The Indian Express – Devotees use four entrances at Golden Temple [Harmandr Sahib], Health Department says aware of only one

After the lifting of the curfew, devotees have been thronging to the holy shrine again. While social distancing is advised, it is not strictly imposed and further it is not common practice among devotees to cover their faces with masks inside.

Kamaldeep Singh Brar

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 23 May 2020. While four entrances are open for all devotees to enter the premises of the Golden Temple, the state Health Department has been screening devotees only at one. In fact, the Health department has even claimed that it is not aware that devotees have been using any other entrance except the one manned by it.

Nodel Officer for Golden Temple [Harmandr Sahib] and SMO, Mannawala, Dr Nirmal Singh said: “It is not in my knowledge that four entrances are open for the devotees. SGPC hasn’t informed me about it. Our team has been screening devotees at the Plaza entrance.

Sometimes we single out suspected persons who are weak for proper investigation. We have not kept count of number of devotees screened since the corona-virus outbreak.” He added that a 10-member Health Department team is deployed at Harmandr Sahib.

However, SGPC chief secretary Roop Singh said, “Our responsibility is inside the Harmandr Sahib. How the devotees enter the premises and from where they should enter, it is all related to administration and Health Department.”

He added: “We had made it very clear that we cannot stop devotees. We cannot close entrance to the Harmandr Sahib in any way. It is not possible. Administration had imposed curfew in the city. When curfew was imposed strictly, then very few devotees were coming because roads leading to Harmandr Sahib were closed.

We have been taking all the precautions inside the Golden Temple. It is for the administration to decide which path they have to open for the devotees to reach the Golden Temple. Roads belong to administration and they can decide which road to open and which one to close. Devotees will obviously use any open road to reach Harmandr Sahib.”

The Health Department has setup a canopy at the Plaza entrance, however, very small number of devotees have been entering from this side.

Most of the devotees have been entering from the community kitchen [langar] entrance, Akal Takht secretariat entrance and from Darshan Deori just opposite the Akal Takht secretariat entrance.

At all four entrances, SGPC employees are deployed to make devotees sanitise their hands.

At the community kitchen entrance, a “donated” sanitisation tunnel has been placed and SGPC workers along police personnel man this side.

“We try to control the devotees. Sometimes we ask people in queue to wait so that devotees already inside premises can leave and make space for them. We make attempt to control the number of devotees inside the premises,” said an SGPC official.

After the lifting of the curfew, devotees have been thronging to the holy shrine again. While social distancing is advised, it is not strictly imposed and further it is not common practice among devotees to cover their faces with masks inside.

SMO Nirmal Singh added: “Devotees are not in the habit of wearing masks inside the premises. I have observed that many devotees have an issue with wearing masks after entering inside. Maybe, it has to do something with devotion. We don’t know. We haven’t discussed this issue at any meeting.”

An SGPC official added: “We ask all devotees to maintain social distancing and cover their faces with masks. But you cannot force a devotee to do a particular thing inside the Harmandr Sahib premises.

Even outside the Harmandr Sahib, people have been in roaming without masks in the main markets of city. Government should make people strictly wear masks everywhere and then its impact will also be there inside Golden Temple.”

On devotees not wearing masks inside Harmandr Sahib premises, Roop Singh said: “Our employees repeatedly ask people to cover their faces and most of the devotees do cover their faces.”

Amritsar Civil Surgeon Jugal Kishore didn’t respond to repeated calls. Amritsar Deputy commissioner also could not be reached over the issue. – Punjab police cops brutally thrash Sikh journalist Major Singh

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 22 May 2020. Unnecessary glorification of Punjab police cops by the Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has made them so much fearless that they have now started physically assaulting the media persons.

Although, the India-wide police cops keep on crushing the freedom of speech and expression, but now they have also started brutally thrashing journalists by illegally taking them to Police station.

Such an incident has come to fore in Mohali where two police cops namely ASI Om Parkash and Amar Nath forcibly took a Sikh journalist Major Singh to Phase-1 police station of Mohali and brutally thrashed him.

Major Singh works as a correspondent for Rozana Pehredar from Mohali and Chandigarh. He is renowned for his work on Sikh issues.

Available information reveals that Major Singh was seeking Police’s version about the video of a person arrested in relation to a Gurdwara dispute.

The police cops thrashed Major Singh so brutally that he had to admit in a hospital situated in Phase-6 of Mohali.

Meanwhile, Dal Khalsa has strongly condemned the attack on Sikh journalist Major Singh.

Last month, the Punjab police had arrested scores of Sikh youths including a Sikh journalist Bhupinder Singh just for dissenting over Punjab police’s theory on Patiala incident.

Punjab police cops brutally thrash Sikh journalist Major Singh


28 March 2020

Buses to Gent

Still on the Merelbeke side of the railway line,
from Gentbrugge we find ourselves in Melle

Sint-Franciscus-Instituut = SFI

Bus to Bottelare

Merelbeke NMBS station

Merelbeke NMBS station

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Hindustan Times – Devotees offer more wheat to Golden Temple (Harmandr Sahib) langar

The community kitchen [langar], serving meals to the needy, receives double quantity of wheat offering this year as compared to last year

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 23 May 2020. “We have never received such a large quantity of wheat crop earlier from the villagers during the rabi season at Sri Guru Ram Das Langar (community kitchen of Harmandr Sahib) which is witnessing huge heaps of wheat bags offered by the sangat (community) from various parts of Punjab, with the grace of Guru Sahib”.

This was observation of one of the regular volunteers who serves the devotees in the langar, considered as the largest community kitchen in the world offering free food round-the-clock daily to the needy people.

Amid Covid-19 pandemic when many people have become jobless due to the lock-down, the Harmandr Sahib langar has been feeding a large number of people, including stranded migrant workers.

On the other hand, collection of money offered by devotees has witnessed a drastic dip due to lock-down when very few devotees are able to pay obeisance at the holiest Sikh shrine.

The dip in collection had worried the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) as a sizeable portion of it is spent on serving langar (free food). However, the unprecedented response given by the devotees in the form of wheat and other grocery items have lessened the SGPC’s worries.

“Ever since the harvesting season has ended, tractor-trailers, trucks and other vehicles, loaded with langar items, including wheat, are reaching the kitchen daily from the villages in large numbers,” said Sukhbir Singh, manager of the community kitchen.

“Wheat is the most consumed food item in the langar. Last year, around 34,000 quintal wheat flour was consumed in the langar and quantity of wheat grains offered by the sangat during the harvesting season last year was 13,000 quintals. However, nearly 26,000 quintal wheat has been offered by sangat so far this season. And the arrival is going on yet,” said SGPC chief secretary Roop Singh.

“Guru Ka Langar is run with the cooperation of sangat. As community kitchens of all gurdwaras are feeding the needy during the lockdown, the sangat is very enthusiastic to contribute to the service of humanity,” he added.

Kulbir Singh, granthi of a gurdwara in Dhadiala village of Hoshiarpur, who along with villagers came with 33 quintal wheat, said “In my living memory, residents of my village never brought so much wheat to the Harmandr Sahib. Actually, some youths of my village asked all farmers to devote at least one wheat bag in view of the pandemic”.

Captain Tarlok Singh (retd) of village Firoz Singh Wala in Kapurthala district and residents of Chak Allah Baksh village of Mukerian sub-division of Hoshiarpur also said that they have brought wheat and other grocery items for the first time. Jaswinder Singh of Chak Allah Baksh said they brought 500 quintal wheat from their village in the past few days.

Notably, after the record dip in money collection, SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal had appealed to the community to contribute to the kitchen to keep it running without any hassle.

Dawn – Survey to assess damage caused by plane crash in Model Colony begins

Imran Ayub

Karachi – Sindh – Pakistan, 24 May 2020. As rescue workers, security officials and local volunteers completed the tiring job of retrieving bodies from the rubble of the ill-fated Pakistan International Airlines plane that crashed on Friday afternoon, authorities on Saturday start assessing the damage caused by the incident on the ground and counted some 19 houses in Model Colony whose structures had been damaged badly.

Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Ali Shallwani said that a committee assigned by him was conducting a survey and had almost completed its job.

He replied in the affirmative when asked about any compensation to the owners of the damaged houses, but said the final assessment report would determine the details.

“None of the houses was completely destroyed or damaged,” the commissioner told Dawn. “Parts of some house, 15 or so, were damaged. In most of the cases, upper parts of the houses were damaged where their concrete structure was hit by the crashed plane. Fortunately, the structures mostly remained intact.”

He said there were also some vehicles parked in the street of the particular Model Colony area where the PIA crashed. A team would also take their details into account while compiling a report, he said.

Commissioner says government to provide compensation to repair damaged houses

Meanwhile, he requested all bereaved families of the victims of the crash to visit the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University, for DNA sampling. First priority is to be given to parents of the victims, second to their children and third to their siblings, he added.

Governor, aviation minister visit

Earlier, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan visited the site of the plane crash in Model Colony and inspected the damage caused due to the incident.

PIA chief executive officer Arshad Malik, members of the National and Sindh assemblies were also with him.

The governor met with the locals and volunteers engaged in rescue and relief work. PIA chief Arshad Malik informed the governor that all bodies were recovered from the wreckage while two persons were rescued alive after the crash.

He appreciated the quick response of the armed forces and Pakistan Rangers carrying out rescue work.

“On the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan Qasr-e-Naz and Airport Hotel of the PIA have been reserved for legal heirs of crash victim and families who lost their houses in the incident for their accommodation,” he said while talking to reporters.

“On PM’s directives, Rs one million each would be given to the heirs of deceased, while the amount of insurance compensation would also to be paid. It is a miracle that no life was lost on the ground despite the fact that plane crashed in a thickly-populated area.”

Later, the Sindh governor visited the Askari-IV residence of Ansar Naqvi, a senior journalist and director news of a private TV channel, who was among the victims of the plane crash.

“The Sindh governor expressed his condolences to Shehryar and Shazin, sons of the deceased journalist,” said a statement issued from the Governor House.

“The plane crash is a big tragedy and is a great shock especially to the families of the victims. Ansar Naqvi was a senior journalist as well as a very good man who was always ready to teach his juniors.”

He also visited the residence of Yahya Polani, the owner of Polani Travels, and offered condolences to him on the death of his nephew Zain Polani, his wife and three children in a plane crash.

“It’s a great shock to the Polani family as an entire family has [been] affected in the incident,” the statement quoted Governor Ismail as saying.