The Indian Express – 1984 anti-Sikh riots: SIT seeks to probe 10 cases closed by Kanpur police

As many as 1,251 cases were registered and 127 people were killed in Kanpur during the riots that broke out after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984.

Manish Sahu

Lucknow – Uttar Pradesh – India, 22 January 2020. Nearly a year after a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed by the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh to examine and re-investigate 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases of Kanpur, it will move the court to seek permission to further investigate 10 cases in which the local police had earlier filed closure reports.

The SIT has also sent a report to the government seeking permission to file an appeal against the lower court’s judgment in five other cases.

The SIT’s decision comes days after the state Cabinet gave the status of a police station to the SIT, empowering it to investigate cases and initiate legal procedures.

As many as 1,251 cases were registered and 127 people were killed in Kanpur during the riots that broke out after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. Except for 153 cases, police had then filed closure reports in all other cases.

The SIT had earlier identified 39 cases of heinous crimes like murder and dacoity, in which the police had earlier filed charge-sheet in 11 and submitted closure reports in the remaining 28, citing various grounds.

“The 10 cases in which 35 people were killed have been initially selected for further investigation as the complainants and witnesses in these cases have agreed to support the SIT,” said an officer of the SIT.

The Tribune – Indian-American Sikh becomes US’ Harris County’s first turban-wearing Deputy Constable

Houston – Texas – USA, 22 January 2020. Amrit Singh, an Indian-American law enforcement officer, has scripted history by becoming the first-ever turban-wearing Sikh to be sworn in as Deputy Constable in Harris County in the US state of Texas.

Singh, 21, will be the first in his profession to wear his articles of faith, a turban, beard, and uncut hair in the line of duty.

It was a historic day on Tuesday as Singh’s swearing-in coincided with the adoption of a new policy that allows law enforcement officers in nearly every single Harris County Constable’s Office to wear articles of their faith while in uniform. For Sikhs, that means being able to wear a turban and beard while on duty.

Singh always wanted to work as a peace officer. He spent years in law enforcement explorer programmes and five months in a police training academy. “Growing up, I always wanted to be a deputy and my Sikh faith was also very important to me,” Singh said.

“Constable Alan Rosen was the first one to give me a call back. He opened this agency with open arms for me,” he said.

Speaking at Singh’s swearing-in ceremony, Precinct 1 Constable Rosen said the county’s eight constables supported accommodations for Sikhs to serve while adhering to their religion.

“As a man of the Jewish faith, I know how it feels to be religiously targeted and how important it is to teach inclusion, understanding and tolerance,” Rosen said, standing in front of representatives from the county’s other constable offices.

“To me, wearing a yarmulke or him wearing a turban really doesn’t impact the quality of work he’s going to do. It should have zero impact on public safety or what job we do.

Are you going to care if the person showing up to your door to help save you has a turban or yarmulke? You’re not. You’re just happy they’re there to save you and keep you safe,” the officer said.

Singh will now go on to months of field training, after which he will be assigned to patrol within Precinct One. In 2015, Harris County made national headlines after sheriff’s deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal fought for and won the rights to wear his turban and beard on duty.

At the time of the deputy’s murder last year, just a few dozen law enforcement agencies across the United States, and the US Army, had uniform policies with religious accommodations allowing Sikhs to serve in accordance with their faith.

“Legacy of Dhaliwal is not far removed, it clearly recognised and acknowledge his service and this is a gift that continues to give in his recognition and legacy,” said Bobby Singh, a Sikh community leader.

In 2009, Dhaliwal was the first Sikh to join the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and in 2015, he became the first Sikh law enforcement officer to be allowed to wear his articles of faith in uniform. He was shot and killed during a traffic stop last year.

“We honour his legacy by honouring his faith here today,” Rosen said.

In the months since Dhaliwal’s death, law enforcement agencies in California, Washington and in Texas have signalled willingness to change their policies, said Manpreet Singh of the Sikh Coalition, which advocates for religious accommodations for minority communities in public and private sectors.

“It makes me proud to be a Houstonian, and a Texan. I hope the rest of the nation follows Texas,” she said.

“I could just hope that I could be half as decent a cop as he ever was, and everything I do, I want people to know that I’m doing it following in his footsteps,” Deputy Singh said.

“He made our community proud,” said Suhel Singh, Deputy Singh’s father.

Singh’s parents were recognised at the ceremony. They told FOX 26 that they were proud to see their son pursue his passion even though it is a dangerous job.

“The way I look at it, maybe it will make me pray harder and be more praying for his protection from God,” said Singh’s mother Sukie Kaur. Singh is now one of just two law enforcement officers in the county wearing a turban.

Amsterdam – Sloterdijk – Schiphol – Den Haag

Amsterdam Sloterdijk – Schiphol
27 December 2019

Platform 12, high level
Sprinter (all stations) to Amsterdam CS

Schiphol Airport Track 5
Intercity to Den Haag Centraal

Den Haag – Delftselaan
28 December 2019

Tram 12 to Station Holland Spoor

Den Haag – Delftselaan
28 December 2019

Tram 11 and 12 to Station Holland Spoor
Tram 6 to Station Den Haag Centraal

Tram 11 to Scheveningen Haven (Harbour)

Tram 6 to Station Den Haag Centraal

More Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Metro UK – Laurence Fox gets ‘history lesson’ on Sikh troops who died for Britain in WWI

Emma Brazell

London – UK, 21 January 2020. Laurence Fox has been given a ‘history lesson’ after claiming Oscar-nominated war epic 1917 is ‘institutionally racist’ due to the inclusion of a Sikh soldier. The English actor, known for his role in Lewis, sparked fury when he said the appearance had ‘diverted’ attention away from ‘what the story is’.

He added that the ‘oddness of the casting’ caused a ‘very heightened awareness of the colour of someone’s skin’. Following the performer’s comments on James Delingpole’s podcast The Delingpod, people online have been educating him on the ‘vital’ role Sikh people played in World War I.

They pointed out that: One in six WWI soldiers were Indian (one in five Sikh) 74,000 Indian soldiers died for Britain in the First World War.

Tell Mama, a national project which records and measures anti-Muslim incidents in the UK, took to Twitter to remind people that thousands of Sikhs from the Indian sub-continent fought and died for Britain in the First World War.

They wrote: ‘History lesson for Laurence Fox: Every sixth British soldier serving in WWI was from the Indian subcontinent, Sikhs made up more than 20% of the volunteer army (close to 1.5m served). ‘74,187 Indian soldiers died and a comparable number were wounded.’

The Twitter thread went onto speak of the importance of Sikh troops in the First Battle of Ypres, fought on the Western Front around Ypres, in West Flanders, Belgium in 1914. It read: ‘Sikh troops were vital in the first battle of Ypres, but their contributions were overlooked.

To read the full article:

Laurence Fox gets ‘history lesson’ on Sikh troops who died for Britain in WWI

Dawn – Hasina, Karzai join criticism of Indian citizenship law

The Newspaper’s Correspondent

New Delhi – India, 20 January 2020. Bangladesh and Afghanistan have opposed India’s controversial law, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which cites the two together with Pakistan as the three neighbours that discriminate against non-Muslim minorities.

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai told The Hindu that the law which excludes Muslims and woos Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis from the three countries for citizenship rights should be extended to everyone equally.

“We don’t have persecuted minorities in Afghanistan, the whole country is persecuted. We have been in war and conflict for a long time. All religions in Afghanistan, Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs, which are our three main religions, have suffered,” Mr Karzai said.

He was speaking to The Hindu during a visit to Delhi where he addressed the inaugural session of the government’s Raisina Dialogue. Mr Karzai said he hoped the sentiment that minorities must be protected “would be reflected in India with regard to other Afghans, who are Muslim, as well.”

Mr Karzai’s comments, differing from New Delhi’s view are significant, given that he has been seen as a strong friend of India. Like many Afghan leaders, Mr Karzai has also lived in India for several years beginning in 1976, and has studied in Shimla.

In December, India’s foreign ministry had clarified that the CAA referred to past attacks against minorities in Afghanistan and that the current government had “substantially addressed the concerns of the minority communities as per their constitutional provisions.”

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, seen as a key regional ally of India’s rightwing Hindu revivalist government, criticised the new law in an interview with Dubai’s Gulf News, saying the new law was not necessary.

Ms Hasina said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had personally assured her that a related new measure, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), was an internal matter of India that would not affect her people.

But the NRC is being implemented in Assam, and is proposed to be extended across the country, with a view to sending back alleged illegal Bangladeshi migrants to their country.

Home Minister Amit Shah has said the proposed countrywide NRC would be used to evict Muslim “termites”.

“We don’t understand why (the Indian government) did it. It was not necessary,” Ms Hasina told Gulf News in Abu Dhabi where she held high-level meetings. The statement is the first by the Bangladesh leader since the disputed law, that has triggered protests across India, was cleared by the Rajya Sabha on 11 December.

During the parliamentary debates, Home Minister Amit Shah repeatedly referred to persecution faced by minority communities, mainly the Hindus, in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan arguing that these groups should get citizenship rights in India. Ms Hasina distanced her country from the line taken by the Indian government.

“It is an internal affair. Bangladesh has always maintained that the CAA and NRC are internal matters of India.

The government of India, on their part, has also repeatedly maintained that the NRC is an internal exercise of India, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has in person assured me of the same during my visit to New Delhi in October 2019,” she said.

Ms Hasina’s government has said that minority communities did not leave her country because of persecution and maintained that there is no reverse migration from India either. “But within India, people are facing many problems,” she declared.