World Sikh News – Dal Khalsa files complaint to UN panel on rights violations in Kashmir

Published 3 days ago – Kanwarpal Singh

Prior to the United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva, Dal Khalsa joined the international community and appealed to the United Nations panel for immediate intervention to halt the wave of human rights violations in Kashmir. In its open letter to the Commissioner, Dal Khalsa believes that only with a strong stand, the United Nations can force India to re­spect the fundamental rights of the Kashmiri people.

The admonition by UN Commissioner for Human Rights of India’s continuing abuse of human rights has come as a welcome relief and Dal Khalsa hopes that the body will take this to its logical conclusion.

To Ms Michelle Bachelet Jeria: Notwithstanding the present Indian political leadership’s continuous harping on Kashmir as an internal legislative issue and undermining the aspiations of the people of Kashmir as a law and order issue, it is comforting that, slowly but surely the international community and the OHCHR is making the right observations about the grave human rights situation in Kashmir.

As the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights sets in motion its three-day session, with a primary focus on Kashmir, Dal Khalsa, as the Sikh party concerned about the grave situation in Kashmir, which despite the unsubstantiated utterances of the Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, writes to you seeking immediate intervention.

Clearly, India will not relent from its position and narrative on Kashmir. So far, the response of the international community and the United Nations has been muted, utterly respectul of India’s stance without questioning the policy of the state of India going back on its promise to the people of Kashmir as well as backing out of its legal and moral commitment made to the United Nations through the 1953 UN resolution on Kashmir.

Sikhs of Punjab are geographical neigh­bours of Kashmir and share political boundaries with two nuclear-power countries, India and Pakistan.

The relationship between the two countries, always locking-horns, is at its lowest ebb, as both take diametrically opposite positions on India’s total occupation of Kashmir by revoking the special status, which was giving the people some semblance of their autonomous status, even though, in practice it had huge gaps and loop­holes.

As the tensions escalate, a war-like environment looms large in the region, which is grossly feared by the people of Punjab.

As Kashmir continues to be a concentration camp for all its peoples since the last 40 days, with zero or minimal communication, with food and medical supplies in doubt and no internet, Kashmir, the heaven on earth has been turned into a living hell.

With the entire pro-freedom and other Kashmir leadership in detention, Kashmir is on the precipice of a political and military catastrophe. An an iron curtain separates Kashmir from the rest of the world. India is pursuing a systematic policy of continuation of its gross abuse of human rights and a comlete denial of political rights.

In September 2018, when you assumed the office of this august institution, we wrote to you with hope as you had even then called upon India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir conflict. It is evident now that like at all times, India ignores all international and UN advice and suggestions.

Your office is also credited with issuing the first-ever detailed report on gross abuse of human rights in Kashmir. However, international opprobrium on India’s track record of rights of human rights defenders and its intolerance of dissenting media has had no effect on the psyche, atti­tude or working of the Indian establishment.

India’s Narendra Modi’s regime has pushed Kashmir back in time and reverted it to its pre-1953 status, flagrantly evading India’s international obligations.

The subjugation of Kashmir must stop. Stray voices of concern on Kashmir are not enough. Accepting India’s fraudulent stand on the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution and the Kashmir issue as an internal issue, not even a bilateral one, will further push Kashmir into being another Bosnia-Hercegovina or Rwanda.

The five countries of the Security Council, for reasons of economic interest, have totally overlooked the issue of human rights in Kashmir and other parts of India, granting the whole state apparatus impunity to harass, detain, maim and kill dissenting individuals, groups, regional identities and nations.

Dal Khalsa uambiguously endorses the right to self-determination of the people of Kashmir, Punjab and all other struggling peoples who fight for this inalienable and internationlly recognized right safeguarded under the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

It is time to recognize that rights of Kashmiris, the deteriorating geopolitical situation in South Asia, cannot be a bilateral issue. Your office has the ominous task of seizing the situation, holding the mirror to India and ensuring respect for human rights and justice in Kashmir.

It is our humble submission that the UNHRC will be failing in its duty towards a peaceful world, should it not play a proactive role in this crucial hour.

Yours Sincerely

Kanwarpal Singh
Spokesperson, Dal Khalsa

Dal Khalsa files complaint to UN panel on rights violations in Kashmir – Stray cattle problem: Dal Khalsa asks Punjab government to lift ban on cow slaughter

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Punjab – India, 10 September 2019. Stating that the menace of stray cattle has reached an alarming position, the Dal Khalsa has asked the Punjab government to lift ban on cow slaughter strictly for economic reasons and to solve stray cattle problem. “In fact, the organisation is in favor of setting up cow slaughter houses in the state,” reads a press note by Dal Khalsa.

Party leaders Harpal Singh Cheema and spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh said that the issue of cow slaughtering was dear to Hindu hearts. Hence, they would like to clear at the outset that their demand had nothing to do with religion or its beliefs.

They said cow slaughtering was banned in most of parts of India, including Punjab. Since, it is a state subject, we urge Amarinder Singh government to rethink on the issue and lift the ban on it. To drive their point home, they added that already in nine states there was no ban on cow slaughter, while in two other states it was partially imposed.

Giving details of their demand, they said lifting ban on cow slaughter would go a long way in the uplift of farmers, struggling to repay loans. It would also check suicides among farmers. They added that the farmers already had the infrastructure and could keep cows without spending additional money.

“It would fetch good rates. As of now, the farmers were abandoning their cattle at lonely places”, they said. “Moreover, stray cattle were resulting in road accidents taking a heavy toll of human lives”. Every day, there are deaths on roads due to rising number of stray cattle and government utterly failing to control it.

Clarifying that their intention was not to hurt the religious sentiments of any community, the leaders said the move would boost beef export, besides promoting leather and pharmaceutical industry in the region.

They said nowadays only those cows are taken care of who yield milk. Dry cows and calves are poorly fed, abandoned and allowed to die in pitiable conditions.

They slammed the government for imposing cow-cess on people and took exception over the silence of Kisan Unions on this vital issue concerning farmers.

Stray cattle problem: Dal Khalsa asks Punjab government to lift ban on cow slaughter

Gentbrugge – Gentbrugse Meersen

Gentbrugse Meersen
20 August 2019

Riet sigaren – LisdoddeCattails

Kaardebol – Teasel

To Melle

Meadow – Gentbrugse Meersen

The same meadow – different angle

Turn right to Melle
Turn left to Heusden and Destelbergen

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Limerick Post – Plaque unveiled to West Limerick man honouring his contribution to Sikh Culture and Religion

Alan Jacques

Limerick – County Limerick – Eire. 12 September 2019. A plaque has been unveiled to mark the ground breaking work of a West Limerick man who translated the holy book of the Sikh religion into English.

In 1909 Max Arthur MacAuliffe, completed the classic translation into English of major parts of the Guru Granth, the holy book of the Sikhs. Oxford University Press published the first edition of his celebrated masterpiece, The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors, in six volumes and running to almost 2,500 pages, and since then it has never been out of print.

The unveiling of the plaque follows representations from the Dublin Interfaith Forum including members of the Sikh community and historians to Limerick City and County Council on how best Max MacAuliffe could be remembered in his homeplace.

Sikhism now has some 28m followers worldwide, 2,000 of whom live in Ireland, 500 of whom live in the Mid-West region.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony in Templeglantine Community Centre today [11 Sep 2019], attended by His Excellency, Mr Sandeep Kumar, Indian Ambassador to Ireland, Cllr Jerome Scanlan, Cathaoirleach of the Newcastle West Municipal District said: “It is important that Limerick remembers and honours its own, to celebrate those who have made an important impact on the lives of others.

And Max deserves this for his work in bringing knowledge and understanding of the Sikh religion to the English Speaking world. From his humble beginnings in Monagea and later Templeglantine, Max became an important conduit in developing a deeper understanding between entire communities in Europe and India.”

Gordon Daly, Director of Community Development with Limerick City and County Council, who funded the project added: “We are delighted to be involved in the honouring of Max MacAuliffe.

Who would have known that 181 years ago a boy from West Limerick would grow up to become arguably one of the most influential people in the Sikh community. He was a man of extra ordinary intellect, whose seminal work The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors remains as relevant today as it was when it was initially written.”

“Limerick City and County Council is delighted to be part of this ceremony, in honouring this famous West Limerick man.”

Max also known as Michael MacAuliffe was born 181 years ago to the day [11 Sept 2019] in Glenmore, Monagea, County Limerick, the eldest of John MacAuliffe and Julia née Browne’s 12 children.

The family moved to Templeglantine when he was eight years old after his father took up the post of “Master of the School’.

Max won a scholarship to attend Springfield College Ennis (now known as St. Flannan’s College) before studying at Queens College Galway (NUI Galway), where he graduated with first class honours in Modern Languages in 1860.

In 1862, he joined the Indian Civil Service and arrived in the Punjab in 1864. Over the course of his 30-year career, he was appointed Deputy Commissioner before later becoming a Divisional Judge. It was here his love affair with the Sikh religion began.

He died in London on 15 March 1913 aged 74.

Plaque unveiled to West Limerick man honouring his contribution to Sikh Culture and Religion

Dawn – Police brutality

Editorial, 12 September 2019. In recent days, Punjab has emerged as a territory occupied by a brutal police force. The response to a series of custodial deaths has either been outright ridiculous, as in the case of banning smartphones to prevent any unwanted footage from escaping premises that are manned by policemen, or confused and disorderly.

The latest gory chapter began with the appearance of Salahuddin Ayubi, the ‘ordinary Pakistani’ who was nabbed while allegedly attempting to steal from an ATM machine and who later died while under police interrogation. Given the impunity with which the law enforcers operate, it is no surprise that others have since also made the list of victims of police brutality.

The custodial deaths have caused a stir, with many demanding police reforms in a country where accountability is still selective and where the institutions supposedly meant to monitor excesses against the people are either completely ignored or woefully underutilised.

In this regard, the National Human Rights Commission, which has been dysfunctional for many months now, is a case in point. The IG Punjab is scheduled to appear before the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights today, amid apprehensions that this opportunity for lawmakers to propose improvements may be lost because of the existing polarisation in parliament.

It is apparent that the PPP-proposed Torture, Custodial Death and Custodial Rape (Prevention and Punishment) Bill, 2015, did not catch the fancy of a divided National Assembly, which failed to pass the piece of legislation in the stipulated 90 days.

But lawyers say that the laws are very much there. There are sufficient legal provisions in place, not least courtesy of Police Order 2002, which governs the workings of the force in Punjab. And a basic on-the-spot remedy recalls that a magistrate can be asked to investigate custodial deaths under the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The government of Punjab has moved towards establishing some kind of a larger board, comprising people from various walks of life, to oversee police functioning.

Also, as opposed to a system where the violation of rules is an ailment exclusively afflicting low-ranking policemen, senior members in the hierarchy have now been warned that it is they who will be held responsible for any excesses committed under their watch.

These may all be useful ways of dealing with an increasingly desperate situation, and the suggestion that everyone should be bound by the existing laws makes eminent sense.

But what is also needed is for both the people and the authorities to avoid the strange logic that accepts, justifies and condones brutal and illegal police violence in all its manifestations inside the thanas, the improvised lockups and indeed in public spaces.

The job of clearing the mess has to begin somewhere. Why not begin at the place where it hurts and bleeds the most, ie right at the top?