The News – Pakistan to file rejoinder on Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case in ICJ

Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 15 July 2018. Pakistan will file its reply in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on July 17 regarding convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.

India had gone to the ICJ to halt the execution of Jadhav in Pakistan.

Commander Jadhav, an on-duty Indian navy officer working for Indian covert agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan, after he entered into Pakistan from Iran.

Jadhav was tried in a military court which sentenced him to death for espionage and subversive activities.

Geo quoted diplomatic sources saying the reply will be submitted by Foreign Office Director India Dr Fareha Bugti, who is in the The Hague for the purpose. Dr Bugti had also submitted Pakistan’s counter-pleading in December last year.

Sources said Pakistan’s response contains detailed replies to India’s submissions to the international court.

Pakistan’s 400-page reply, a rejoinder to India’s last reply, has been prepared by a team of experts led by the attorney general, sources informed further.

On April 17 this year, India had submitted its reply to the ICJ after the world court, on January 23, directed India to do so.

India had submitted its pleadings to the ICJ on September 13, 2017. The Indian stance was dismissed by Pakistan in its counter-pleadings, which were submitted on December 13 that year.

In its counter-memorial, Pakistan had stated that Jadhav is not an ordinary person as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.

The reply also stated that Jadhav, who was a serving officer of the Indian Navy, does not fall under the purview of the Vienna Convention.


The Tribune – Akali Dal, SGPC to take up Rajoana’s case with Centre

Death row convict firm on starting indefinite fast today

Aman Sood, Tribune News Service

Patiala – Panjab – India, 15 July 2018. A day before the start of the indefinite fast announced by Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict on death row for the assassination of then Chief Minister Beant Singh, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) assured him that they would take up his case with Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

However, Rajoana, who is lodged in the Central Jail here, is adamant on going ahead with the fast.

“I appeal to Rajoana not to sit on a hunger strike as we will meet Rajnath Singh on July 18 and take up his mercy petition,” said SAD MP Prem Singh Chandumajra. “We will appeal to the Home Minister to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment,” he added.

On Saturday, Rajoana had flayed the SGPC and the SAD for not following up on the mercy petition moved on his behalf before the President in 2012.

As per sources, Rajoana said he could not trust the SGPC and the SAD as they had promised to take up his case with the Home Minister two years ago, but had later forgotten about the matter.

Talking to The Tribune, SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal said he had spoken to Rajoana and assured him that the Sikh body would leave no stone unturned to highlight his case before the Centre.

In 2012, the Centre had stayed his hanging two days before the schedule date of March 31 after the President referred the matter to the Union Home Ministry following an Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee petition. Rajoana had refused to file a mercy petition himself.

Talking tough

On Saturday, Rajoana had flayed the SGPC and the SAD for not following up on the mercy petition moved on his behalf before the President in 2012. As per sources, Rajoana said he could not trust the SGPC and the SAD as they had promised to take up his case with the Home Minister two years ago, but had later forgotten about the matter.

The Hindu – With suspect retracting confession, a spy case goes cold

Ramesh Singh is accused of the helping the ISI bug the laptop and tablet of an Indian diplomat in Islamabad

Vijaita Singh

New Delhi – India, 16 July 2018. A suspected ISI agent who was arrested in May for allegedly working for the Pakistani agency while employed as a “cook” in an Indian diplomat’s house in Islamabad has retracted his confessional statement to the police.

The suspect, identified as Ramesh Singh, who was posted in Pakistan from 2015 to 2017, was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad. The police said Singh had confessed to helping bug the laptop and tablet of the diplomat.

Singh’s confession, accessed by The Hindu, says he came into contact with a Pakistani staffer, “Masih”, at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

Singh was posted as a domestic help in the house of the diplomat and gave access to the ISI agents at least on four occasions. “He said that on three occasions, he gave the diplomat’s laptop and tablet to some men waiting in a car outside the house,” a senior police officer said.

The officer said Singh disowned his statement when he was produced before a Lucknow court on July 10 and this would pose difficulty in proving the conspiracy hatched by the ISI.

Aseem Arun, Inspector-General, ATS, confirmed that Singh had denied his statement.

“Masih” got in touch with Singh and initially supplied him pornographic CDs. “He also visited some brothels. He was threatened by the ISI that if he didn’t act on its orders, it would inform the Indian agencies about his acts. The Pakistan agency lured him into a trap and then blackmailed him to do its bidding,” the officer said.

Singh, a resident of Pithoragarh in Uttarkhand, got the job at the diplomat’s house through the reference of a relative who is in the Army.

“The ISI tapped him when he was in Pakistan. He continued to work for it even when he returned to India in September 2017,” the officer said.

An officer said the diplomat was unaware of the espionage activities of Singh till he was arrested. “He never found out that the devices were bugged or that strangers had visited his house,” the officer said.

The police said Singh was found in possession of a list which had the names of officers who were due for promotion and were to be posted in Pakistan.

“Singh was asked to come back to Pakistan as domestic help with any of these officials,” said the officer.
Only evidence

The officer said the list was the only credible evidence found so far from his possession that could link him with the ISI.

“We recovered a Pakistani mobile phone from his house in Uttarakhand but were not able to extract any data from it. The device has been sent to experts to get more details,” the officer said.

The police said Singh’s name surfaced while investigating another espionage racket they busted in May 2017. A Faizabad resident, Aftab Ali, was arrested by the UP police on the basis of information provided by the Military Intelligence. The police said there were common links in both the cases.

“As per our investigation, Singh had conducted reconnaissance of the Air Force Base in Saharanpur and Bareilly. These were smaller tasks given to Singh to check his motivation level. He confessed to the crime within 10 minutes of his arrest,” the officer said.

The Asian Age – Kumaraswamy breaks down, says want to swallow pain of coalition government

“The CM’s post is not a bed of roses, it’s a bed of thorns,” he said where he must work with coalition partner Congress.

Bengaluru – Karnataka – India, 15 July 2018. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy broke down and wept at a party function on Saturday that was held to felicitate his ascent to chief ministership, saying he was finding it difficult to cope with the pressures of office.

“The CM’s post is not a bed of roses, it’s a bed of thorns,” he said where he must work with coalition partner Congress, fend off opposition BJP and satisfy the aspirations of his own party legislators.

“If the pressure gets to me, I’ll have no hesitation in resigning in less than a couple of hours. I’m not after power. I was only interested in becoming CM to save our farmers from debt trap”.

With his eyes filled with tears, he told his fellow partymen: “You may be happy that your elder or younger brother became the CM. But I am not happy. I am keeping in myself all the pain, as the “Vishakanta’ (the receptacle of all poison) People gather in large numbers to listen my speech but they will forget my party at the time of voting.

I do not blame the electorate. I have undergone heart surgery for the second time and my body is working without any rest. I became Chief Minister due to the blessings of my parents and God’s grace and formed the government with the help of Congress”.

Repeatedly wiping his tears away with a handkerchief, Kumaraswamy said: “In 2006, I went against the wishes of my father and gave him a lot of pain. At that time, media was not against him. Now, I do not know what mistake I have committted or which section of society that I have hurt, but they (media) are against him.

This is haunting me. My government waived current loan of farmers up to Rs one lakh which is an additional burden on state exchequer to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore. I did not know whether I did the right thing or the wrong thing. Let the farmers decide if they are happy with my decision.”

“It’s up to to you to decide to give me poison or water. Fisherwomen in Mangaluru have launched a campaign “Kumaraswamy is not our chief minister”. I will come, meet and talk to you in two weeks and you should tell me where I have erred. I want to become ‘Vishakanta’ of coalition government to gulp poison and give nectar to you all.”

Invoking God, Kumaraswamy said nature had been kind towards him as all the dams were full and this has solved problems of farmers.

“Whether anybody supports me or not, Mother Nature is with me. Goddess Chamundeshwari is protecting me. God has given me power and I have no worries if it is snatched away from me at anytime. The Chief Minister’s post is not a bed of roses, it’s a bed of thorns”. – UK preferred trade with India over civil liberty of Sikhs in 1984

Sikh24 Editors

London – UK, 12 July 2018. Shortly after the UK Court’s direction to Cabinet office to declassify documents pertaining to the June-1984 holocaust, it has come to fore that the then UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made several attempts to ban protests erupted in the country following the third holocaust.

It has been found in some newly declassified documents that Thatcher’s foreign secretary, Sir Geoffrey Howe, wanted Scotland Yard to ban protests planned by British Sikh groups, because the protests by Sikhs were considered as a serious risk for Indo-British relations as well as the law & order situation in the UK.

“It will also further intensify the Indian government’s resentment against the UK and unwillingness of HMG (Her Majesty’s government), as they see it, to do anything to curb the activities of Sikh extremists in this country.

Contracts which would be potentially at risk from a trade boycott amount to some 5 billion pounds,” reads a note to the Home Office by Leonard Appleyard, Geoffrey Howe’s private secretary.

It is noteworthy here that the UK was eager to sell its Westland helicopters to India as well as other lucrative arms contracts in 1984.

At one point, Howe even contemplates a change to the UK’s Public Order Act 1936, which prevents a ban on protests unless they pose a threat to public order.

“There are some disturbing details in the new documents about how some British politicians tried to disregard the civil liberties of UK Sikhs in order to secure trade with India.

But overall it is now clear that the Cabinet Office has managed to avoid releasing any more material about Operation Blue Star,” said Phil Miller, the investigative journalist who had sought the declassification of the documents through a freedom of information (FOI) request.

“I think many people will be disappointed by the small scale of disclosure in this case after years of legal proceedings.

This highlights the shortcomings of the UK’s Freedom of Information Act, which desperately needs more powers to allow journalists to probe the intelligence and security agencies, as they can in the US,” said Miller, the author of ‘Sacrificing Sikhs: The need for an investigation’ report released last year.

Dawn – Society: Keeping the Faith

Sher Alam Shinwari

Peshawar – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – Pakistan, 15 July 2018. Battling his way through a crowd of people in the busy Qissa Khawani bazaar, Murad, a student of Peshawar University was running late for iftar at the hostel. It would take him some time before he would be able to reach the university.

He was astonished to see a young Sikh boy approach him out of the blue, inviting him to break his fast at an iftar gathering on the roadside, arranged by the Sikh community for Muslims who were fasting in Ramazan. “I was so impressed to see Sikh community members serving Muslims seated right in the middle of a busy public area,” he says.

On the grass covered with red rugs, neat rows of brightly-patterned dastarkhwans (tablecloths) were laid out and Muslims sat alongside Sikhs waiting for iftar time. Platters of pakoras, samosas, sliced/cubed fruit and dates were being laid out by Sikh volunteers, while others placed pitchers of sharbat and glasses in front of the seated guests, recalls Murad.

“The very next day, as a mark of respect for the Sikh community, I gathered my colleagues on the campus to plan birthday celebrations of Guru Nanak Sahib, the founder of Sikhism,” says Murad.

For the locals of Qissa Khawani, it was a routine event. For more than a decade, a noted Sikh community leader and peace activist, Sardar Charanjeet Singh, and his colleagues have been arranging roadside iftar and other such events to promote religious harmony and bring followers of different faiths closer.

He shared his idea of promoting interfaith harmony among the Sikh, Hindu, Christian, Kalasha and Muslim communities. In liaison with their respective religious scholars in December 2006, a platform called Faith Friends (FF) was formed with members from different faiths and beliefs.

An interfaith organisation strives to keep religious harmony alive in KP

Charanjeet Singh, who was also one of the founding members of the Faith Friends, was shot dead on May 29, 2018, at his grocery store in Peshawar Scheme Chowk, Kohat Road, by unknown assailants, in what the local police termed a targeted killing.

His death was widely condemned by peace activists, political workers, civil society members and religious scholars. He left a legacy in the form of Faith Friends, an offshoot of Pakistan Council of World Religions (PCWR-FF) which was registered with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government in 2009.

Despite such unfortunate incidents of targeted killings and abduction, religious harmony remains intact across KP and the erstwhile Fata. The organisation arranged Eid, Diwali, Christmas, Guru Nanak’s birthday and the Kalasha Chilam Joshi celebrations.

Peace conferences were also organised on the theme of Yaum-i-Ashura, capacity building of youth and women, interfaith dialogue, children and conflict resolution, interfaith harmony and media management as well as drawing and essay writing competition.

Inspired by FF, Ajeet Singh, who hails from the Malik Din Khel Afridi tribe, became a member. He lives with his family in the remote tribal territory of Tirah valley.

A large number of Sikhs, whose ancestors had migrated from parts of India including East and West Punjab in around 1676 AD, still live in Tirah valley, although many of them have moved to Peshawar. Owing to various reasons, they have not returned to Tirah Valley.

Ajeet Singh has an interesting story to tell. In 2011, when a military operation took place in the Tirah valley, residents were asked to evacuate the area. He had to shift his family to Peshawar overnight. “It was a horrible time and I didn’t have any money,” he says.

“I took a loan from my neighbour. Along with several other Sikh families I arrived in Peshawar after a journey of two days and nights and the residents of the city were very helpful to us,” he recalls.

For the locals of Qissa Khawani, it was a routine event. For more than a decade, a noted Sikh community leader and peace activist, Sardar Charanjeet Singh, and his colleagues have been arranging roadside iftar and other such events to promote religious harmony and bring followers of different faiths closer. [centre/italics]

Ajeet Singh approached Ramesh Kumar in Ramdas Bazaar, Peshawar, to find him a house owned by someone from the Hindu community, on rent. As Kumar lived in a rented house that belonged to Amjad Masih, a Christian, he decided to sublet the house, sharing two rooms with Ajeet Singh’s family.

Ajeet Singh, however, was still unable to pay the rent. When Syed Hakim Shah, a resident of Yakatoot locality in Peshawar came to know of Ajeet’s problem, he came to his rescue by offering to pay the rent.

For the next five years, Ajeet Singh lived comfortably at the sublet premises. Two years ago, he relocated to Tirah but still remains in touch with his friends in Peshawar who helped him in his time of need irrespective of their faith.

Ajeet Singh occasionally visits Peshawar to oversee funds and donations organised by his friends Amjad Masih and Syed Hakim Shah. He also participated in the iftar party arrangements.

But that’s not all. The trio of Amjad Masih, Syed Hakim Shah (who now works in the UAE) and Ajeet Singh have established a humble fund to help needy families. So far they have helped 10 families from the Hindu, Sikh and Christian communities by arranging dowries for marrying couples.

According to Qari Roohullah Madni, a noted scholar and former minister for religious affairs in KP during the MMA rule in early 2000s and the current chief of PCWR-FF, the basic aims and objective of FF include ensuring respect for holy places, books and personalities of all religions, working for justice, peace, tolerance and respect among the peoples of KP and elsewhere, irrespective of caste, creed or colour.

“Though there are differences between various faiths, they all have similarities which can be a firm basis to move forward in harmony,” he says.

Madni says FF believes in striving for the enhancement of the socio-economic condition of the people with increased attention to underprivileged communities, to strive for ensuring religious and human rights and values of all communities and honour the opinions and feelings and dignity of others, to further inter-religious discourse and dialogue among the followers of diverse faith communities in Pakistan and elsewhere, and to condemn terrorism in all forms and manifestations.

Prof Dr Qibla Ayaz, former dean of Islamic and Oriental Studies of the University of Peshawar, now the chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) believes that FF has had a huge impact on students.

He says when he was head of the Islamic Centre at University of Peshawar, he would invite religious scholars of Sikhism, Hinduism, Christianity and other sects to deliver lectures to students of MPhil and PhD.

“Since KP is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious province, interfaith harmony and religious tolerance have improved over the years, in spite of a spate of militancy here,” Ayaz claims.

Dawn – Shahbaz, Abbasi among top PML-N leaders booked

Asif Chaudhry

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 15 July 2018. The Punjab government has booked PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, his son Hamza, former prime minister Khaqan Abbasi and 50 other leaders of the party under terrorism and other charges for “inciting” the crowd to violate law.

PML-N spokesperson Ms Marriyum Aurangzeb, former National Assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq and senior leader Javed Hashmi are also among those booked.

The FIR lodged with Lohari police station accuses Shahbaz and former MNA Hamza of pelting the law enforcement agencies officials with stones allegedly with an intention to kill them and hurling life threats.

Cases also against Hamza, Hashmi

The main allegations against the PML-N leaders include damaging public buildings and properties, hurling threats and injuring the law enforcement agencies officials.

They were also accused of interfering in the official work, violating Section 144 of PPC and the code of conduct issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the candidates, besides holding illegal assemblies and rallies.

Lahore police operations wing DIG Shahzad Akbar confirmed to Dawn that a total of 12 FIRs had been lodged against the suspects, including the former prime minister and former Punjab chief minister.

Of them, he said, three each were registered in Civil Lines and Cantonment divisions and two each in City, Saddar and Iqbal Town divisions. All the FIRs carried terrorism charges against the PML-N senior leadership and workers, he added.

“The suspects attacked the police personnel who were present there to provide them security, injured our 20 cops, four Rangers personnel, damaged public property and hurled serious threats at the officials of the law enforcement agencies”, the DIG said.

Denying the allegations of abuse of powers, Mr Shahzad said, the police remained largely on defence line when the suspects, who were equipped with clubs, attacked them in groups at various places in the city.

In an FIR registered with Lohari police station, the government nominated Shahbaz Sharif, his son Hamza and Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, besides 16 other senior leaders, including some former federal ministers.

They included Saira Afzal Tarrar, Azma Bukhari, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Raja Zafarul Haq, Kamran Michael, former lord mayor retired Colonel Mubashir, Bilal Yasin, Mujtaba Shujaur Rahman, Javed Hashmi, Talal Chaudhry, Waheed Alam Khan, etc.

Besides terrorism charges, the police also included 10 sections of the PPC in the FIRs, including section 324, for injuring the policemen.

As per the FIR, these suspects resorted to violence and damaged the containers placed on the road by the law enforcement agencies. It says Mr Shahbaz Sharif and his son Hamza while leading the rallies hurled serious threats at the policemen and other government employees when they tried to stop them.

In Sherakot police station, the FIR was lodged against PML-N leader Rana Mashhood Ahmad, his brother Rana Asad Ahmad and 15 local leaders of the party, besides 150 unidentified men.

A FIR was also lodged with Nawab Town police station against the party leaders including Saifullah Khokhar, Malik Shafi Khokhar, Malik Afzal Khokhar, Irfan Khokhar and 500 party workers and supporters.

Township police nominated 19 party leaders, including PML-N candidate for NA-133 Pervez Malik, besides 250 party workers for damaging public properties and taking out a rally without seeking permission from the relevant authorities.

The PML-N former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa MNA Amir Muqam, ex-MPAs from Punjab Yasin Sohal, Mian Naseer and many other leaders were booked by the South Cantonment police, besides over 200 party workers.

To read the full article:

The Guardian – England finish fourth at World Cup after Eden Hazard seals Belgium win

Saint-Petersburg – Russia, 14 July 2018. There was a collective puffing of cheeks offered up by England’s players at the final whistle, victims of Belgium’s best World Cup showing, but that sense of disappointment will pass quickly enough.

Gareth Southgate’s young and talented squad did themselves proud over this tournament. No other English team has ever bettered the fourth place they have claimed, unexpectedly and joyously, on foreign soil and their achievements are to be celebrated.

The real frustration had been endured in the Luzhniki Stadium in midweek. This afterthought in St Petersburg, a game played amid Mexican waves and those familiar chants of “Rossiya”, should not tint anything that came before.

Southgate will actually have been encouraged by the upbeat tempo his side whipped up after the interval, when weary legs and tired minds might have reduced the whole contest to a plod, and threatened for a while to force parity.

Chances were created, opportunities were missed. Then Eden Hazard, stirred into action and fed by the irrepressible Kevin De Bruyne, danced down-field and settled the occasion.

Some will no doubt argue that England have still to prosper against top quality opposition in competitive action, if, indeed, that is what this was. Belgium have beaten them twice in this tournament and will be received by the crowds in Brussels on Sunday rejoicing in their best ever performance at the World Cup.

Their celebrations at the end, from bench to pitch, reflected a sense of achievement. But, as Southgate had pointed out in the build-up, England never expected to be here. “I’m not sure anyone in our country thought we’d be playing seven matches,” he had offered.

They ended up competing well here, despite a slack opening which left them chasing the game almost from the outset. England’s second half showing demonstrated all the pride and commitment for which Southgate had called.

They were the dominant team after the interval, even if Belgium retained a considerable threat on the break, as demonstrated eight minutes from time by Hazard’s smart finish inside Jordan Pickford’s post.

Yet headers at set-plays would drift wide, and Toby Alderweireld would hook Eric Dier’s clipped finish from the line. The stubborn refusal to wilt, despite having shipping a goal with the game in its infancy, was still admirable and said so much about the spirit of this collective.

The introduction of Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford at half-time had clearly made an impact, but to see the group straining to respond despite weary legs and tired minds was still impressive.

There was actually plenty to admire: from Fabian Delph’s versatility and fine challenge to thwart Thomas Meunier; to Kieran Trippier’s delivery which so stretched even this experienced opposing back-line at times; the substitutes’ zest and a far more impressive showing from Ruben Loftus-Cheek; and Eric Dier’s increased influence in midfield.

It had been the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, one of five changes from the semi-final, who exchanged passes with Rashford midway through the second half to advance on Thibaut Courtois at an angle. His shot was clipped smartly over the goalkeeper, only for Alderweireld to slide in and scramble the effort from under the crossbar.

England’s players massed in front of their supporters after the final whistle, serenaded to the heavens for their efforts, while Belgium prepared to mount the stage to claim their bronze medals. Theirs had been the bite, their ambitions made clear by the reality the wing-backs had combined to force them ahead while the game was still settling into its rhythm.

That reward had stemmed from a Courtois clearance, nodded down by Nacer Chadli for Romelu Lukaku to accept and exploit the gaps in a rejigged England midfield.

His pass inside Trippier for the galloping Chadli to collect was still superbly weighted, with the West Bromwich Albion player – who would depart before the break with hamstring trouble – squaring across the six-yard box.

There appeared Meunier, sprinting in ahead of a startled Danny Rose, to convert beyond Pickford.

The Everton goalkeeper would do well to paw away De Bruyne’s deflected effort, and thrillingly from Meunier’s late volley after a counter-attack crammed with back-heels and precise passing which left England gasping in the vapour trail.

Twice the Manchester City playmaker split England’s back-line with subtle and perfectly weighted passes only for Lukaku’s heavy touch to kibosh the chance. The striker, four times a scorer in Russia, was substituted on the hour-mark and strode off straight down the tunnel, and was even absent in the post-match huddle out on the pitch.

His chances of claiming the golden boot had died here, with that honour surely now Harry Kane’s to celebrate, unless Kylian Mbappe or Antoine Griezmann runs riot in the final. The England captain only really had one sight of goal here, after the excellent John Stones clipped over a fine pass for Raheem Sterling, who squared neatly across the penalty area.

Kane has looked as fatigued as anyone of late, and his standing duly leg gave way as he struck his shot. The effort veered wide of Courtois’s post.

Those misses left England watching the post-game ceremony from the fringes, but they have not been peripheral to this tournament. And it has been a while since the nation has had that to celebrate. Southgate and his players can look back with pride.

The Hindustan Times – Kolkata court issues summons to Shashi Tharoor over ‘Hindu Pakistan’ remark

A petition alleged that Congress leader and former Union minister Shashi Tharoor’s comment created disharmony and was a deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings.

Kolkata – West Bengal – India, 14 July 2018. A Kolkata court has summoned Congress leader and former Union minister Shashi Tharoor for his remark that the BJP will pave the way for creation of a “Hindu Pakistan” if voted to power again, lawyer-petitioner Sumeet Chowdhury said on Saturday.

Chowdhury moved a petition before a metropolitan magistrate’s court on Friday, alleging that Tharoor’s comment created disharmony and was “a deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings”.

Tharoor was also sued under Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (1) M Dasgupta directed issuance of the summons to the Congress leader through post and on his Twitter handle.

The court directed him to appear before it on August 14, the next date of hearing.

In his plea, Chowdhury submitted that Tharoor made a public statement that if the BJP is voted to power in the 2019 general election, the party would turn India into a “Hindu Pakistan”.

In the petition, he said Tharoor has refused to apologise for his remark.

Chowdhury alleged that Tharoor’s statement has hurt the religious sentiments of Indians and was intended to create conflict and disharmony, besides insulting a secular country.

In Thiruvananthapuram, the Lok Sabha member had said at a public gathering that if the BJP returns to power, it would rewrite the Constitution and turn India into a “Hindu Pakistan”.

The Tribune – SGPC contests Maharashtra move on Takht board

Tribune News Service

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 13 July 2018. The Maharashtra government’s move to induct six members into the Takht Hazur Sahib Board at Nanded has invited the SGPC’s ire.

SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal said it was a deliberate attempt to take control of the board.

“We will lodge a protest with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. We will not let the Maharashtra government interfere in our religious affairs. It has amended the Administrative Act, 1956, and added six local government members,” he said.

The Takht Hazur Sahib board has 17 members, of which three are nominated from the local area. Four members from the SGPC, one each from the Maharashtra government, Madhya Pradesh and Chief Khalsa Diwan, and four from the Hazuri Khalsa Diwan are appointed to run the board’s affairs.

The SGPC is not in charge of matters outside the territory of pre-partition Panjab
Neither should any government meddle in Sikh affairs
We have five Takhts, four of them dedicated to just one Guru
Two of those are in areas where very few Sikhs live
Man in Blue