The News – Unusual water releases into Ravi hamper work on Kartarpur Corridor

Munawar Hasan

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 29 June 2019. Pakistan has expressed concerns to India over unusual water releases into the River Ravi from an upstream dam, which is hampering the construction work of the Kartarpur Corridor being built to give visa-free access to Sikh devotees to their sacred shrine across the border.

Pakistan’s Commissioner for Indus Water Syed Mehr Ali Shah telephoned his Indian counterpart K P Saxena earlier this week to express concern over above-average flows in the River Ravi downstream of Madhopur Headworks into Pakistan.

He asked Saxena to investigate the reason of the above-average inflows as the river water is obstructing the progress of Kartarput Corridor’s construction works going on in the Ravi riverbed.

Shah stressed that the possibility of reducing inflows into the River Ravi to reasonable limit be explored so that the construction activity may not be disturbed and the project may be completed as per stipulated time as agreed by the governments of Pakistan and India.

A formal letter by Pakistan’s commissioner for Indus waters has been dispatched to the Indian Indus waters commissioner, highlighting reservations of Pakistan over untimely releases of water into the River Ravi by India.

Sources informed that Saxena, in a telephonic conversation, admitted releasing water from Thein Dam into River Ravi with a view to maintaining level of reservoir relatively for absorbing potential flood water in the days to come. He explained the river flows were comparatively better this year, prompting authorities to release water from the dam.

The Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), which is constructing the Kartarpur Corridor, is facing difficulty in completing work due to gushing water into an active creek of the River Ravi. The Pakistan Army through a letter dated June 18, 2019 took up this issue with the Ministry of Water Resources, which was subsequently forwarded to the office of Pakistan’s Indus Waters Commission on June 24, 2019.

The controversy regarding water intentionally being released into Pakistan from eastern rivers has already gripped the Indian Punjab state where several quarters accused the authorities of letting water flow out of state while canals are not being run as per demand of local farmers. The chief minister of Indian Punjab also admitted water being allowed to flow into Pakistan through eastern rivers, saying that it was being done due to operational needs necessitating to control potential flooding.

The high-ups of the Pakistan Commission for Indus Waters are waiting for the official response of India over the issue. However, they feel that apparent excessive snowmelt in the catchment area could be one of the reasons for above-normal flows in the River Ravi from the Indian side.

The water level of the Thein Dam, which is also called the Ranjit Sagar Dam project, was 511.58 meters on June 27, 2019 against the maximum capacity of storing water up to 527.90 meters.

It is worth-mentioning here that in August 2018, Indian Punjab Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu attended the inaugural ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor. He was told by Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa about Pakistan’s willingness to open the Dera Baba Nanak–Kartarpur Corridor on Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.

Construction work on the corridor started on the Pakistani side in December last after finalizing modalities with the Indian government. Prime Minister Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone of the corridor project at Kartarpur on November 28, 2018.

The Kartarpur Corridor is a proposed area corridor between the neighbouring nations of Pakistan and India, connecting the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib located in Indian Punjab and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Punjab, Pakistan.

Currently under planning, the corridor is intended to allow religious devotees from India to visit the Gurdwara in Kartarpur, 4.7 kilometres from the Pakistan-India border, without a visa. The construction of the corridor is expected to be completed by November 1, 2019, for the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak on November 12, 2019. – Manjit Singh GK demands immediate release of political Sikh prisoners

Sikh24 Editors

New Delhi – India, 27 June 2019. Interacting with the media today, the former DSGMC president Manjit Singh demanded immediate release of political Sikh prisoners like Jathedar Jagtar Singh Hawara, Bhai Daya Singh Lahoria and others who have been languishing in the Indian jails from more than two decades.

“If the killer cops, who killed innocent Sikh youths in fake encounters, can be pardoned then why not our Sikh prisoners were fabricated in fake cases,” he questioned.

He appealed the Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh to recommend release of political Sikh prisoners to the Punjab governor, who have already served the quantum of sentence addressed to them but are still languishing in the jails.

He has asked the Punjab CM to adopt a similar course of action for the release of political Sikh prisoners as the Punjab government did for getting released the killer cops.

He also asked the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, who tends to be a sympathizer of the Sikhs, to recommend release of Jathedar Jagtar Singh Hawara and Bhai Daya Singh Lahoria as they have already served their life sentences.

“Advocate Mehmood Pracha, the legal counsel of Jathedar Jagtar Singh Hawara, has clarified that Jathedar Hawara has been acquitted in almost all cases but the Police have registered new cases against him to keep him behind bars,” GK said.

“If the parole plea of rapist Gurmeet Ram Rahim could be considered then why not the parole pleas of political Sikh prisoners?” he questioned.

He also took on Badals for demanding probe into the murder of sacrilege culprit Mohinder Pal Bittu.

GK Demands Immediate Release of Political Sikh Prisoners

Brussel Noord – Voem Brussel

Brussel Noord
18 June 2019

Train on Eupen Oostende service

Boarding DoubleDecker train

Voem Meeting in Brussel
‘Waffels’ sweets
19 June 2019

‘Waffels’ donated by me


More sweets

The third dish of sweets

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

CBC News – Turban ripped off devout Sikh man by RCMP officer, alleges civil suit

‘Forceful’ removal of the turban, hair pulling ‘insulting to the plaintiff’s religious beliefs,’ says lawyer

Surrey – British Columbia – Canada, 28 June 2019. In a civil claim filed with the BC Supreme Court, Kanwaljit Singh says that an RCMP officer ripped off his turban and threw it on a booking desk during his arrest for an unspecified reason two years ago at a Surrey RCMP detachment.

The Abbotsford software programmer’s lawsuit alleges that he was the only prisoner in a booking area of the Surrey detachment June 30, 2017, and he faced a semi-circle of about four or five officers when one moved toward him and ripped his turban off his head.

Singh’s statement of claim says “suddenly without provocation or justification” an officer he understood to be Sgt. Brian Blair “approached the plaintiff and ripped the turban off of his head,” then threw the turban onto the booking desk.

After that and despite his compliance, Singh alleges that an unidentified officer grabbed his arms and marched him to a holding cell. During this march the lawsuit alleges that Singh’s arm was twisted and his hair was grabbed and his “topknot” was pulled out.

“The plaintiff had styled his hair in a ‘topknot’ to facilitate the wearing of his turban, and Sgt. Blair pulled his hair out of the topknot,” the suit says.

In the filing Singh says he is a devout Sikh who wears a turban as part of his religious practice and a core part of his identity. He claims to have suffered injury to his dignity, loss of self-respect, embarrassment, stress and anxiety.

He’s seeking damages and a declaration that his charter rights were breached. Singh immigrated to Canada in 2006, according to the claim.

It’s unclear what he was arrested for or whether he was charged. His lawyer would only say that information was “irrelevant” to the treatment Singh received. He described his client as in his late 30s.

“The plaintiff was subjected to negative and differential treatment by employees, servants or agents of the defendants on the basis of his race, ethnic origin and/or religion,” the lawsuit alleges.

“Sgt. Blair intended his forceful removal of the … turban and his pulling of … hair to be insulting to the plaintiff’s religious belief,” says the claim.

None of the allegations have been proven in court. Neither the attorney general nor the RCMP were available for comment.

The Hindu – Lynching incidents should not be politicised or given communal colour: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

Mumbai – Maharashtra – India, 29 June 2019. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s comment comes in the backdrop of the alleged lynching of 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand last week.

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on June 29 said incidents of lynching should not be given a communal colour or politicised.

“Lynching is a criminal subject. It should not be give a communal colour. It is highly condemnable and no one should politicise it,” the Minority Affairs Minister said while speaking to reporters after inaugurating a renovated hall of the Haj House in Mumbai

The comment comes in the backdrop of the alleged lynching of a 24-year-old man in Jharkhand last week.

The victim, Tabrez Ansari, was allegedly tied to a pole and thrashed with sticks by a mob in Seraikela Kharsawan district of Jharkhand on suspicion of theft. The man was purportedly seen in a video being forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. He later succumbed to his injuries.

Mr Naqvi said the culture of harmony and tolerance of majority Hindu community has built and strengthened the foundation of India’s democratic secularism.

“India is the world’s largest secular democratic country because after partition, Pakistan chose to become an Islamic nation, while the majority Hindu community in India chose the path of secularism,” he said.

Despite the diversity in languages, faiths, food and style of living, India’s culture has kept us united through a strong bond. Today, the minorities in India are moving forward on the path of development with religious and social freedom, the minister said.

“The strong inclusive culture, unity and harmony of India has defeated terrorism and other enemies of humanity. Terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State have not been successful in their evil designs due to the commitment to unity of our society,” the BJP leader said.

The Muslim community in India knows very well that terrorism is the biggest enemy of the entire humanity and Islam, he said.

“We should remain cautious to ensure that no negative agenda is successful in disturbing the atmosphere of inclusive development and harmony. We have to make secularism and democracy our strength and not a weakness,” Mr. Naqvi said.

2 lakh Muslims to visit Haj’

The Minister said it was for the first time since independence that a record 2 lakh Indian Muslims will go on Haj this year without any subsidy.

“An honest and transparent system developed by the Modi government has ensured that even after removal of Haj subsidy, there is no unnecessary financial burden on the Haj pilgrims,” he said.

“A record number of two lakh Indian Muslims will go on Haj this year in over 500 flights from 21 embarkation points across the country,” Mr. Naqvi said.

The number of women Haj pilgrims going without ‘mehram’ (male companion) this year is double as compared to last year, the Minister added.