Hindustan Times – Dabholkar murder case: Main shooter got training in Maharashtra, Karnataka, CBI tells cour

Shivajinagar – Pune – Maharashtra – India, 19 August 2018. The alleged main shooter arrested in the Narendra Dabholkar killing case received “shooting training” at various places in Maharashtra and Karnataka, the CBI told a court here on Sunday.

Sachin Prakasrao Andure, who was arrested last evening by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), was remanded today in the CBI custody till 26 August.

He was produced before the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) A S Mujumdar at Shivajinagar amid heavy security.

While seeking his custody for 14 days, CBI counsel (public prosecutor) Vijaykumar Dhakane said the investigation revealed that Andure had received “shooting training” at various places in Maharashtra and Karnataka before executing Dabholkar’s killing.

“The CBI needs to investigate where he underwent the shooting training and also people who provided the required infrastructure to both the shooters,” he said.

The probe agency told the court that Andure is one of the two assailants who shot at Dabholkar at Omkareshwar Bridge here on August 20, 2013.

“The entire conspiracy was hatched by Dr Virendra Tawde along with this accused and this (conspiracy) needs to be unearthed for which his custodial interrogation is needed,” the CBI counsel told the court.

The CBI had arrested Hindu Janajagruti Samiti member Tawde in June 2016 from his house in Panvel in the neighbouring Navi Mumbai township and in the charge sheet, he was mentioned as the main conspirator.

Defence counsel Prakash Salsingikar raised questions over the arrest of Andure and said that after arresting Tawde, the CBI in its charge sheet mentioned the names of Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar as Dabholkar’s killers.

He said the CBI claimed that sketches prepared on the basis of descriptions given by seven to eight witnesses resemble with the photos of Akolkar and Pawar.

“Now suddenly, the CBI has come out with this new theory that it was Andure who shot at Dabholkar. The sketches have no resemblance with Andure’s facial characteristics,” he said.

In the charge sheet also, there was no mention of Andure, Salsingikar said, and opposed the prosecution’s demand for his 14-day custody.

He said the court should direct the prosecution to submit a copy of the charge sheet filed against Tawde in the case.

Dhakane, however, said the CBI never named Akolkar and Pawar as the main killers and that the charge sheet only speaks about resemblance of sketches with Akolkar and Pawar.

“The resemblance is only 50 to 60 per cent and nowhere in the charge sheet the CBI mentioned them as the accused,” he said.

The CBI also said that it has to seize the weapon and the vehicle used in the commission of the crime.

After hearing the arguments, JMFC Mujumdar remanded Andure in CBI custody till August 26.

Sachin Andure’s brother Pravin Andure, who was present in the court during the hearing, told reporters later that his sibling was innocent and “falsely implicated” in the case.

Andure was believed to be one of the shooters who fired at Dabholkar while he was on a morning walk on the Omkareshwar Bridge in Pune on August 20, 2013, the CBI spokesperson said yesterday.

He was arrested on a tip-off from the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which had last week arrested three persons for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to carry out blasts in the state.

One of the arrested accused gave the input about Andure’s involvement in Dabholkar’s murder, which the ATS shared with the CBI, the spokesperson said.

During the questioning of the accused in police custody, one of them revealed about his direct participation in Dabholkar’s murder, the ATS said in a statement.

In June 2016, the CBI had filed a charge sheet against Tawde under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of the IPC, among other charges.

Tawde was allegedly the mastermind of the killing, the CBI had said.

The Bombay High Court had, in May 2014, handed over the Dabholkar murder case to the CBI.

Dabholkar’s killing and communist leader and rationalist Govind Pansare’s killing in a similar manner in February 2015 had sent shock waves throughout the state.



Sikh24.com – Commission’s final report points toward Badal’s direct role in ordering fire on Sikhs

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 18 August 2018. The Justice Ranjit Singh led Investigation Commission, constituted by the Punjab government to probe sacrilege cases, submitted its final part of the report to the Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh on August 16.

Sources have informed that Captain Amarinder Singh has directed the state’s home department to take further necessary action on the full and final report on sacrilege cases.

Sikh24 has learnt that the entire report is in four parts. While Part-1 of the report was submitted on June 30, Part-2 submitted recently deals with incidents of sacrilege in SAS Nagar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Roop Nagar and Patiala districts.

Part-3 is related to incidents in SBS Nagar (Nawanshahr) and Hoshiarpur districts and Part-4 covers the sacrilege incidents in Amritsar, Bathinda, Barnala, Faridkot, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Mansa, Moga, Sangrur, Muktsar and Tarn Taran districts.

In a video uploaded on his Facebook page, MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira claimed that the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission has disclosed in the final report that the former DGP Sumedh Saini has submitted an affidavit before the Commission in which Saini has admitted that the then Punjab CM Parkash Badal had called him at 2 am of October 14 i.e. few hours before opening fire on the peacefully protesting Sikhs.

Seeking a thorough investigation in this concern, Sukhpal Khaira expressed a suspicion that Saini might have been ordered by Badal to open fire on the peacefully protesting Sikhs at Behbal Klan and Kotkapura.

He said that the fact couldn’t be neglected as the former SAD-BJP led Punjab government did everything to shield the guilty police cops.

It is pertinent to note here that on being summoned by the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission, the former Punjab CM Parkash Badal had refused to appear before the Commission and had said that he annuls the commission.


Economic Times – UK government distances itself from Khalistan issue

London – UK, 19 August 2017. The UK government has distanced itself from the issue of a pro-Khalistan rally organised by Sikh separatist groups at London’s Trafalgar Square earlier this month.

The so-called ‘London Declaration on Referendum 2020’ rally, organised by Sikhs for Justice on August 12, triggered a diplomatic row as India had warned the UK to take bilateral ties into consideration before allowing groups that “propagate violence, secessionism and hatred” to demonstrate.

The so-called ‘London Declaration on Referendum 2020’ rally, organised by Sikhs for Justice on August 12, triggered a diplomatic row as India had warned the UK to take bilateral ties into consideration before allowing groups that “propagate violence, secessionism and hatred” to demonstrate.

“Although we allowed the protest to take place, this should not be taken as expressing a view either in support or against. We are clear that this is a question for the people and government of India,” a UK government source said.

The comment followed reports of letters exchanged between Sikhs for Justice and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on the “campaign for Sikh self-determination”.

Turning down the prospect of a “short meeting” sought by Sikhs for Justice with UK government representatives to raise concerns of the Sikh community, the FCO said it “encouraged all involved parties to resolve any differences through dialogue”.

“The UK is rightly proud of the long-standing tradition in this country that people are free to gather together and demonstrate their views,” the letter dated August 17 from the unnamed ‘Desk Officer for India’ at the FCO states.

“The British government acknowledges the strength of feeling in the Sikh community regarding the events of 1984, including events at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. We encourage all states to ensure that their domestic laws meet international human rights standards,” it adds.

Sikhs for Justice, which hailed its announcement of a global non-binding referendum on so-called “Punjab Independence” in November 2020 at the rally, described the FCO response as “very encouraging”.

“The response of the UK’s Foreign Office on pro-Khalistan rally is very encouraging and we will continue to engage foreign governments on the issue of Sikhs right of self-determination and demand to hold referendum to determine the status of Punjab,” said Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal adviser to the group.

I was on the square myself, we were peacefully campaigning for the right of self-determination, we did not propagate violence or hatred
Man in Blue


Dawn – ‘Navjot, we want peace’: Sidhu talks about encounter with General Bajwa, what to expect from PM Khan

NDTV 19 August 2018. Former Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu in an interview with NDTV on Saturday opened up about his exchange with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Jawed Bajwa during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s swearing in ceremony, and shared what he thinks India could expect from the new Pakistani PM.

Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan, on Khan’s invitation, had sparked backlash from conservative quarters in India, including Haryana Minister Anil Vij and activists belonging to Indian PM Narendra Modi’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party, who criticised the Indian politician and called him ‘disloyal’ for visiting Pakistan.

Photos of the event showing Army chief General Bajwa hugging Sidhu also prompted curiosity about what had transpired between the army chief and Indian politician.

‘Khan was not nervous’

Sidhu said it was a “great honour” to have been invited to Khan’s oath-taking ceremony.

“It was a very humbling kind of experience that a 35-year-old relationship of trust culminated in an invitation from him when he became prime minister of Pakistan.”

When asked whether Khan seemed nervous during the ceremony, Sidhu laughed. “Not at all, he was not nervous. I personally feel he was as confident as I’ve always seem him.”

“After the swearing in, he walked up to me and gave me a big hug and said, ‘Thank you very much for coming,’ and then he said, like an elder brother would say to a younger brother, ‘Shabaash, I’m proud of you.'”

“Then we had a conversation for almost 30 to 40 minutes at the Secretariat where he met the winning World Cup team and I was with them. So it’s just a great feeling, to be part of all this, part of [the] celebration.”

General Bajwa’s gesture of goodwill

When asked why he had met General Bajwa twice at the ceremony, Sidhu clarified that General Bajwa was not the only military man to greet him at PM Khan’s oath-taking ceremony.

“All the three army chiefs had to come and meet the people sitting in the front row, so I met the naval chief and the air marshall as well. And in between, Bajwa sahab walks up to me and says, ‘You know, I’m a general who wanted to be a cricketer.’ So it was his dream.”

On his second encounter with the general, Sidhu said: “He [General Bajwa] was very warm and he said, ‘Navjot, we want peace.’ That was wonderful to hear.”

“Without me saying anything, he said that, ‘When you celebrate the 550th birthday of Baba Nanak … we’ll open the Kartarpur-Sahib Corridor.’ It was like a dream come true and I was so overjoyed.”

“He asked, ‘Happy?’ I said, ‘Yes sir, I’m very happy,’ and he came forward and said, ‘We’ll even think of doing better things,'” Sidhu told NDTV.

Sidhu also said that he and General Bajwa also bonded over their shared lineage: “He’s a [Punjabi] Jat. Bajwas, Cheemas, Sidhus, Sandhus, they come from the Jat family.”

What to expect from PM Khan

When asked what one could expect from the new prime minister, Navjot appeared sure that “there will be no compromises. He will not compromise.”

“The second thing that I can be very sure of is that he has clarity of thought. He will listen to everybody, but he will do what he thinks is the right perspective.”

“When you have someone that you feel is a person of credibility, of trust, someone who’s gone through the ordeal of life, someone who’s actually taken those hard, tough tests and had the tenacity to claw out of those difficult situations, because character is not made in a crisis, it is exhibited, and that is where I am coming from,” he said.

“I have hope, and I have that trust. Only time will tell, the next six months, one year. Because nobody can actually come up with a policy and implement it in five months, six months. That’s too early. I think you’ve got to give someone at least a year to assess the direction in which he is going to go.”

“And there’s one thing I am sure about, he will be taking the positive direction and according to me, positive anything is better than negative nothing.”

‘Hope India takes step towards Pakistan’

Recalling PM Khan’s first address to the nation after the election, in which the PTI chief had said if India took one step forward, Pakistan would take two, Sidhu expressed hope that “India takes that one step.

However, he added, “Whatever has to be done, has to be done by the government.”

“I think we need to take cognisance of the fact that this is a change, and any change will bring hope,” he added.

“I pray to God that India takes that one step, because this is something which is new, this is something which is a new dawn, and ultimately, if we have to move forward [with] peace and talks on the table, moving in a positive direction is the only way.”


The Asian Age – Professor assaulted by mob for criticising Vajpayee in Bihar

The professor was dragged down from his flat and thrashed, following which the attackers tried to burn him alive

Motihari – Bihar – India, 18 August 2018. An academician, working at Mahatma Gandhi University, was allegedly thrashed by an angry mob on Friday afternoon for a comment on a social media platform criticising former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who took his last breath on Thursday, following a prolonged illness.

The professor was attacked and dragged down from his flat, situated on the third floor. The attackers also attempted to burn him alive.

Reportedly, his comment on a critical post against the late BJP Veteran read, “Fascivad ke ek Yug ki samapti. Atal ji anant yatra par nikle (End to an era of fascism. Atal ji embarks on an journey to eternity).”

The professor was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital and later was referred to Patna’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for advanced medical treatment.

Speaking to ANI, the victim however claimed that he was not only attacked for commenting on the post criticising Vajpayee, but also for raising his voice against his university’s Vice Chancellor’s (VC) decisions in the past.

“The people, who attacked me were all backed by the present VC. I also received a threat call from the attackers, who warned me to not protest against the VC,” he added.

A face-off between the VC and the professors started on May 29, after scores of teachers sat on dharna, protesting the decisions taken by the university administration pertaining to reservation and appointment of new faculty members.


The Tribune – Promising Czech visa, couple dupes 5 youths of Rs 39 lakh

Tribune News Service

Moga – Panjab – India, 17 August 2018. A couple running a travel agency in Moga city has duped five youths of Rs 39 lakh on the pretext of sending them to the Czech Republic.

The police after conducting a preliminary inquiry have registered a case under Sections 420, 406, 120-B of the IPC and Section 13 of the Prevention of Human Smuggling Act, 2012, against the couple identified as Gurdhir Singh and his wife Avneet Kaur.

Investigation officer Inspector Lakhwinder Singh told mediapersons that the couple had shut down their office and their whereabouts were not known. “We have conducted raids at their house, but they were not present there. We are making all efforts to nab them,” he said.

Baltej Singh of Sukhanand village, one of the victims, said he was working as a radiographer at a private hospital in Moga city where Avneet came for a medical check-up a few months ago.

She told him that she was running a travel agency that helped to send skilled workers to European countries. She promised to send him to the Czech Republic.

Baltej went to her office where she took his passport and filled certain forms for obtaining visa. He gave her Rs 7 lakh by transferring it through bank.

On February 22, Avneet and her husband asked him to visit Delhi for obtaining visa, but he did not get it. When he visited the couple’s office, it was found locked. He tried to locate them, but in vain.

Later, he gave a complaint to the SSP who marked an inquiry into it. The anti-human trafficking cell of the police conducted an inquiry and found that many youths were duped by the couple.

During the inquiry, it came to light that the couple duped Amandeep Singh of Gulab Singh Wala village of Rs 7.5 lakh, Sohan Singh of Mehna village of Rs 7.5 lakh, Laljit Singh of Gulab Singh Wala village of Rs 7.5 lakh and Harjit Singh of Sukhanand village of Rs 9 lakh. The police did not rule out the possibility of many other youths having been duped by the couple.


The Hindu – Pakistan Minister Syed Ali Zafar’s message would have left Vajpayee happy

Visiting acting Law and Information Minister says there is a thaw in India-Pakistan relations.

Suhasini Haidar

New Delhi – India, 18 August 2018. The decision to send a Pakistani delegation to attend former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s funeral was taken by “all stakeholders” including Prime Minister-designate Imran Khan, said visiting acting Law and Information Minister Syed Ali Zafar.

“This was an occasion where all felt that Pakistan must be present and share your grief,” Mr. Zafar, who is part of the caretaker government demitting office, said in an interview to The Hindu.

Positive move

“A very positive move and hopes of a thaw came during Mr Imran Khan’s speech after the election and then the call by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi [to congratulate Mr. Khan] changed the mood positively.”

Mr Zafar met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, one of the very few meetings she has had with Pakistani officials since her visit to Islamabad in December 2015, after which the Pathankot airbase attack derailed ties.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said the two leaders had remembered a “visionary (Vajpayee) who dreamed [of a] terror-free and prosperous subcontinent,” a reference to India’s demand that Pakistan end support to terror groups.

Recites poem

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Mr Zafar, who recited Mr. Vajpayee’s poem from his visit to Lahore in 1999, “Jung nahin hone denge (We won’t allow a war)”, also said that he hoped there would be other “less sad” meetings when “[India-Pakistan] issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, will be resolved through dialogue.”

Asked if tensions between the two countries had been discussed in his meeting with Ms Swaraj, Mr. Zafar replied, “This was not the occasion to discuss issues of a political nature.”

“Our meeting was positive, and I sensed a feeling from both sides that there could be progress, and I hope that in the coming days we could see more such meetings and progress,” Mr. Zafar, who flew back to Islamabad on Friday night, added.


The New Indian Express – BJP corporators ‘thrash’ MIM man for opposing Vajpayee tribute

A video clip purportedly showing Sayed Mateen being kicked, punched and slapped by the BJP corporators has gone viral on the social media and was also aired by some TV channels.

Aurangabad – Maharashtra – India, 17 August 2018. BJP corporators allegedly thrashed a Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) member today for opposing a resolution in the municipal corporation to pay tributes to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The alleged incident took place during the general body meeting of the civic body, an official said.

After the meeting began, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator Raju Vaidya tabled a proposal to pay tributes to Vajpayee.

MIM corporator Sayed Mateen opposed it, which infuriated the saffron party members, who allegedly rushed to him and thrashed him in the House.

A video clip purportedly showing Sayed Mateen being kicked, punched and slapped by the BJP corporators has gone viral on the social media and was also aired by some TV channels.

In the clip, the corporation security officials can be seen coming to Mateen’s rescue and taking him out of the House through a side exit.

The MIM corporator was later taken to a nearby hospital.

A BJP corporator said Mateen had been creating a nuisance and had also earlier opposed the singing of the national song in the House.

Mateen told PTI that he was opposing the move to pay tribute to Vajpayee in a “democratic manner”, but around a dozen BJP corporators assaulted him.

He even named some of them.

Immediately after the incident, alleged MIM supporters damaged a car belonging to a local BJP functionary and also beat up the driver.

BJP corporator Pramod Rathod, who was named by Mateen as one of his assaulters, demanded that the MIM corporator be expelled from the civic body for his “anti-national” move in opposing a tribute to Vajpayee.

Later in the evening, Vijay Sainath Autade, Deputy Mayor of the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation, lodged a complaint against Mateen at the City Chowk police station.

The police said a case under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc. and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 294 (obscene acts in public) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered against Mateen.

BJP MLA from Aurangabad East Atul Save demanded that a case of sedition be lodged against the MIM corporator.

He said he had approached the city police commissioner, who told him that the police would take a decision on this “in a day or two”.

“When the entire nation was paying tribute to the former prime minister, the MIM corporator opposed the move. This is an act of sedition and a case should be filed against him,” Save said.

Meanwhile, MIM MLA from Aurangabad Central Imtiyaz Jaleel urged the police commissioner to go through the footage of the incident and take action against those involved in allegedly assaulting Mateen.

“The victim will file a complaint, but the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation should also file a complaint against the attackers,” he said.

Jaleel added that assaulting anyone over such disagreements could not be justified in a democracy.

The police said Mateen was yet to approach them with a complaint.


Sikh24.com – Living martyr Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana questions credibility of ‘Khalistanis’

Sikh24 Editors

Patiala – Panjab – India, 14 August 2018. In a sudden breakthrough today, the death row convict Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana has raised questions over the credibility ‘Khalistani’ leaders presently active for the establishment of a sovereign Sikh state.

He has said that these ‘Khalistani’ leaders have made the entire Sikh struggle impotent by sledgehammering its ground base.

In a letter addressed to the Sikh community, the living martyr Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana has said that these ‘Khalistani’ leaders have nothing to do with an independent sovereign Sikh state and their sole motive is to divide the Sikh vote bank to deliver benefit to the anti-Sikh parties like Congress which they have been doing successfully for the last 34 years.

Raising serious questions over the working of these ‘Khalistanis’ during 1991 & 1992, Bhai Rajoana has said that these so called ‘Khalistanis’ had murdered 28 Akali candidates in the 1991’s Punjab assembly polls (boycotted by Congress and later cancelled by the Indian government) but didn’t kill even a single Congress candidate during 1992’s assembly polls instead paved a way for the Congress leaders to gain power in Punjab by boycotting the elections.

Making a sarcastic remark over these ‘Khalistanis’, Bhai Rajoana said that they had supported and funded the election campaign of the Aam Admi Party during the Punjab assembly polls in 2017. He added that these ‘Khalistanis’ regard AAP as their political wing and Kejriwal as their president.

Questioning the embedment of these ‘Khalistanis’ with the Congress, Bhai Rajoana said that these ‘Khalistanis’ start talking about state’s atrocities on Sikhs when Congress lose power and sit silently when it comes to power. He added that with the formation of Congress government in Punjab, the ‘Khalistan’ of these ‘Khalistanis’ comes into existence.

Making a shocking revelation about an unsuccessful attempt by these ‘Khalistanis’ to purchase him, Bhai Rajoana has said that a ‘self-styled’ intellectual Professor Prabhsharndeep Singh had tried to bribe his sister with claims of providing large ransoms of money in 2012 and had asked him to make statements against the then ruling Shiromani Akali Dal.

“But when I gave them a befitted reply by appealing the Akal Takht Jathedar to issue an edict against the Congress, then these ‘Khalistanis’ had resorted to cheap kind of preachment against me over social media” he added.

Appealing the Sikh youths to remain aware of these ‘Khalistanis’, Bhai Rajoana has said that these ‘Khalistani’ are cooking their bread on the funeral pyres of innocent Sikh youths.

I think he is talking about Panjab based Khalistanis, but it would be good if he could be more specific.
Man in Blue


Dawn – Indian cricket star Sidhu arrives in Pakistan for Imran’s oath-taking with ‘message of love’

Former Indian cricket star Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday arrived in Pakistan to a warm welcome to attend the oath-taking ceremony of prime minister-elect Imran Khan, who had brought the 92′ World Cup home.

Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 17 August 2018.

Talking to reporters soon after his arrival in Pakistan, Sidhu said he had come to the country as a goodwill messenger and “with a message of love” to become a part of Khan’s happiness.

He said he was saddened today by the demise of former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who he recalled had started the friendship bus service between the two countries.

Answering a question, he said he had brought a Kashmiri shawl as a gift for Khan. He also entertained reporters with a few couplets conveying a message of peace and love between the two neighbours.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Khan has invited several Indian and Pakistani cricket stars of his time to the oath-taking ceremony scheduled for tomorrow at the President House. President Mamnoon Hussain will administer the oath.

According to PTI Senator Faisal Javed, besides Sidhu, India’s former cricket legends Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev had been invited.

Khan has also remembered his colleagues and invited Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Rameez Raja, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Moin Khan and Aaqib Javed who had played the 1992 Cup final at Melbourne, Australia.

After having secured a simple majority in the July 25 general elections, the PTI is in a comfortable position to form its government at the Centre with its allies.