The Asian Age – Shillong’s Punjabi Lane residents get notice to prove legality of stay

Shillong – Meghalaya – India, 01 June 2019. The authorities have clamped prohibitory orders in Punjabi Lane area in Shillong and served notices to its residents directing them to furnish documents within a month to prove that they had settled in the area legally.

Punjabi Lane is inhabited by people from Punjab, who were brought to Shillong around 200 years ago by the British to work as cleaners and sweepers. An incident of assault in the area in May last year had resulted in group clashes following which it was put under curfew for over a month.

Following the direction of a High Level Committee of the state government, Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) officials served the notices to the people on Friday.

Prohibitory Orders under Section 144 CrPC were clamped in Punjabi Lane before the notices were served as there were intelligence inputs apprehending trouble in the area, a senior official of the East Khasi Hills district administration said.

The prohibitory orders will remain in place till further notice. “Most of the residents received the notice in person. Officials pasted the notices on the front doors of the houses which were under lock and key,” an SMB official told PTI.

In the notice, the residents of the Punjabi Lane were asked to furnish documents regarding their possession of either land or house and the period of their stay.

The notice said the information will be helpful for preparing both long and short term policies by the government for resolving the issue at Punjabi Lane.

Of the hundreds of people at Punjabi Lane, only 184 employees of the SMB and government departments and their families have earlier been identified as legal settlers, official sources said adding that there was a demand from various quarters to relocate the Punjabis from the area.

“They have been requested to come forward and furnish the information to the SMB office between June 3 and July 3,” SMB Chief Executive Officer S B Sohliya said.

The SMB will wait for a month and submit a report about the matter to the High Level Committee (HLC) constituted to find out a feasible solution for relocation of the people of Punjabi Lane, also known as Sweeper’s Colony.

As per the inventory survey conducted by the SMB last year, there are over 300 households in Punjabi Lane, Sohliya said.

The settlers had refused to cooperate with the authorities during the survey conducted last year and “this is their second and the last opportunity,” Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, who is the head of the HLC, had said earlier this month.

The local Punjabi community in December last year had urged Governor Tathagata Roy to disband the HLC for allegedly issuing orders with intent to displace them.

On 29 May 2018, clashes erupted when a bus driver and his friend were attacked at the Punjabi Lane area and they received injuries. As rumours of the assaulted victims dying in hospital spread on social media, people attacked the settlers following which the entire area was put under curfew for over a month.

Following this, a delegation of the Punjab government visited the city and interacted with the settlers. The delegation members also met Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma.

However, the Meghalaya administration expressed unhappiness after the Punjab government sanctioned Rs 60 lakh as compensation to the community members who were affected by the violence. – CM Amarinder Singh reinstates IG Kanwar Vijay Partap Singh as SIT member

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 28 May 2019. With the lifting of model code of conduct in Punjab, the Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has reinstated IG Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh as a SIT member. He has been reassigned the investigation of Behbal Klan and Kotkapura firing incidents.

It is learnt that the Chief Secretary (Home Affairs) N S Kalsi has passed orders reinstating Kanwar Vijay Partap Singh as an IGP (Organized Crime Control) and IG (Counter Intelligence, Amritsar) at the behest of Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh.

It may be recalled here that the Election Commission had removed IG Kanwar Vijay Partap Singh from the Special Investigation Team on the complaint of Shiromani Akali Dal. The SAD leaders had accused IG Kanwar Vijay Partap Singh of portraying their party in the poor light by holding unnecessary press conferences.

Opposing the removal of IG Kanwar Vijay Partap Singh, the Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh had said that he didn’t find anything objectionable in the media interviews given by the IG Kanwar Vijay Partap Singh.

He had clarified that the SIT was working as per the recommendations of Justice Ranjit Singh led investigation commission and the Punjab government didn’t interfere in this investigation.

Ensuring the Sikh community of punishing the culprits responsible for sacrilege and firing incidents, Captain had said that opening fire on the peacefully protesting Sikhs was not possible without the nod of the then Punjab CM Parkash Badal and the Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal.

Sharing the development with media about IG Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh’s reinstatement as a SIT member, a government official said that now the investigation speed of Behbal Klan and Kotkapura firing incidents will get boosted.

Captain Reinstates IG Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh As SIT Member

Gentbrugse Meersen

Gentbrugse Meersen
10 May 2019

Lush field with buttercups


Field – buttercups – trees

Geboortebos 2013
Birth wood 2013

Evi/Pyar Kaur


More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Disaster for Democracy: How The Modi Wave has flooded India with Fascism (Part I)

Pieter Friedrich

Op/Ed, 28 May 2019. “In the west, we have labels,” commented journalist François Gautier on WION TV, during a panel about the results of India’s 2019 general election. “Right, left. Far-right, far-left.

We keep applying them to India, where they’re not applicable. We cannot apply to India labels we use in the West. To say that the BJP is far-right is completely wrong.”

The election was over. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won a resounding victory, seizing power once again, with a seat-count in India’s Lok Sabha that surpassed even its decisive showing in the 2014 elections.

Meanwhile, Gautier, described by India’s National Herald as a French-born “BJP cheerleader”, was speaking truth. The BJP is not far-right. But it is authoritarian and fascist.

Moments after Gautier spoke, WION’s political editor Kartikeya Sharma shed some light on how the BJP may have defeated the opposition: it has infrastructural strength. It is backed by hordes of apparatchiks.

“People who are not married, who don’t have families, who have dedicated their lives completely to the party,” said Sharma. “They land up in a state two years before [the election].

They are living in rented apartments. Along with them, they have an army of youngsters. This is the way. How are you going to compete with that kind of a thing?”

Indeed, fuelled by such fanaticism, the organizational power of the Modi wave (a term coined to describe the tsunami of support for BJP Prime Minister Narendra Modi) has floated a second BJP victory.

India is now on the brink of another five years of subjugation to an authoritarian regime. By 2024, the country will have endured a full decade of BJP rule.

I joined Sharma, Gautier and others on WION to offer my take on the election. “This is a disaster for democracy,” I began. “We have to remember that democracy doesn’t just mean taking two seconds to push a button once every five years and pick somebody to rule the country.

Democracy’s actually about the society. It’s more than the act of voting. It’s about democratic rights, and those democratic rights are in short supply in India today. We can see that India is fast becoming what it has already progressed far along the path towards becoming, which is an organized, centralized, authoritarian democracy, which is fascism.”

That’s when WION cut my mike and severed the interview. “This is not even acceptable that India is becoming an authoritarian state,” responded Sharma. “India is one postcolonial nation which has very successfully demonstrated its ability to transition from one regime to another regime through peaceful elections. I think this comment is unacceptable.”

The irony that fascism involves restricting free speech only to “acceptable” answers was lost on him. However, Sharma’s choice of the word regime, which is generally defined as an authoritarian government, was deeply appropriate.

Last year, an Indian high school teacher was arrested for writing on Facebook, “Voting for Modi is like garlanding a dog.” Perhaps such rhetoric is neither the most respectful nor the most constructive way to promote dialogue about the country’s political problems.

Yet the arrest exemplifies the nature of life under the Modi regime, where expressing discontent, contempt and especially dissent can land an Indian citizen behind bars.

“India’s claim to democracy, rather as the world’s largest functional democracy, solely rests on its record of regularly held elections,” notes jailed Dalit activist Anand Teltumbde.

“Although they are more of a ritual observed with massive money and muscle power than the expression of the will of the people, they have sustained the illusion of democracy.”

Teltumbde argues that “the de jure democracy has always been de facto plutocracy, the rule of the money bags.” He concludes that it was only “a matter of time” before that plutocracy would become exactly what I told WION it was, “an organized, centralized, authoritarian democracy, which is what fascism is.”

The emergence of India as a fascist nation ruled by the BJP with Modi as its figurehead is no surprise considering the origins of the BJP.

Nor is it a surprise considering the identity of those unmarried, fanatically devoted party workers and their army of youngsters who provide the BJP’s infrastructural base. Nor is it a surprise considering the history of Modi himself.

More to follow
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Hindu – Use mandate to resolve Kashmir issue: Mirwaiz Umar Farooq tells Narendra Modi

Peerzada Ashiq

Srinagar – Jammu & Kashmir – India, 31 May 2019. Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use his massive mandate “to play a decisive role in the resolution of the Kashmir issue”.

“Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s oft-repeated offer of dialogue should be considered by the new dispensation in New Delhi as the way forward,” said the Mirwaiz in his address at Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid, where thousands of devotees offered prayers on the last Friday of Ramzan.

“People of India overwhelmingly voted for Mr Modi. This mandate gives PM Modi an opportunity and the power to play a decisive role in resolution of the issue. It is an opportune time to initiate political processes,” said the Mirwaiz.

He demanded that the Centre take Kashmir specific confidence-building measures like release of prisoners and revocation of laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act to create an atmosphere for dialogue.

Hurriyat leader addresses OIC on Kashmir

Meanwhile, a Hurriyat leader has addressed the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) 14th Islamic Summit in Saudi Arabia’s Makkah and called for its intervention “to help in ending rights violations in J&K and push for a final resolution of the Kashmir conflict”.

Abdullah Gilani, who represented Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani, in his address to the OIC’s contact group on Kashmir said, “The OIC should take a serious note of all developments in J&K, including rights violations. It should intervene and prevail upon the United Nations to establish an internal commission of inquiry on Kashmir”.

The Hurriyat leader said the non-resolution of this “dispute has turned entire South Asian region into a tinderbox”.

“Only a couple of months ago, the world watched with awe and horror how an incident in Kashmir almost pushed the neighbours to the precipice of a nuclear confrontation. While the international community was able to douse the flames of war, the spark that triggers these flames every now and then continues to remain neglected,” Mr. Abdullah told the OIC.

The OIC meeting was attended by its Secretary General Dr Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, foreign ministers of Turkey and Pakistan and deputy foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan and Niger.

The meeting on Kashmir a day after Mr Al-Othaimeen warned against “attempts to suppress or degrade Kashmir issue by linking it to terrorism, which is in violation of United Nations resolutions and International law”.

He also called for “a genuine dialogue between Pakistan and India to resume, which will be the best framework for addressing all outstanding issues, particularly the dispute.”