The Telegraph – This is a Kashmiri & an Indian speaking

Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami, the first detained Kashmiri politician to address a media conference, said people in his state were ‘suffocating’ in the lockdown

Pheroze L Vincent

New Delhi – India, 18 September 2019. Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami, the first detained Kashmiri politician to address a media conference in New Delhi in more than a month, on Tuesday made an impassioned appeal to fellow citizens in the rest of India to speak up for the right to life in Kashmir.

“This is a Kashmiri, an Indian speaking. We must also get the chance to live,” said Tarigami, a CPM central committee member who was allowed to travel to Delhi for medical treatment after party general secretary Sitaram Yechury approached the Supreme Court.

“We only ask you to take us along. An average Kashmiri asks for nothing, we don’t ask for the stars, we don’t ask for the heavens. We just want the chance to merge with you,” Tarigami, a four-time MLA, told reporters in the national capital.

He had been detained at his Srinagar residence since 05 August, although no case has been filed against him. Tarigami has been under police guard in hospital with restrictions on meeting journalists. Discharged last week, he is staying at the Jammu and Kashmir Guest House here. On Monday, the court said he was free to return to Srinagar.

Speaking to reporters at the A K Gopalan Bhavan office of the CPM central committee, Tarigami said people in his state were “suffocating” in the lockdown.

“Please listen to us. You have listened to one version. Please listen to the version of the people of Kashmir as well. We don’t have to be killed. Farooq Abdullah and all others (in detention) are not terrorists. Tarigami has not turned to be an alien element for my country. I am not a foreigner.

“Today it has been over 40 days of the clampdown, and we are told this is normality. Try it in Delhi or any other city. If your Internet and telephone do not work for a week, what will be your condition, how will businesses function, what will be the plight of children, of newspapers, the media?”

Referring to Kashmir, he added: “Today, are shops open? No. Are schools open? No. How many beneficiaries have availed themselves of the national health insurance scheme since 05 August 5? None at all. Yet, they say everything is normal.”

Seated beside Yechury, Tarigami said: “All they say is that no one is dying. People are dying slowly. There is suffocation. And that’s why I appeal, not to the rulers to whom my voice may not reach, but to the common public and the poor that we also want to live.

This is a Kashmiri, an Indian speaking. We must also get the chance to live.”

Tarigami expressed concern over a possible fallout. “What has happened on 05 August, how the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been humiliated that does not create confidence, that reduces whatever little was available here and that can only oblige those who want to further destabilise Kashmir, who want more alienation in Kashmir, who want more turmoil in Kashmir, provide fodder to the forces who want to encourage violence in Kashmir,” he said.

Tarigami said that he felt more disturbed now than when his relatives were assassinated by separatists. “Taaliyan baj rahi hain sarhad paar se, ‘Marhaba, Dilli waalon, jo hum na kar paye wo aap kar rahe hain (there is clapping across the border, ‘Greetings Delhiites, you are doing what we could not)’.”

Yechury told reporters that Tarigami would also be filing a writ petition challenging the removal of the state’s special status and its bifurcation without the changes being brought before the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. – Against India’s occupation of Kashmir, Sikh and Tamil groups to hold public demonstration in Delhi on 26 September

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 16 September 2019. Perturbed over the stubborn attitude of the Indian government with regards to the situation in Kashmir, its unrelenting role of disrespecting human rights in the region where the special status of the people and the state has been unilaterally abrogated, political parties from Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kashmir will hold Justice March and Rally in Delhi on 26 September.

The March and rally will be organized jointly by Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and Dal Khalsa in which representatives of United Akali Dal, Sikh Youth of Punjab will also participate.

Leaders and activists of political party Naam Tamilar Katchi from Tamil Nadu and Committee for Release of Political Prisoners from Delhi will also participate in the public demonstration at Jantar Mantar on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the UN General Assembly, scheduled for 27 September.

While addressing the press conference in Chandigarh on 15 September, leaders of all the parties declared that minorities and nationalities will speak in India’s capital to uphold the right of the Kashmiris to speak.

While Prime Minister of India will present his side of story on Kashmir’s so-called integration into India at the United Nations session, we will speak on behalf of the population, who have been detained at gunpoint and their lives paralyzed since 05 August.

The leaders announced that in India they would hold the demonstration and at international level our aligned group Sikh Youth of America and our own organizational units in US will join with Sikh, Tamil and Kashmiri Diaspora outside UN headquarters to protest against India’s highhandedness against minorities and lockdown in Kashmir.

SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann said with more than 40 days of continued incarceration of an entire population of the valley, concerned political groups, human rights bodies, civil liberties champions and those who love Kashmir as much as they love Kashmiris have decided to converge on Jantar Mantar to express their solidarity with the people of Kashmir and protest against the continued subjugation by the Indian state.

This Justice Rally will serve as a rallying point to unequivocally declare that the problem of Kashmir, the rights of the people of Kashmir is an international issue and not a bilateral one as India, the Security Council or the United Nations think it to be, said Dal Khalsa head Harpal Singh Cheema.

While we are comforted that the United Nations is raising its pitch of consternation against India on the overall situation in Kashmir, there is still a vast room to do more, added party spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh.

UAD president Gurdeep Singh Bhatinda said the whole country is shrouded in fear. Opposition parties, non-governmental groups, individual human rights defenders are all reeling under the stress caused by the Indian state.

A state of numbness, pseudo-nationalistic and ultra-nationalism is sweeping the country, said Paramjit Singh Mand, president of Sikh Youth of Punjab.

Against India’s occupation of Kashmir, Sikh and Tamil groups to hold public demonstration in Delhi on Sep 26

Gentbrugge P&R – De Naeyerdreef

Gentbrugge P&R
26 Augustus 2019

Nature’s beauty next to the E17 motorway

Stop for southbound trams underneath the E17 viaduct
Gentbrugge P & R

Next to the E17 motorway – Park de Vijvers

De Naeyerdreef
26 Augustus 2019

Needless concrete on our beautiful country lane

The poster claims that there were puddles and uneven surfaces
Rather exaggerated !

If you are from Gent and also, like me disagree with the
concreting of our beautiful dreef,
this is the person to sent a polite email to !

Als ge van Gent zijt en het ook niet eens zijt met
de betonnering van onze schone dreef,
dan is is dit de persoon naar wie u een beleefde email kunt sturen !

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Christian Today – Justin Welby warns against ‘misuse of power’ in visit to site of Indian massacre

Staff writer

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 11 September 2019. The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken of his shame and sorrow over the horrific massacre of men, women and children at Jallianwala Bagh, India, a hundred years ago.

The tragedy, also known as the Amritsar massacre, took place on 13 April 1919, when British forces opened fire on the unarmed crowds, killing at least 400 people, including 41 children.

In a moving visit to the site of the massacre, Justin Welby lay face down at a memorial remembering the victims.

Speaking to reporters at the site, he said: “The souls of those who were killed and wounded, of the bereaved, cry out to us from these stones and warn us about power and the misuse of power.”

He continued: “This is a place of both sin and redemption beause you have remembered what they have done and their names will live, their memory will live before God.

“And I am so ashamed and sorry for the impact of this, for this crime committed here.”

The massacre has remained a sore point in UK-India relations. While the British Government has in the past spoken of its “deep regret” over the incident, it has never offered a formal apology.

The Archbishop stressed that he was speaking in his capacity as a religious leader and not on behalf of the British Government.

He also took time to visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar, a major pilgrimage site for the world’s Sikhs.

“It’s been a real honour to visit the Golden Temple in #Amritsar, the holiest site for the Sikh faith,” the Archbishop said.

“I’m constantly inspired by the commitment of Sikhs to serving others, the amazing langar kitchen here serves free meals around the clock to 50,000 people a day.”

Dawn – ‘They gave me electric shocks in a dark room’: Screams in the night in occupied Kashmir

Around two dozen young men in the villages of Shopian tell stories of severe torture at the hands of the Indian army.
Disclaimer: The contents of the article below might cause distress to some readers.

AFP Updated 17 September 2019

The soldiers came after midnight, Abid Khan says, his hands trembling, one of around two dozen young men in just one part of occupied Kashmir who say they have been tortured by the Indian army.

The alleged abuse, residents say, is aimed at creating a climate of fear after India stripped the long-restive, blood-soaked Himalayan region of its autonomy on 05 August.

Khan, 26, from Hirpora village in Shopian district, says he was dragged out and blindfolded along with his brother, who has learning difficulties, on 14 August.

“They gave electric shocks to my brother right on the road outside. I heard him scream painfully,” Khan told AFP, showing marks on his arms, legs and buttocks.

Read: Stories of torture following annexation by India emerge from occupied Kashmir

Once inside the nearby Chowgam army camp, Khan said soldiers stripped him naked, tied up his legs and wrists, suspended him and beat him with rods.

The camp major, Khan said, accused him of inviting Riyaz Naikoo from Hizbul Mujahideen, one of several armed groups fighting Indian rule, to his recent marriage.

An uprising in occupied Kashmir has killed tens of thousands since 1989, mostly civilians.

“I kept repeating that it was not true,” Khan said. “Then they gave me electric shocks again on my genitals and wounds. One of them said ‘I will make you impotent’.”

After being released at dawn and barely able to stand, Khan says he kept vomiting for 10 days and only managed to start moving around again after 20 days.

“I can’t eat properly anymore,” he said. “I don’t go into the room my wife sleeps in anymore. It’s better to die with a bullet than undergo such torture.”


New Delhi says its Kashmir lockdown since last month, with mobile service and the internet still snapped in most areas, is to prevent “terrorists” from stirring up trouble.

See: How India is seeking to portray ‘calm, normalcy’ in locked-down occupied Kashmir

India’s national security advisor has denied that the military has committed any atrocities, a statement echoed by Colonel Rajesh Kalia, an army spokesman in Kashmir.

“All counter-terrorist operations are conducted in the most professional and people-friendly manner. Allegations of manhandling levelled against the army are completely baseless,” Kalia told AFP.

But people in Hirpora say they often hear screams from the army camp at night.

Three other villagers told AFP they were also tortured. In total, around two dozen young men in the villages of Shopian told similar stories.

“The army is making examples of two or three young men from each village,” said one resident of Shopian who has compiled a list.

The pattern is often of soldiers raiding homes, taking identity cards and mobiles and telling young men to report to the camps to retrieve them.

One 21-year-old, who declined to be named but shared with AFP photos of his wounds, said he has reported to the Pahnoo camp three times since 27 August and was abused each time.

An officer accused him of giving food to Kashmiri fighters and then offered him money for information, he said. Another time, he was grilled about a former classmate who is now a fighter.

“They gave me electric shocks inside a dark room for about two hours,” the man said, showing scars on his forearm.
In this photo, Abid Khan shows his medical record during an interview with AFP at Haripora village in Shopian district.

‘Come back with names’

Obaid Khan, also 21, from Gugloora village said he had to go to the same camp to retrieve his ID and phone on August 26.

“Eight soldiers kept beating me with rods for a long time. Before they let me go, they asked me to come back with names of stone throwers in my village,” he said, referring to protesters who clash with security forces.

Related: Genocide Watch issues alerts for occupied Kashmir and India’s Assam state [centre/italics]

Sajjad Hyder Khan, a local official in Pinjoora village, told AFP he has seen a list of 1,800 people detained by police and soldiers from Shopian alone, one of the four districts in the southern Kashmir Valley.

Not far from his home in Shopian town, five soldiers in black with “COMMANDO” on their sleeves and carrying assault rifles were going house to house, seeking details of residents.

“In my humble subdued voice, all I can say is that the pressure is there in order to prevent people from protesting,” said Khan, the Pinjoora official.

And it has worked.

The official added: “There has been no stone pelting on the soldiers since August 5.”