions on Saturday raised serious concern about the “deteriorating law and order situation” in the State.

“If a public servant feels threatened about his/her safety and security, then how will they perform their duties?

We have decided to demand that the State government immediately take steps to provide protection at offices, especially at the district level, and to employees who are involved directly in public dealings, Sukhchain Singh Khaira, president, Punjab Civil Secretariat Staff Association, told The Hindu.

Neha Shorie, 38, posted as the zonal licensing authority with the Drug and Food Chemical Laboratory in Kharar district of Punjab, was shot dead on Friday in her office by a man, who later shot himself dead.

The police said the man, identified as Balwinder Singh, went to the victim’s office and fired two rounds at her from his licenced revolver. He shot himself after being cornered by people near the office. He succumbed to injuries later at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research.

The accused, a resident of Morinda in Punjab, had a chemist shop there.

The shop closed in 2008 after his licence was cancelled following the recovery of intoxicants during a raid conducted by the officer.

Collapse of machinery

The Aam Aadmi Party said the law and order situation in the State was deteriorating at a rapid pace.“The incident reflects the collapse of the law and order machinery in the Punjab,” said Harpal Singh Cheema, leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly.

Punjab’s former Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal accused the Congress government in the State of having failed to protect its own officers. “The drug menace in the State today is far more grave than it ever was at any stage during the SAD-BJP government,” said Mr. Badal.