Sikh24.com – Against India’s occupation of Kashmir, Sikh and Tamil groups to hold public demonstration in Delhi on 26 September

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 16 September 2019. Perturbed over the stubborn attitude of the Indian government with regards to the situation in Kashmir, its unrelenting role of disrespecting human rights in the region where the special status of the people and the state has been unilaterally abrogated, political parties from Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kashmir will hold Justice March and Rally in Delhi on 26 September.

The March and rally will be organized jointly by Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and Dal Khalsa in which representatives of United Akali Dal, Sikh Youth of Punjab will also participate.

Leaders and activists of political party Naam Tamilar Katchi from Tamil Nadu and Committee for Release of Political Prisoners from Delhi will also participate in the public demonstration at Jantar Mantar on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the UN General Assembly, scheduled for 27 September.

While addressing the press conference in Chandigarh on 15 September, leaders of all the parties declared that minorities and nationalities will speak in India’s capital to uphold the right of the Kashmiris to speak.

While Prime Minister of India will present his side of story on Kashmir’s so-called integration into India at the United Nations session, we will speak on behalf of the population, who have been detained at gunpoint and their lives paralyzed since 05 August.

The leaders announced that in India they would hold the demonstration and at international level our aligned group Sikh Youth of America and our own organizational units in US will join with Sikh, Tamil and Kashmiri Diaspora outside UN headquarters to protest against India’s highhandedness against minorities and lockdown in Kashmir.

SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann said with more than 40 days of continued incarceration of an entire population of the valley, concerned political groups, human rights bodies, civil liberties champions and those who love Kashmir as much as they love Kashmiris have decided to converge on Jantar Mantar to express their solidarity with the people of Kashmir and protest against the continued subjugation by the Indian state.

This Justice Rally will serve as a rallying point to unequivocally declare that the problem of Kashmir, the rights of the people of Kashmir is an international issue and not a bilateral one as India, the Security Council or the United Nations think it to be, said Dal Khalsa head Harpal Singh Cheema.

While we are comforted that the United Nations is raising its pitch of consternation against India on the overall situation in Kashmir, there is still a vast room to do more, added party spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh.

UAD president Gurdeep Singh Bhatinda said the whole country is shrouded in fear. Opposition parties, non-governmental groups, individual human rights defenders are all reeling under the stress caused by the Indian state.

A state of numbness, pseudo-nationalistic and ultra-nationalism is sweeping the country, said Paramjit Singh Mand, president of Sikh Youth of Punjab.

Against India’s occupation of Kashmir, Sikh and Tamil groups to hold public demonstration in Delhi on Sep 26

Christian Today – Justin Welby warns against ‘misuse of power’ in visit to site of Indian massacre

Staff writer

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 11 September 2019. The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken of his shame and sorrow over the horrific massacre of men, women and children at Jallianwala Bagh, India, a hundred years ago.

The tragedy, also known as the Amritsar massacre, took place on 13 April 1919, when British forces opened fire on the unarmed crowds, killing at least 400 people, including 41 children.

In a moving visit to the site of the massacre, Justin Welby lay face down at a memorial remembering the victims.

Speaking to reporters at the site, he said: “The souls of those who were killed and wounded, of the bereaved, cry out to us from these stones and warn us about power and the misuse of power.”

He continued: “This is a place of both sin and redemption beause you have remembered what they have done and their names will live, their memory will live before God.

“And I am so ashamed and sorry for the impact of this, for this crime committed here.”

The massacre has remained a sore point in UK-India relations. While the British Government has in the past spoken of its “deep regret” over the incident, it has never offered a formal apology.

The Archbishop stressed that he was speaking in his capacity as a religious leader and not on behalf of the British Government.

He also took time to visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar, a major pilgrimage site for the world’s Sikhs.

“It’s been a real honour to visit the Golden Temple in #Amritsar, the holiest site for the Sikh faith,” the Archbishop said.

“I’m constantly inspired by the commitment of Sikhs to serving others, the amazing langar kitchen here serves free meals around the clock to 50,000 people a day.”

https://www.christiantoday.com/church/justin-welby-warns-against-misuse-of-power-in-visit-to-site-of-indian-massacre/133195.htm

Dawn – Kartarpur corridor opening for India’s Sikhs in November

Kartarpur – Panjab – Pakistan, 17 September 2019. A corridor for Indian Sikh pilgrims travelling to a shrine in Pakistan will open in early November, in time for one of the religion’s most sacred festivals.

The visa-free border crossing from India to Kartarpur, Pakistan, would be inaugurated on Nov 9, just ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Baba Guru Nanak on 12 Nov 2019, Pakistani project director Atif Majeed said on Monday.

The project is a rare recent example of cooperation between the two nuclear powers, who came close to war in February following a militant attack on police in India-held Kashmir. India revoked the special status of its portion of the disputed territory last month, inflaming relations once again.

The Sikh minority community in India’s northern state of Punjab and elsewhere has long sought easier access to the temple in Kartarpur, a village just over the border in Pakistan. The temple marks the site where the guru died.

To get there, travellers currently must first secure hard-to-get visas, travel to Lahore or another major Pakistani city and then drive to the village, which is just four kilometres from the Indian border.

Instead of visas, the Sikh pilgrims will be given special permits to access the shrine.

Indian pilgrims will pay Pakistan $20 to use the corridor, which includes roadways, an 800-metre bridge over the River Ravi and an immigration office.

Up to 5,000 Indians will be allowed access daily, with plans to eventually double the capacity, Majeed said.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1505591/kartarpur-corridor-opening-for-indias-sikhs-in-november

BBC News – Four Indian men drown in Italian farm manure tank near Pavia

Four Sikh men from Punjab have drowned in a slurry tank on a dairy farm near Pavia in northern Italy.

Pavia – Lombardia – Italia, 13 September 2019. Investigators suspect that the four were overcome by carbon dioxide fumes from the cow manure. They believe that three died after jumping in to rescue a worker who had been emptying the tank.

Two owned the farm and two were employees. All were Indian citizens. The two brothers Prem and Tarsem Singh registered their farm in 2017.

It is about 45km (28 miles) from Milan.

Italian media report that the Singhs’ farm at Arena Po, producing milk and veal cattle, is one of the biggest in the Pavia region.

The victims were named as: Prem and Tarsem Singh, aged 48 and 45 respectively, Arminder Singh (29) and Majinder Singh (28).

The manure was being collected for use as fertiliser on the farm’s fields.

The victims’ wives raised the alarm when the men failed to turn up for lunch on Thursday. They rushed to the scene and spotted one body in the sewage.

The wives then called in firefighters, who donned masks and emptied the tank to recover all the bodies.

Italy’s public broadcaster Rai says the Arena Po tragedy brings to 486 the total of deaths in work accidents in Italy this year – the highest toll since 2016.

The new agriculture minister, Teresa Bellanova, tweeted condolences and said “safety at work is an inalienable right and we must make every effort to ensure it is respected”. She was a farm labourer herself as a teenager.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49687248

The Asian Age – Indian Mission in Italy alerted about death of 4 Sikh men: S Jaishankar

According to British media reports, investigators suspect that the four were choked to death by carbon dioxide fumes from cow manure.

New Delhi – India, 14 September 2019. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday that the Indian Mission in Italy have been alerted to extend all help in the case of four Sikh men from Punjab who died after drowning in a slurry tank at a dairy farm near the northern Italian town of Pavia.

“We have alerted our Embassy @IndiainItaly to extend all help,” the External Affairs Minister wrote on Twitter while retweeting a post of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on the same issue.

“Saddened to hear about the death of 4 Punjabi men drown in a farm manure tank near Pavia, Italy. Request @DrSJaishankar to instruct the Indian Mission in Italy to help get the mortal remains back to India,” Amarinder Singh had tweeted on Friday.

According to British media reports, investigators suspect that the four were choked to death by carbon dioxide fumes from cow manure. They believe that three died after jumping in the tank to rescue a worker who had been emptying it.

The four were identified as 48-year-old Prem Singh, 45-year-old Tarsem Singh, 29-year-old Arminder Singh and 28-year-old Majinder Singh. While brothers Prem and Tarsem Singh owned the farm, the other two were employees.

Prem Singh and Tarsem Singh had registered their farm in 2017.

The victims’ wives raised the alarm when the men failed to turn up for lunch on Thursday. They went to the scene and spotted one body in the sewage. The wives then called in firefighters who donned masks and emptied the tank to recover all the bodies.

Pavia is located about 45 kilometres from Milan.

Meanwhile, the Italian media reported that the farm at Arena Po, producing milk and veal cattle, is one of the biggest in the Pavia region.

https://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/140919/indian-mission-in-italy-alerted-about-death-of-4-sikh-men-s-jaishankar.html

Sikh24.com – Sacrilege Case: Charges framed against three Sirsa cult disciples

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 12 September 2019. In a case pertaining to the recovery of a Janam Sakhi, 25 shells of used bullets and a written chit from Mohinder Pal Bittu’s house, a local court of Faridkot has today framed charges against three Sirsa cult disciples.

Notably, an FIR no. 89/2018 was registered against four Sirsa cult disciples namely Mohinder Pal Bittu, Shakti and Sukhjinder aka Sunny under 295-A along with relevant provisions of Arms act and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Mohinder Pal Bittu was beaten to death with rods by two Sikh youths Maninder Singh and Gursewak Singh inside Nabha jail on June 22 this year.

It is learnt that the next hearing of this case has been deferred onto October 9.

Although there was a widespread delightedness among the common Sikh masses over the punishment given to sacrilege culprit Mohinder Pal Bittu by two Sikh youths, but the SIT head IG Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh had said that Bittu’s murder was a major setback to the sacrilege probe as his presence could have unearthed those behind the sacrilege incidents.

Sacrilege Case: Charges framed against three Sirsa cult disciples

Hindustan Times – Police party attacked by locals during raid in Amritsar village

The police party came under attack while they were raiding the house of one Aman Singh in the village. They were rescued by Lopoke police which rushed to the spot after receiving information about the incident.

HT Correspondent

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 14 September 2019. The police party came under attack while they were raiding the house of one Aman Singh in the village. They were rescued by Lopoke police which rushed to the spot after receiving information about the incident.

A police party led by sub-inspector (SI) Baldev Singh of Kacha Pacca police station (Tarn Taran) were thrashed by people when it had gone to raid a house in Chugawan village under Lopoke police station in Amritsar, on Friday.

The police party came under attack while they were raiding the house of one Aman Singh in the village. They were rescued by Lopoke police which rushed to the spot after receiving information about the incident. The video of the incident had gone viral.

Inspector general (border range) Surinderpal Singh Parmar, who also visited the village after the incident, informed that the police team had not taken permission from their superiors.

“Station house officer (SHO) Jhirmal Singh has been placed under suspension and action against Baldev Singh is pending. The villagers have levelled corruption charges against the cops. Senior superintendent of Police (SSP-Amritsar rural) Vikramjeet Singh Duggal will investigate the case,” he added.

Earlier, when the police team began searching the house, an altercation ensued between the family members and the police party and the family members, supported by a large number of people, thrashed the cops.

The video shows after heated exchange of words between the two parties, the people bolted the gate from inside and began thrashing cops. They primarily targeted the sub-inspector as his uniform was torn and turban tossed. They also snatched his service revolver.

The villagers accused that the cops demanded money from the family and threatened them of framing them in false drugs case if their demand was not met. They alleged that the raiding cops acted on behest of the Congressmen in the village.

A case has been registered against three persons under Section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Lopoke police station.

Duggal said, “As many as 20-25 persons were yet to be identified. We have the video of the incident and will examine it properly to investigate the matter. Action will be taken against whosoever is responsible.”

https://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/police-party-attacked-by-locals-during-a-raid-in-amritsar-village/story-jHcpGrhtHdsH9DiycNT4IM.html

The Tribune – Archbishop’s apology incomplete: Greater Kailash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi – India, 11 September 2019. Manjit Singh Greater Kailash, former chairman of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managament Committee (DSGMC), today termed Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby’s apology for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre as incomplete. Welby had apologised for the incident during his visit to Amritsar on Tuesday.

GK said whatever happened on April 13, 1919, at Jallianwala Bagh was on the orders of General Reginald Dyer, on the basis of ideology followed by the British monarchy. He said the British monarchy and government were equally guilty for the incident.

“If Welby is really ashamed of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, will he also apologise for the death sentence given to Udham Singh on July 31, 1940, at Pentonville Jail after killing Micheal O’ Dwyer,” he said.

He further questioned whether Welby would apologise for the conspiracy by the British government to end the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh or for the conversion of Duleep Singh to Christianity or for theft of Kohinoor diamond.

British Government must follow suit: Sukhbir

Chandigarh – SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday demanded a formal apology from the UK government for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which led to the killing of more than 400 people. Appreciating the apology offered by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby during his visit to Amritsar, Sukhbir said it was high time the British government apologised too.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/archbishop-s-apology-incomplete-gk/831215.html

Hindustan Times – Next Punjab cabinet meeting at Dera Baba Nanak on 19 September

Dera Baba Nanak – Panjab – India, 13 September 2019. To ensure that it can monitor preparations for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of the first Sikh master, Guru Nank, the Punjab cabinet will hold its next meeting in Dera Baba Nanak on September 19.

This historic town in Gurdaspur district, along the India-Pakistan international border, only 7 km from Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur in Pakistan, was the last resting place of Guru Nanak. The celebrations that began a year ago are to culminate with a grand event in November at Sultanpur Lodhi.

“The chief minister has scheduled the next cabinet meeting at Dera Baba Nanak,” said Punjab co-operation and jails minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa during his visit to Government Senior Secondary School for Girls in the town on Friday.

He added that the 700-strength school will be converted into a smart, model school at a cost of Rs 40 lakh.

On the cabinet meeting, he added, “We will review the progress of projects such as the Kartarpur corridor and also of work done on sprucing up Dera Baba Nanak.”

He added, “Beautification projects are in full swing in the town; a park is being developed. A metallic statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh will also be erected in the main chowk of the town. Another Rs 7 crore have been sanctioned for the development of the main-street.”

He added the town was being developed as a city of fragrance by planting different kinds of flowers. “After completing his Udasis (religious journeys), Guru Nanak gave the message of doing kirat (work honestly to earn) and even cultivated land here. To commemorate this, we want a skill development centre to be established here.”

On the row between the state government and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) over joint celebrations of the anniversary, Randhawa said, “I will not indulge in religion-based politics. This politics is done by Badals through the SGPC.

I will continue to do sewa (service) assigned to me.”

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/next-punjab-cabinet-meeting-at-dera-baba-nanak-on-sept-19/story-rHap6zKGxPqtHSGFhKvVZJ.html

Sikh24.com – Stray cattle problem: Dal Khalsa asks Punjab government to lift ban on cow slaughter

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Punjab – India, 10 September 2019. Stating that the menace of stray cattle has reached an alarming position, the Dal Khalsa has asked the Punjab government to lift ban on cow slaughter strictly for economic reasons and to solve stray cattle problem. “In fact, the organisation is in favor of setting up cow slaughter houses in the state,” reads a press note by Dal Khalsa.

Party leaders Harpal Singh Cheema and spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh said that the issue of cow slaughtering was dear to Hindu hearts. Hence, they would like to clear at the outset that their demand had nothing to do with religion or its beliefs.

They said cow slaughtering was banned in most of parts of India, including Punjab. Since, it is a state subject, we urge Amarinder Singh government to rethink on the issue and lift the ban on it. To drive their point home, they added that already in nine states there was no ban on cow slaughter, while in two other states it was partially imposed.

Giving details of their demand, they said lifting ban on cow slaughter would go a long way in the uplift of farmers, struggling to repay loans. It would also check suicides among farmers. They added that the farmers already had the infrastructure and could keep cows without spending additional money.

“It would fetch good rates. As of now, the farmers were abandoning their cattle at lonely places”, they said. “Moreover, stray cattle were resulting in road accidents taking a heavy toll of human lives”. Every day, there are deaths on roads due to rising number of stray cattle and government utterly failing to control it.

Clarifying that their intention was not to hurt the religious sentiments of any community, the leaders said the move would boost beef export, besides promoting leather and pharmaceutical industry in the region.

They said nowadays only those cows are taken care of who yield milk. Dry cows and calves are poorly fed, abandoned and allowed to die in pitiable conditions.

They slammed the government for imposing cow-cess on people and took exception over the silence of Kisan Unions on this vital issue concerning farmers.

Stray cattle problem: Dal Khalsa asks Punjab government to lift ban on cow slaughter