The Hindustan Times – Will apologise for Jallianwala Bagh massacre if voted to power: Labour Party’s manifesto

Labour party’s manifesto promises that besides the apology, the party’s government would hold a ‘public review’ into “Britain’s role in the Amritsar massacre”, referring to Operation Bluestar in Amritsar.

Prasun Sonwalkar

London – UK, 21 November 2019. The Labour Party has promised to tender a ‘formal apology’ on behalf of the British government for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, and hold a ‘public review’ into the UK’s role in the 1984 Operation Bluestar if it is voted to power in the December 12 elections.

Releasing the party’s manifesto on Thursday, party leader Jeremy Corbyn set out an ambitious plan to shake-up the status quo that, according to him, benefits the rich and wealthy, and bring about real change for the common people.

In the centenary year of the massacre, the British government confined itself to expressing ‘deep regret’, despite facing many calls for a formal apology, but senior functionaries have since insisted that the issue is ‘work in progress’ and may well happen before the year ends.

The manifesto promises that besides the apology, the party’s government would hold a ‘public review’ into “Britain’s role in the Amritsar massacre”, referring to Operation Bluestar in Amritsar. In the 2017 manifesto, it had promised an ‘independent inquiry’ into the role.

The issue blew up in 2014 when declassified files suggested that the Margaret Thatcher government provided advice to the Indira Gandhi government before the operation. A section of the Sikh community in the UK has since been demanding an independent inquiry into Britain’s role.

The 107-page manifesto alleged that the Conservative party had failed to play a constructive role in resolving what it called “the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises, including Kashmir”. However, the manifesto did not elaborate on its perspective on Kashmir.

An emergency resolution passed at Labour’s annual conference in September had called for international intervention in Kashmir, which riled New Delhi and the increasingly assertive 1.5 million-strong Indian community in the UK.

The party has since faced a backlash from the community, with sections campaigning in social networks against voting for Labour, which has long been the natural party of preference for the community, but has been haemorrhaging support to the Conservatives in recent elections.

The British Indian vote is estimated to be significant in 15 constituencies in which Asians, including Indians, constitute over 40 per cent of the population, 46 constituencies in which they constitute over 20 per cent, and 122 constituencies where they number over 10%.

The manifesto also promised a full apology to black and Asian soldiers who fought in Britain’s colonial armies and explore ways to compensate them for the discriminatory demobilisation payments they received compared to their white counterparts serving at the same rank in the same regiments.

The manifesto adds: “We will work through the UN and the Commonwealth to insist on the protection of human rights for Sri Lanka’s minority Tamil and Muslim populations…Internationalism is at the core of the Labour movement. We recognise our responsibility to confront injustices we see today and to correct the injustices of the past”.

The Tribune – Pilgrim count at Katarpur on the rise

Tribune News Service

New Delhi – India, 21 November 2019. The number of pilgrims using the Kartarpur corridor is increasing in the last few days, especially over the weekends, said the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday in response to reports of a dip in the number of pilgrims ever since it was opened on 09 November.

The MEA also denied there was any move to change the formalities for facilitating the pilgrimage by pointing out that such procedures are part of a bilateral agreement with Pakistan which has been finalised after discussions between officials of both countries.

“Any change can be undertaken only with the consent of both parties formally and not through a tweet or a statement. A regular review is taken on our side by the Empowered Committee chaired at the level of Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs,’’ said the MEA spokesperson Ravish Kumar at a news briefing here today.

The MEA has made efforts to ease the issuance of passports. There are now three passport offices, five passport seva-kendras, six post office passport seva-kendras (POPSK) in Punjab.

Besides new POPSKs are being opened, including at Dera Baba Nanak. Six passport camps have been organised in Punjab. “Today, obtaining passport is not difficult and we are facilitating it as requirement of passport is one of the conditions,’’ added Kumar.

“The other issue that we have been taking up with Pakistan since many days is that of the $ 20 fee levied on each pilgrim for each visit, be waived off. Pakistan has not agreed to do away with it so far. We are still requesting the Pakistani side if they remove it the restrictions which the pilgrims are facing will be eased,” he observed.

Gentbrugge – Schelde/Keizerpark

10 November 2019

Left Gent – Vlaamsekaai
Right Gentbrugge – Scheldekaai/Keizerpark


Foot/cycle bridge across the Schelde


Noord-Zuid cycle route to Zwijnaarde
The numbers refer to touristic cycle routes in East-Flanders

Noord-Zuid cycle route to Wondelgem

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Hindustan Times – 26-year-old man thrashed, paraded naked on bike in Tarn Taran village

The grave crime came to light after five video clips of the incident went viral on social media on 20 November

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 20 November 2019. A 26-year-old native of Amritsar was thrashed and paraded naked by residents in Balachak village of Tarn Taran district on Tuesday evening. The grave crime came to light after five video clips of the incident went viral on social media on Wednesday.

The victim Paramjit Singh, of Gurwali village, was nabbed by Balachak residents, who claimed that he was in their village to meet a girl, something they did not approve of.

In one of the clips, the victim is being beaten by nearly a dozen men, who are forcibly removing his clothes. In another clip, the victim, who is naked, is seen sitting on grass in fully naked condition with a man grabbing his hair. Others around are slapping him.

The voice-over to this clip says, “This man has been caught as he tried to give his contact number to a girl.” Another voice adds, “Why did you want to give your number to the girl. Will you do this again?” Later, the naked victim is made to sit on a bike and ride it for some distance.

SSP Vikramjit Singh Duggal said after their preliminary investigation it was came to light that the incident took place in Balachak village of Tarn Taran district and that the victim had gone to the village to meet a girl.

Chatiwind SHO Sardool Singh said, “When the video surfaced, we thought that the incident had taken place in Chatiwind. I went to the victim’s home and also met his family members, who claim that their son has a memory problem and thus went to the wrong village.”

Tarn Taran SSP Dhruv Dahiya said a man named Sandeep had been rounded up in connection with the case registered on the complaint of the victim’s father Sukhdev Singh.

“My son had gone to Tarn Taran for an errand. When he reached near Daburji power station, he was thrashed and paraded naked by some people. The accused also made the video of the incident viral,” he claimed.

Unidentified persons have also been booked under Sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 500 (for defamation), 323 (voluntarily causing heart), of the IPC and 67-A (Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act, etc) of the IT Act at Tarn Taran city police station.

State SC commission seeks report from Muktsar SSP on labourer torture

Muktsar, The Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission has sought a report from Muktsar SSP on the torture of a migrant labourer, Ramu, for refusing to work in the field of a farmer by November 26. The purported video of the torture had gone viral on November 11.

Karnvir Indora, member of the commission also met the victim on Wednesday. On the victim’s complaint, police had booked Gurpal Singh Pala and Babbi of village Kotli Dewan in Muktsar on Tuesday. The victim in his complaint to police had alleged, “I was working in the market few days ago and they saw me.

They tied, abused and threatened me. Some people shot the video of the incident.” Indora said, “The victim does not have certificate of Schedule Caste yet. Further sections will be added once the victim will submit his certificate.” Indora said.

Dawn – Suspect arrested in Khanewal for murdering man, burning his body ‘in the name of honour’

Sajjad Akbar Shah

Khanewal District – Panjab – Pakistan, 21 November 2019. Police in Jahanian tehsil of Khanewal district on Thursday found the body of a man who was killed and burnt by an individual allegedly in the name of honour, said Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Jahanian Shamsuddin.

According to the DSP, the suspect had tortured and murdered the victim, and then burnt his body.

As per the initial investigation, the DSP said the suspect had suspicions of illicit relations between his cousin and the victim. He added that the murder was allegedly carried out in the name of honour.

Shamsuddin said that the victim’s body has been shifted to a hospital while further investigation into the incident is underway.

Meanwhile, Khanewal District Police Officer (DPO) Faisal Shehzad recognised the timely response of DSP Jahanian and his team in arresting the suspect within an hour of receiving information.

According to DPO Shehzad, the police had received information that the burnt body of a man had been found in Jahanian after which the DSP, his Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) and forensic teams responded and cordoned off the site of the incident.

Following this, the forensic team started to collect evidence and began an interrogation with local people in the area during which they received a clue that led to the arrest of the main suspect.

Khanewal DPO said that their investigation was underway in order to determine the motive behind the murder, the weapon used as well as in order to determine who else was involved in the incident.

He added that the suspect had admitted to the crime during the investigation.