The Asian Age – Being targeted due to our work on human rights: Indira Jaising on CBI raids

New Delhi – India, 11 July 2019. The Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising alleged on Thursday that she and her husband were being “targeted” by the CBI due to their work in the field of human rights, after sleuths from the central agency carried out searches at her residence and office.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is carrying out searches at the residence of former Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Jaising and the offices of Lawyers Collective, an NGO run by her husband Anand Grover, officials said.

The searches are being carried out at the Nizamuddin residence and office of Jaising here, the office of the NGO at Jangpura and another office in Mumbai from 5 am, they added.

Grover was booked by the central probe agency for alleged Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) violations in receiving foreign aid.

“Mr Grover and I are being targeted for the human rights work that we have done over the years,” Jaising told reporters.

The CBI had filed an FIR against Grover and the NGO on the basis of a complaint from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which had alleged several discrepancies in the utilisation of foreign aid received by the organisation. Jaising is not named as an accused in the FIR but her alleged role has been mentioned in the complaint of the ministry.

The CBI has booked Grover, the president of Lawyers Collective, and unidentified office-bearers of the organisation, besides unidentified officials in this connection. – India bans ‘Sikhs for Justice’; Captain asks Indian government to declare SFJ as a “terror outfit”

Sikh24 Editors

New Delhi – India, 10 July 2019. The Indian government has imposed ban on the US based pro-freedom Sikh outfit ‘Sikhs for Justice’ (SFJ) which has been campaigning for a referendum in Punjab in 2020.

The move came shortly after the supporters of SFJ’s campaign “Referendum 2020” shouted pro-freedom slogans in the semi-final match between India and New Zealand at Edgbaston (UK) on July 9. India has lost this match by 18 runs today.

It is pertinent to note here that the Punjab police have already arrested a score of Sikh youths for being a supporter of “Referendum 2020” campaign.

It has also come to fore that the Twitter account of SFJ’s legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannu has been also suspended on the request of Indian government.

Meanwhile, the Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has welcomed the Indian government’s move of banning ‘Sikhs for Justice’. He has asked the Indian government to declare ‘Sikhs for Justice’ as a terror outfit.

“Though the outfit deserved to be treated as a terrorist organisation, the Government of India had at least taken a long-overdue stand against SFJ, which had unleashed a wave of terror in Punjab in recent years,” Captain said in a statement released from Chandigarh.

India bans ‘Sikhs for Justice’; Captain asks Indian government to declare SFJ as a “terror outfit”

Lotenhulle – Aalter – Gent De Krook

02 July 2019

Horse and foal

Aalter NMBS
02 July 2019

Four tracks – two platforms
The NMBS is (slowly) four tracking between Gent and Brugge

Track 1

Track 2 and 3

De Krook
03 July 2019

Grote Huidevettershoek

Gote Huidevettershoek

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue – Why an Indian hero’s statue was unveiled in Pakistan

A life-size sculpture of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who ruled over Punjab for four decades, being unveiled on the eve of his 180th death anniversary, in Lahore on June 27, 2019. The statue is located outside the Sikh gallery at Lahore Fort.

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 10 July 2019. In Pakistan there has been no problem about the installation of the statues of these men, unlike the Jinnah portrait or other controversies that seem to be present in India these days quite regularly, says Aakar Patel.

On Friday 28 June this unusual report was published in Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, which was founded by Jinnah:

‘In a colourful ceremony, the statue of the Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh was unveiled at the Lahore Fort, at the Mai Jinda’s Haveli, on Thursday evening.’ ‘The nine feet tall statue, made of cold bronze, shows the regal Sikh emperor sitting on a horse, sword in hand, complete in Sikh attire.’

‘Sculpted by local artists, under the aegis of the Fakir Khana Museum, the statue is meant to invoke the feeling of the emperor being present, with its real life proportions, and was unveiled on his 180th death anniversary. Ranjt Singh passed away in 1839.’

‘The unveiling ceremony was highlighted by some daring gatka performances, or Sikh martial arts, where young boys displayed the different styles of attacking and sparring with various tools, including sticks that intend to simulate swords, a spiked ball and chain, and other weapons.’

‘The performances showed how a stealthily-trained warrior could manage to do the most daring feats, such as in the display of this skill, the stick or gatka wielding warrior easily broke earthen pots, and coconuts balanced on others’s heads, while two expert warriors sparred inside a circle of fire.’

Another unusual report was published on March 24, 2019: ‘A motley group of followers of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev Saturday paid tributes to the trio on their 88th martyrdom anniversary at Shadman Chowk in Lahore city of Pakistan, the spot which was once a part of a jail where they were hanged by the British on March 23, 1931.’

‘The spot reverberated with the chants of ‘Bhagat Singh Zinda Hai’ and ‘Shaheed Bhagat Singh Teri Soch Tey, Pehra Denge Thok Ke’ as Lahore residents, including women and children, with candles in their hands, paid tributes to the martyrs.

‘The initiative was spearheaded by the Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation, which is run by Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi who had also filed a petition in the Lahore high court to rename Shadman Chowk as ‘Shaheed Bhagat Singh Chowk’.’

The question is why Pakistan thinks that these men are celebrated when India is going through a strong anti-Muslim phase. And it is because Pakistan also has a powerful Punjabi nationalism.

More than half of Pakistan is Punjabi speaking. Of Pakistan’s five biggest cities, four, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala and Faislabad, are in Punjab. About 80% of the Pakistani army is Punjabi.

The Sikh empire of Ranjit Singh was the only time in Indian history when Panjabis dominated northern India, and Singh is seen as a Punjabi hero, which he was.

Ranjit Singh’s armies marched into Kabul and he and Tipu Sultan were the last real independent rulers in a subcontinent when the British had defeated the rest.

He was a great warrior and it is only after the death of Ranjit Singh, that the British were able to conquer Punjab.

It may interest readers to know that the reason why the Dogra Rajputs of Jammu rule Kashmir was their betrayal of Punjab. Without this betrayal, Jammu and Kashmir would be two separate states today.

To know how big the prize was, consider this: There were only 5 kingdoms in India which were big enough for their rulers to merit the 21-gun salute: Mysore, Hyderabad, Baroda, Gwalior and Jammu and Kashmir.

Most Indians do not know that the history of 18th century India, after the death of Aurangzeb, was a series of attacks by one Hindu hero against another. The Marathas extorted so much money from the Rajputs that Maharaja Ishwari Singh, son of Jaipur’s founder Sawai Jai Singh, committed suicide in December 1750.

In revenge, on January 10, the Rajputs spent nine hours slaughtering a troop of 4,000 Marathas who had entered the city as conquerors. This is not taught in our history books. Knowledge of this will confuse most Indians because our understanding is coloured by our religious nationalism.

In Pakistan there has been no problem about the installation of the statues of these men, unlike the Jinnah portrait or other controversies that seem to be present in India these days quite regularly.

As Indians we do not expect that our heroes are given any space in Pakistan, and that is why I say that these reports seem strange. But the fact is that Indians are mostly ignorant of Pakistan and our knowledge is second-hand and comes from a deranged Indian media.

Aakar Patel, winner of the 2018 Prem Bhatia Award for Political Reporting, is Executive Director, Amnesty International India. The views expressed here are his own.

Dawn – Special police-team to probe murder of journalist and friend

Karachi – Sindh – Pakistan, 11 July 2019. Police have launched an investigation into the murder of a TV anchorperson and his friend over a monetary dispute allegedly by their business partner who later attempted to take his own life on Tuesday night.

Officials said on Wednesday that two FIRs pertaining to the double murder and attempted suicide had been registered and a special team had been formed to investigate the matter.

Mureed Abbas, 34, anchor­person of Bol TV, and his friend Khizar Hayat, 45, were gunned down by Atif Zaman at separate places within the remit of Darakhshan police. Later, when a police party reached the residence of Atif Zaman, he tried to commit suicide.

“The suspect, Atif Zaman, had shot himself in the heart and got admitted to a private hospital where his condition was improving,” said SSP South Sheeraz Nazeer.

Quoting the doctors, SSP Nazeer said that Zaman’s heart was not damaged and his arteries were not affected.

The police officer said that Khizar, Abbas and Atif were friends and business partners, but the monetary dispute caused animosity among them.

At around 8.25pm on Tuesday, Madadgar-15 police received a call from one Zain, who reported that a man had suffered gunshot wounds.

The police rushed to the spot where the witness told them that the man (Khizar) received bullets in Khayaban-i-Bukhari. Khizar was taken to a hospital near Bilawal House where he was pronounced dead.

Around half an hour later, the police received another call from one Mudassir Iqbal who said there had been gunshots aimed at Mureed Abbas at Khayaban-i-Bukhari. The police rushed to the spot. He was taken to a hospital but he died on his way.

According to the SSP South, acting on an intelligence report and technical assistance, the police rushed to the residence of Atif Zaman at Nishat Commercial and cordoned off the area.

“The police party reached the building and knocked at the door of Atif’s apartment on the third floor. A gunshot was heard from inside the flat and it was Atif who attempted to commit suicide,” said the officer.

The SSP said Atif was taken to a nearby private hospital. His health was improving, he added.

Darakshan police have registered two FIRs, one against Atif under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code on a complaint of Mureed Abbas’s wife and the other against Atif for attempting to commit suicide.