Associated Press of Pakistan – Pakistani, Kashmiri, Sikh diaspora to hold a massive protest outside Indian High Commission on 26 January 2019

London – UK, 18 January 2020. Pakistani, Kashmiri, Sikh diaspora have announced to jointly organize a massive protest outside Indian High Commission London on 26 January 2020, and mark republic day of India as a “Black day”.

Announcement to this effect was made in Birmingham (UK) at a joint Press conference on Friday convened by Raja Fahim Kayani President Tehreek-E-Kashmir and leaders of the World Sikh Parliament.

The event was attended among others by Ranjit Singh Srai, World Sikh Parliament, Joga Singh, Babbar Akali Organisation, Amrik Singh Sahota, Council of Khalistan, Raja Javed Iqbal, Farooq Azam Tehreek e Kashmir UK and others.

The participants said that India was violating and stealing the independence and basic human rights of Kashmiris, Sikhs and other minorities in the country.

They strongly condemned BJP Government’s new discriminatory citizen Bill of CAA, NRC and NRP.

They also said it was crucial that “we expose the real face of so called Indian democracy in front of the International Community and must participate in the upcoming protest to be held in front of the Indian High Commission, London on 26 January 2020.

They on the occasion urged the Pakistani, Kashmiri and Sikh community to come together and show their support for the Kashmir cause, Khalistan and humanity itself.

Pakistani, Kashmiri, Sikh diaspora to hold a massive protest outside Indian High Commission on Jan 26

The Tribune – Punjab passes anti-CAA resolution

Assembly terms new law ‘inherently discriminatory’, seeks its repeal

Vishav Bharti – Tribune News Service

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 17 January 2020. The Punjab Assembly on Friday adopted by voice vote a resolution seeking immediate repeal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, describing the legislation “inherently discriminatory” and a “negation of the secular fabric on which the Constitution of India is based”.

The resolution, which termed the CAA as divisive and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution, was introduced in the House by Cabinet Minister Brahm Mohindra, and witnessed extensive discussion.

Pointing to the omission of Muslims and other communities such as Jews from the ambit of citizenship under the CAA, the resolution asked for a repeal of the Act “to avoid any discrimination on the basis of religion in granting citizenship and to ensure equality before law for all religious groups in India.”

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh

What is happening in this country? We need to learn from history. In the 1930s, the same happened in Europe. First, they were against communists, then they were against Jews. This is religious cleansing.

Concluding the debate, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh termed the “divisive Act” as a tragedy that he was “unfortunate to witness in his lifetime”. “What happened in Germany under Hitler in 1930 is happening in India now.

Germans did not speak then, and they regretted it, but we have to speak now, so that we don’t regret later,” he asserted.

“Where will all those people, who you brand as non-citizens, go? Where will the 18 lakh people declared illegal in Assam go if other countries refuse to take them? Has anyone thought about it? Has the Home Minister even thought about what has to be done with the so-called illegal people?

Where will the poor people get their birth certificates from?” asked the Chief Minister, declaring that “we all have to live together as citizens of secular India in our own interest.”

People of all faiths have harmoniously lived together in this country all these years, and Muslims have given their lives for this country, said the Chief Minister, citing the example of Indian Army soldier Abdul Hamid, who received the Param Vir Chakra posthumously for his actions during the Indo-Pak war of 1965, just like many others.

Earlier Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, who started the debate, said that before dividing people on communal lines, the country must learn from Punjab’s experience which paid the price with ten lakh lives during the Partition. He said people of Punjab “don’t accept injustice.”

Sputnik – Sikh rights group wants USA commission to single out India for ‘Religious Persecution’

New Delhi – India, 17 January 2020. A Sikh rights group, Sikhs for Justice, has given a briefing to the USA Commission on International Freedom (USCIF) on issues including the recently enacted citizenship law, suspension of communication in the restive Jammu and Kashmir region and alleged persecution of the Sikh community in India.

The rights group which has been actively working for the Khalistan Movement, demanding a separate independent country for the Sikh community, has appealed to the Commission to place India on the Tier 1 list that recognises states with the harshest level of repression.

“Citing the worsening religious persecution of Muslims, Sikhs and other minorities, we have urged the USCIRF to place India on the Tier 1 Countries list during its next assessment report on the condition of religious freedom around the world,” said attorney of the human rights group Gurpatwant Singh Pannum.

The group drew the Commission’s attention to protests over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, that have caused clashes and vandalism leading to hundreds of people being injured and 25 killed.

The law, which provides citizenship to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, has been opposed by several political parties and civil rights groups that say it is discriminatory.

“The problem that remains overlooked, is that the core of the problem lies within the Constitution of India itself, which is neither truly secular nor does it protect or treat people of non-Hindu faiths equally,” said the letter to the Commission, describing the lack of religious freedom for Muslims in India.

“What Muslims are facing in India today, the Sikh community has been facing since 1950 when they were labelled as Hindus in the Constitution,” it further stated.

Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a USA-based group launched Referendum 2020, seeking a separate homeland for Sikhs, a “Khalistan” in the Indian state of Punjab.

India’s federal government has banned SFJ as a separatist group, on the grounds of its secessionism and alleged anti-national activities.

The Asian Age – Nation is facing difficult times, bring peace: Supreme Court

The government has expressed the fear that different high courts may pronounce conflicting judgments.

New Delhi – India, 10 January 2020. The Supreme Court on Thursday said efforts should be made to douse frayed tampers in the wake of the agitations against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and to normalise the situation.

“As it is the country is going through difficult times. The object should be to bring about peace. Such petitions don’t help that. There is a presumption of the constitutionality of law”, said Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, who was heading a three-judge bench which comprised Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant.

The strong observation from the bench came in the course of the hearing of a petition by one Puneet Kaur Dhanda seeking a declaration that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was not constitutional.

“We have never heard of a petition like this, to declare an act as constitutional,” the Chief Justice said, adding: “The job of the court is to determine the validity of a law, not declare it constitutional.” The CJI then permitted the petitioner to withdraw the plea, with the liberty to intervene in a similar matter which the court is seized with.

On Friday, the Supreme Court is likely to hear the Centre’s plea seeking the transfer of all cases which are the challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act pending before high courts across the country.

The Centre has sought the transfer of cases contending that the Supreme Court is already seized of the matter as 60 petitioners have challenged the law that has led to protests across the country. The government has expressed the fear that different high courts may pronounce conflicting judgments.

The Supreme Court had on 18 December 18 sought a response from the Centre on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the amended citizenship law that provides for the grant of Indian citizenship to illegal migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Christian and Parsi religions, barring Muslims.

The court will hold a further hearing on 22 January, when it will also consider the plea for a stay of the law which has been described by one of the petitioners as contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.

AlJazeera – Recipe for solidarity: How Indian protesters are being fed

Individuals and groups come forward to arrange for food and beverages as protests enter second month.

New Delhi – India, 16 January 2020. A group of Sikh farmers from the northern state of Punjab arrived at New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, picked a spot under a pedestrian bridge, and began to unpack its wares, a gas stove, huge utensils, and provisions and fired up a community kitchen, or “langar”.

Shaheen Bagh is the epicentre of ongoing protests, led by Muslim women, against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), an amendment to Indian citizenship law 1955 that is seen as anti-Muslim.

The Sikhs, helped by the protesting women who rolled “chapati” (bread) for them while continuing their sit-in, prepared breakfast and lunch for more than a 1,000 people, including children, protesting against the CAA, which was passed last month.

The new law aims to grant Indian citizenship to “persecuted” minorities from Muslim-majority Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan while blocking naturalisation for Muslims.

Muslims see their exclusion from the law that makes religion the basis of citizenship as yet another attempt by the Narendra Modi government to “marginalise” them.

Coupled with a proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), the community fears the moves are intended to strip millions of Indian Muslims of their citizenship. Poeple from other disadvantaged caste and gender identities, as well as women, are vulnerable before NRC.

Since December 11 when the law was passed, millions of citizens across India have rallied against the CAA despite prohibitory orders and a brutal police crackdown, in which at least 28 people have been killed.

An act of kindness

Marching alongside the protesters, with no pomp or waving banners, is an army of people providing them with food and beverages.

At New Delhi’s India Gate, the iconic World War I memorial, on a windy December evening, the mercury dropped to a chilly 13 degrees Celsius. But that did not deter 44-year-old Mohammad Fuaad from leaning on a yellow police barricade and calling out to passers-by, holding out a rectangular packet.

“Biryani le leejiye, Sir, veg biryani (Please have biryani, Sir, it’s vegetarian biryani),” he called out, assuring people that the rice had been cooked with potatoes instead of meat, to avoid any trouble at a time when meat and the eating of it has become deeply polarised in light of rising Hindu nationalism under the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Fuaad was not trying to sell his biryani, he was offering it for free. In a space barricaded before the British-era monument, thousands of protesters were reading the preamble to the Indian constitution on a loop.

Sikh community people are preparing kheer for the Shaheen Bagh protesters.[centre/italics]

“You know, a dark law has been brought in to threaten India’s unity and integrity, and students from across the universities are standing up against it,” said Kamran Khan, Fuaad’s colleague from Khidmat Foundation, a social welfare collective.

“We have come here to support them in this mission,” Khan, who lived in the older part of the Indian capital, told Al Jazeera.

At approximately 8 pm, when police asked the protesters to wrap up, Khidmat’s 80 kilogrammes (176 pounds) of biryani were almost finished. Its fiery aroma lingered and met that of a winter comfort few metres away: “Chai langar” or tea offering by members of Khalsa Aid, a Sikh charity organisation.

“At a protest like this where people are there regardless [of their identities], I saw this as an act of kindness,” said 26-year-old Manpreet Kaur, who works as a travel agent.

Community bonds

Amarpreet Singh, Khalsa Aid’s managing director in the Asia Pacific region, told Al Jazeera it was the brutal police violence at two predominantly Muslim institutions, New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia university (JMI) and Uttar Pradesh state’s Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), that caused them to step in.

In near-simultaneous attacks on the evening of 15 December police stormed the two campuses 130km (80 miles) apart, firing tear gas and live ammunition, attacking students with batons, and vandalising property. More than 100 students were wounded in the attacks, one losing an eye and another a limb. Students at both universities had been protesting against CAA.

Ishita Dey, food anthropologist and assistant professor of sociology at New Delhi’s South Asian University, told Al Jazeera that food is one of the oldest forms showing solidarity across communities.

“From natural disasters to conflict situations, the first thing you distribute is food,” she said.

In India, Dey said there is “resistance to partaking of food” between different communities because of the “rules of inter-dining, specifically prohibitions around exchange of water and cooked food”.

But the anti-CAA protesters are subverting such ideas, thereby challenging the divisive rhetoric of Prime Minister Modi.

Protest is a tiring thing

Ghazala Meer is a 26-year-old woman from the Ladakh region (it was carved out of Indian-administered Kashmir in August) participating in protests across New Delhi.

“To go to a protest is a very tiring thing, it’s not something you would do for fun. You identify with a certain set of ideas and go stand for them,” she told Al Jazeera.

Meer said the availability of food at such protests brings a sense of comfort and togetherness. “It isn’t just for a certain group of people, but for everybody,” said Meer.

Activist Umar Khalid, who is frequently seen demonstrating, said it is not unusual for people to offer food to protesters, but the scale of support in the ongoing protests is unprecedented.

“Because the attack is on the very citizenship of every citizen of this country, everyone wants to contribute,” he told Al Jazeera.

At Shaheen Bagh, hundreds of female protesters are shaking up India’s traditional domestic makeup as they brave New Delhi’s coldest winter in a century, standing at the front of resistance while men support from the sidelines, cooking and caring for them.

A dozen men in their early 20s are watching over a huge pot bubbling with “secular chai (tea)”. A banner hangs over their spot: ‘Secular Chai – Made in India’.

Ajaz Ahmad, 23, said their branding of the tea is a protest against Modi, who had based his 2014 election campaign on the claim that he worked as a tea-seller in his childhood.

“Chaiwaley, teri chai unsecular hai (Tea-seller, your tea is unsecular),” Ahmad said.

Hesitant to claim credit

However, many of those offering food and beverages are hesitant to claim credit.

Khidmat’s Kamran Khan said about his support: “It would be like getting a finger sliced and being counted as a martyr,” suggesting that his was a modest contribution to the movement.

On December 19 at New Delhi’s iconic protest site, Jantar Mantar, 28-year-old artist Daamini K was offered bottled water and bananas by a man in his 30s.

“I asked who is it by and he said, ‘it is by all of us’,” she told Al Jazeera.

The same day, Mumbai-based writer-photographer Anagh Mukherjee was offered water by a middle-aged man when he was marching with tens of thousands of people.

“I was really moved by the gesture because they were doing it to keep everyone charged,” Mukherjee said.

In West Bengal state’s North 24 Parganas district, anti-CAA protesters made food their mode of protest by blocking off a section of the highway and cooking biryani on an industrial scale.

Not all gestures are that large, 36-year old researcher Anusha Pandey (name changed upon her request) carried biscuits with her to a protest, anticipating detention by police in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad city. She did end up being detained, along with 200 others.

“I ate and distributed them [biscuits] among the fellow detainees, just two, three packets, nothing very large scale,” Pandey said.

The recipe for protest food

Protest food involves money; the logistics of preparing, sourcing and transporting food; and its distribution. Individuals, collectives, and strangers banding together are the spine of this protest infrastructure.

For nearly a month now, Mohamad Anas, a former student at Jamia Millia Islamia, has not gone to work at his disability rights advocacy organisation. He spends nearly 4,000 rupees daily to supply 30 litres (8 gallons) of tea at the protest outside one of the university’s gates.

Anas has a locomotor disability and utilises his specialised four-wheeled scooter to hold the large steel containers in which he fetches tea from sellers in nearby Sukhdev Vihar. His friends help too.

“I do whatever my financial condition allows to ensure that students here can protest peacefully and with ease,” Anas told Al Jazeera. He also offers tea to more than 150 police and paramilitary personnel stationed there.

Abdul Rahman, a 42-year-old baker, is funding his food drive through Nawa-e-Haque, a social welfare organisation he is part of. Neighbours contribute in kind for the protest food he prepares at his bakery.

“I come here [to the Jamia protest] around 4pm every day since I saw the kids injured and hungry at the hospitals on the night of December 15,” said Rahman, his voice cracking and tears streaming down his face. He gestured to say he could not speak any more.

His colleague’s 17-year-old son Saadiq Ghazi takes over. Ghazi has taken time off his grade 12 exam preparations to help with the protests. “Between my father’s five friends and their sons, we’re a team of 10-15 people on any day,” he said.

Others like Bushra Khan run crowdfunding efforts. A shoebox acts as a donation box, with a jagged slot cut into the cardboard; it sits on the table she serves tea and snacks from at the Jamia gate.

Back at Shaheen Bagh, where a round-the-clock protest by women has become emblematic of the anti-CAA and NRC movement, area residents have come together.

When 45-year-old Hussain Khan, who reserves his food support for specific groups, women, children, the elderly, artists, and journalists, realises that his biscuit carton has lightened, he waves to 18-year-old Amaan Saifi to go buy another carton.

“We’re both from Shaheen Bagh but I didn’t know him before these protests,” Saifi told Al Jazeera. At India Gate, as Fuaad packs off his empty biryani containers, he reveals his reason for charity and solidarity with the protesting students.

“When they are in positions of power in future, I believe they will be more involved with humanitarian causes.” – ‘Ready to hold referendum in PoK, let people of Kashmir decide what they want,’ says Pakistan PM

Imran Khan invited people from all parts of the country to visit Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and assess the human rights situation there.

Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 17 January 2019. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said Islamabad is willing to hold a referendum in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to give people the right to decide whether they want to remain in the country or be independent.

“Let the people of Kashmir decide what they want,” he said in an interview with Deutsche Welle. “Pakistan is ready for a referendum or a plebiscite. Let them decide whether they want to remain with Pakistan or to be independent. We are all for it.”

He said people from all parts of the country are invited to visit PoK to assess the human rights situation in the region. “Azad Kashmir holds free and fair elections and it elects its own government,” Khan said. “Like any other administration, they have their problems.

But as I said, let us invite observers from all over the world. I assure you that they can go to the Pakistan side of Kashmir but won’t be allowed on the Indian side.”

Khan lashed out at the Narendra Modi-led government and compared the ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to that of the Nazis. “Just as the Nazi ideology was built on hatred for minorities, the RSS ideology is also based on hatred for Muslims and other minorities, including Christians,” he said.

The prime minister said India has been taken over by an extremist ideology known as “Hindutva” and alleged that the country is also run by extremists. “It is a tragedy for India – and for its neighbours – that the country has been taken over by the RSS, an organisation which also assassinated the great Mahatma Gandhi,” Khan claimed.

“A nuclear-armed country is being run by extremists, and Kashmir has been under siege for over five months.”

He said the situation in Kashmir received little international attention, claiming that commercial interests are more important for Western countries.

“India is a big market and that is the reason behind the lukewarm response to what is happening to some 8 million people in Kashmir, as well as to minorities in India,” he said.

Khan also spoke about the Citizenship Amendment Act and said it was “blatantly against minorities”. He pointed that these matters were raised when he spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and later she issued a statement in November that the situation in Kashmir is “not sustainable”.

Tensions between India and Pakistan have ratcheted up since New Delhi abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5 and divided it into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Pakistan, which has fought three wars with India for Kashmir since Independence, did not take the decision well. Pakistan responded by suspending trade with India, downgrading bilateral ties and sending back its envoy. It also approached several international bodies, including the United Nations.

BBC News – Why protesting Indians are chanting the Constitution

Soutik Biswas, India correspondent

India, 14 January 2020. For more than a month now, men and women, young and old, have gathered in large numbers on streets and university campuses across India to protest against a new citizenship law which they believe is discriminatory.

There, they have been invoking the Constitution and chanting its solemn preamble, which promises justice, equality and fraternity and embodies the basic features of the nation’s founding document.

The mass readings have revealed a deeper public engagement with the Constitution than commonly thought. So far most believed the Constitution hadn’t travelled much in the public imagination beyond dreary classroom lessons.

India’s Constitution, which took four years to write, is the world’s longest founding document. The text governs more than a billion people who practise almost every mainstream religion.

The voluminous document contains more than 450 Articles and 12 Schedules and is painstakingly detailed. It is also, according to legal scholar Upendra Baxi, an “unparalleled exercise in verbosity”, with the text scaling some “extraordinarily ludic heights”.

Article 367, for example, makes it clear that a foreign state “means a State other than India”. The text has been amended more than 100 times since 1950.

Born in the aftermath of a bloody partition and independence, and written amid differences over the “religious and national vision” of what India should be, the Constitution is a remarkable document.

In trying to forge a national identity, the draft was debated fiercely and the document wrestled with questions relating to moulding a national identity in one of the world’s most ethnically diverse countries. Critics say the Constitution was largely based on western ideas and written by western-educated elites.

The preamble itself, according to scholars, was a compromise between a range of groups and interests and borrowed from colonial laws.

Seventy years later, the Constitution appears to be igniting the minds of ordinary Indians in a way not seen and heard of in the recent past.

But many scholars believe the document has always had a deep engagement with Indians. As Rohit De, an assistant professor of history at Yale University, explains in his extraordinary book, A People’s Constitution, the document mattered to its citizens, and “constitutional engagement included large number of ordinary Indians, often from minorities or disprivileged groups”.

Dr De writes about how thousands of ordinary Indians from all walks of life have invoked the Constitution in the courts ever since Mohammed Yasin, a young Muslim vegetable seller in north India, petitioned the Supreme Court in 1950, saying his rights to trade and an occupation, guaranteed by the document, had been violated by the authorities who had granted a single merchant a monopoly over the local vegetable trade.

But the ongoing engagement is much wider.

“There are two aspects that make the current engagement remarkable: first, its widespread extent, cutting across a range of demographics. In the 50s, particular groups argued that the Constitution protects them, but today diverse demographics make the case for the Constitution protecting everyone. The second, of course, is the profound focus on the preamble as opposed to specific rights,” Dr De told me.

The unprecedented reading of the preamble, he says, evokes the pro-Independence civil disobedience protests, when Indians marched, sang songs and recited a pledge of independence challenging British rule. “The protestors argued that power need not be given, but was taken by the people themselves,” he says.

Many believe that citizens have taken to the Constitution partly because the Narendra Modi-led ruling Hindu nationalist BJP government has painted almost all opposition to its policies as “anti-national”.

“By using the constitution, the protestors can continue to assert their patriotism, use national symbols and songs and challenge the discourse of ‘anti-nationalism’ with constitutional patriotism,” Dr De says.

Also, many believe, people are invoking the Constitution to express their displeasure with the “failure of the courts” – especially the Supreme Court – in not being transparent and its “weakening record” on civil liberties.

They say the top court, which has built a reputation for itself as a defender of constitutionalism against the executive, seems to have become muted when facing a government with a huge parliamentary majority like the BJP.

“It is this absence of the court as the defender for civil liberty and constitutional processes, that is forcing ordinary citizens to step in and champion the Constitution.” says Dr De.

Last month, 40 lawyers gathered in the lawns of the Supreme Court in Delhi and read out the preamble. And the Communist government in the southern state of Kerala announced that it would make the reading of the preamble compulsory during the morning assembly in schools.

“All this is very important and powerful. It aims to engage and articulate what India as a nation means,” says Madhav Khosla, legal scholar and author of India’s Founding Moment: The Constitution of a Most Surprising Democracy. “I don’t think there is any precedence.”

The Tribune – 1984 riots: Sikh passengers dragged out of trains & killed, police arrested no one from spot, says SIT

New Delhi – India, 15 January 2020. Sikh passengers were dragged out of trains and killed at railway stations in Delhi during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots but the police did not arrest anyone from the spot saying that they were outnumbered, a Supreme Court appointed SIT has said in its report.

The report of the SIT, headed by retired Delhi High Court judge Justice S N Dhingra, which supervised a further probe into 186 cases said that there were five cases of killings by rioters who had attacked Sikh passengers travelling on trains and on railway stations.

It said these incidents had happened on 01 and 02 November 1984, at five railway stations of Delhi – Nangloi, Kishanganj, Dayabasti, Shahdara and Tuglakabad.

“In all these five cases, police was informed about the rioters having stopped the train and attacking Sikh passengers. The Sikh passengers were dragged out of trains and were beaten to death and burnt. The dead bodies were found scattered on the platforms and the railway lines,” the report said.

“The police had not arrested any of the rioters from the spot. The reasons for non-arrest were shown that the police was in very small number and that the rioters, after seeing police, had ran away,” it said.

It said that perusal of files revealed that FIRs were not registered by police incident-wise or crime-wise and instead, several complaints were clubbed in one FIR.

The report said that the then Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) had sent 337 complaints received by him soon after the riots to Sultan Puri Police station but an “omnibus” FIR was lodged in respect of all these incidents and thereafter all other complaints of killing and rioting were added in the same FIR.

It said one such FIR had complaints regarding 498 incidents and only one investigating officer was assigned to the case.

“In a few cases, FIRs were registered on the basis of a note given by a police official to SHO (station house officer) stating about a victim identifying a person as rioter and also giving the name and address of victim,” it said.

“All these cases were closed on the ground that victim did not confirm to the information. It is obvious that these cases were registered by the police to give clean chit to certain persons,” the report said.

It said that hundreds of affidavits were received by Justice Ranganath Misra Commission in respect of killing, arson, looting done by the rioters with named accused persons.

“Instead of directing registration of FIRs on the basis of these affidavits directly to the respective police stations and ordering investigation, committees after committees were formed and this further delayed registration of cases for years,” it said.

Regarding an FIR lodged at Kalyan Puri police station here, the report said police had clubbed various cases and sent a ‘challan’ (police report) in respect of murder of 56 persons but the trial court had framed charges only in respect of killing of five.

“It is not known why charges were framed only for five murders and not 56 murders and why trial court did not order separation of trial for each incident of crime,” it said.

“It is also seen from the perusal of judgements found in these files that when the witness stated in the court that she had seen the incident and can identify the culprits, the public prosecutor did not even ask her to identify the rioters out of several accused persons present in the court,” it said.

“The judge conducting the trial, having ample power under section 165 of Evidence Act to ask the questions to the witnesses, also did not bother to ask the witness as to who out the accused persons present in the court were among the rioters and had committed riots,” the report said.

The apex court had set up the SIT, also comprising retired IPS officer Rajdeep Singh and serving IPS officer Abhishek Dular, in January 2018. However, Singh had declined to be part of the team on personal grounds.

Large-scale riots targeting members of the Sikh community had broken out in the national capital in the aftermath of the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh security guards on the morning of October 31, 1984. The violence had claimed 2,733 lives in Delhi alone.

No spontaneous riots but pogroms organised by Congress
Man in Blue – Hate Crime: California’s Gurdwara Sahib defaced with Swastika graffiti symbol

Sikh24 Editors

Sacramento – California – USA, 15 January 2020. Although there is a decline in the overall count of hate crimes incidents in the United States of America, but the incidents of hate crimes against Sikhs have not declined during the past few years. Within a month after an attack on Sikh taxi driver, another incident of hate crime against Sikhs came to fore during the morning hours of 14 January.

A Gurdwara Sahib named Guru Maneyo Granth, which is situated in Orangevale (California), was reportedly defaced with Swastika sign and the words “White Power” by some unidentified elements during the intervening night of 13 and 14 January.

The police officials have recorded statements of the Granthi (priest*) of Guru Maneyo Granth Gurdwara Sahib

Meanwhile, the Indian-American Congressman Dr Ami Bara has strongly condemned the racist graffiti spray painted at a Sikh house of worship in Orangevale.

“The California’s 7th congressional district is a community of diversity and inclusion, and the Sikh community is an integral part of it,” he said.

The swastika (as a character, 卐 or 卍, respectively) is a geometrical figure and an ancient religious icon in the cultures of Eurasia.

In the Western world, it was a symbol of auspiciousness and good luck until the 1930s when it became a feature of Nazi symbolism as an emblem of the so-called Aryan race.

As a result of World War II and the Holocaust, most people in Europe and the Americas associate it with Nazism and anti-Semitism.

A granthi is not a priest, he/she is a reader of the Guru Granth Sahib. There are no priests in Dikhi !   

Hate Crime: California’s Gurdwara Sahib defaced with Swastika graffiti symbol