The News – Sindh Government to facilitate disabled persons in various sectors

Nimra Afzal

Karachi-Sindh-Pakistan, 9 December 2017. Sindh Minister for Transport and Information, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah assured that people with disabilities would be facilitated in transport, education and health sectors.

Speaking at a seminar in connection with ‘International Day for Disabled Persons’, he said the government has decided to take strict action against Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) for not implementing his directions issued for effective access to the disabled persons.

Nasir Hussain said his party chairman Bilawal Bhutto has issued special directives for provision of jobs to special persons, not only in the government but also in private sector besides providing them all necessary facilities.

A think-tank, belonging to Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation (NARF), gathered at the seminar to present various demands for the disabled persons.

The panel at the seminar urged the governments, persons with disabilities and the concerned organizations, academic institutions and the private sector to work as a ‘team’ to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Professor Muhammad Wasay, President NARF, told the audience that the disability rate in rural areas was 65% while in urban areas of the country, 34% suffer from disabilities. The 58 percent men while 42 percent women suffer from some kind of disability. The victims in Punjab are 56% and in Sindh are 28%.

As per Dr Wasay’s statistics, only 14% of the disabled persons are part of workforce, where only 10% have access to rehabilitation and 17% have access to social and educational support. He mentioned the ratio for disabilities including physical disability (35%), multiple (8%), blind (8%), mentally challenged (7%), deaf (7%), psychiatric (6%) and others (30%).

The number of disabled persons in Pakistan is growing at an alarming rate of 2.65 percent annually as the estimated 5.30 million population of the country was suffering with disability, as mentioned by Dr. Wasay, children being the prime victims.

‘Provision of appropriate and effective access’

Where 43% of the national population of the total disabled comprise solely of children, as compared to 10% of global percentage (2.18 million); statistics tell that 1.4 million children are of school age but no access to education”, Professor Muhammad Wasay lamented.

Dr Madiha Latif, neuro-psychologist, Erum Zehra, occupational therapist, General Secretary NARF, Dr Abdul Malik and Syed Ibn-e-Hasan, senior vice president of NBP also spoke at the seminar.

The panel demanded a full concession in admission fee and relief up to 75% in tuition fee in government educational institutes must be ensured.

The panel stipulated demand for Special Computerized National Identity Card by NADRA, whereas 50% concession on total charges of tickets to the disabled persons in Airlines, Railway, public and private transport companies, endowment of free treatment in all federal, provincial, district, tehsil, social security hospitals, dispensaries, as well as 60% discount in private hospitals were also suggested.

They also demanded that necessary changes in the existing buildings for the effective access to the disabled persons in public offices housed in such public and private buildings must be made, including access of wheelchair in all available public transport which currently is zero.

The seminar demanded to ensure the implementation of special quota in Federal and Provincial Public Commission.

‘Global statistics tell 20% of the world’s poor are disabled’

Globally at least 10% of the world’s population, or 650 million people, live with a disability. Twenty percent of the world’s poor are disabled. The percentage of children with disabilities not attending school is extremely variable and is between 65 – 85% in some African countries.

Mortality for children with disabilities may be as high as 80% in countries where under-five mortality as a whole has decreased to below 20%. In many low-income and middle -income countries, only 5-15% of disabled people who require assistive devices and technology have access to them, experts shared.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/254161-sindh-govt-to-facilitate-disabled-persons-in-various-sectors

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Sikh24.com – Bhai Jagtar Singh Tara makes major revelation in Beant “Singh” assassination case

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh-Panjab-India, 6 December 2017. Hearing on the pending trial against Bhai Jagtar Singh Tara in Beant Singh assassination case was conducted by a special court of additional session judge J S Sidhu in the Burail jail on December 4.

The prosecution lawyer of probing agency CBI asked Bhai Jagtar Singh Tara to answer almost 30 questions during this hearing.

Replying to question asked by the CBI lawyer, Bhai Jagtar Singh Tara revealed that he, along with Shaheed Bhai Dilawar Singh and death row convict Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana had gone to the Punjab Secretariat in a car to assassinate the then Chief Minister Beant Singh on August 30.

“But CM Beant Singh had left the Secretariat before us and we had to return from our mission. After coming back, we slept in a room of government tubewell after removing bomb belt of Shaheed Bhai Dilawar Singh”, he added.

Bhai Jagtar Singh Tara further revealed that on August 31, 1995 they again went to the Punjab secretariat. “Before departing for accomplishing our task, I fixed the wires of bomb belt on the body of Shaheed Bhai Dilawar Singh and performed prayer before the Almighty Lord.

I dropped Shaheed Bhai Dilawar Singh to Punjab Secretariat in an Ambassador car. Later, I met Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana who was following us on a scooter and moved away from the Secretariat,” he added.

Sikh24 has learned that the CBI lawyer has sought answer to 31 questions and Bhai Tara answered his first 20 question on December 4. Meanwhile, the Court has deferred next hearing onto January 16, 2018.

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/12/06/bhai-jagtar-singh-tara-makes-major-revelation-in-beant-singh-assassination-case/#.WizItjdrzIU

BBC News – Sikh activist Jagtar Singh Johal filmed in police custody

The brother of Scottish Sikh activist Jagtar Singh Johal has condemned a video filmed in police custody

Mr Johal, from Dumbarton, has been held in Punjab since 4 November, accused of conspiracy to murder prominent right-wing Hindu leaders.

The 30-year-old has also been accused of involvement in the murder of a Christian priest.

Mr Johal’s lawyer has previously accused the police of torturing his client, who denies all the allegations.

In the latest development, a video of Mr Johal in custody has been screened on Indian TV.

Gurpreet Singh Johal said he was “shocked” when he saw the footage and claimed it jeopardises his brother’s right to a fair trial.

He told BBC Scotland: “The only thing I can see from the video is that it seems like a hostile situation.

“Allegedly there is a confession but I don’t see a confession there.

“There is nothing there.

“He is just saying that he has translated some articles for a website.”

He also questioned how anyone managed to film his brother while he is in custody and fears he has been “found guilty without a trial”.

He also urged the UK government to do more to help Mr Johal.

The Scottish government has previously said it is “deeply concerned” about Mr Johal’s detention.

Punjab Police have denied the torture allegations.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-42293490

The Hindu – Adultery law weighted in favour of men: Supreme Court

Section 497 of the IPC treats only the man as the offender and the married woman as a victim

Krishnadas Rajagopal

New Delhi-India, 9 December 2017. The Supreme Court on Friday said the dusty Victorian provision of adultery in the Indian Penal Code treats a married woman as her husband’s “subordinate”.

The court admitted a petition to drop adultery as a criminal offence from the statute book.

“Time has come when the society must realise that a woman is equal to a man in every respect,” the Supreme Court recorded in its five-page written order.

Section 497 of the IPC mandates that “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery and shall be punished”.

Issuing notice, the court would examine two aspects of the penal provision. One, why does Section 497 treat the man as the adulterer and the married woman as a victim.

Two, the offence of adultery ceases the moment it is established that the husband connived or consented to the adulterous act. So, is a married woman the “property” of her husband or a passive object without a mind of her own?

“The provision (Section 497) really creates a dent in the individual independent identity of a woman when the emphasis is laid on the connivance or consent of the husband. This tantamounts to subordination of a woman where the Constitution confers (women) equal status”, the Supreme Court declared.

Further, only a husband or the person in whose care the husband has left his wife can file a complaint under Section 497. The petition challenges the validity of Section 198 (1) and (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure which deems that only a husband can be an aggrieved party in offences against marriage like adultery and only he can go to court.

Arguing for petitioner Joseph Shine, advocates Kaleeswaram Raj and Suvidutt M.S., submitted that the penal section was framed at a time when women were considered a man’s property. They have asked the court to annul Section 497 as unconstitutional.

Equal status

The Constitution confers equal status to a man and a woman. The time has come when society has to realise that a woman is equal to her husband in every respect, Chief Justice Dipak Misra recorded in the order.

Justice D Y Chandrachud paraphrased the petitioner’s arguments that it amounts to a violation of a women’s fundamental right against discrimination under Article 15 when law “assumes a patronising attitude to women”. “By presuming the woman to be a victim, has the law made a patronising assumption” he asked.

Why is prosecution under Section 497 completely dependent on the husband’s word. So much so that, a woman can enter into an adulterous relationship if her husband consents. The debate in the court centered on the question whether Section 497 demeans a woman to the extent of her being considered the husband’s “commodity”.

“Does this relegate her to the level of a commodity?” Justice Chandrachud asked.

Terming the provision “quite archaic,” the court observed in the order that when society progresses, rights are conformed and a new generation of thoughts should spring forth.

The apex court had earlier on three separate occasions, in 1954, 1985 and 1988, upheld the constitutionality of Section 497.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-agrees-to-examine-adultery-provision-in-ipc/article21296775.ece

The Asian Age – Bihar’s child bazaar: 2,000 kids trafficked annually

Once the child is handed over to members of these gangs, which pose as placement agencies, there is no end to their exploitation.

Nayear Azad

Patna-Bihar-India, 9 December 2017. There has been a steady increase in cases of child trafficking in Bihar, a fact accepted by the Nitish Kumar government which has launched a special drive to combat the menace which is suspected to be impacting 2,000 children every year.

Activists who have been fighting against trafficking claim that victims, including girls under the age of 18, from poor families are being pushed into slavery, prostitution and surrogacy by agents who manage to mislead poor parents with their lucrative offers of getting their children good jobs.

Once the child is handed over to members of these gangs, which pose as placement agencies, there is no end to their exploitation.

Government sources said that directions for a focussed drive against child trafficking came after activists involved in rescue operations demanded immediate action to stop the surge in such cases.

Statistics cited by Human Liberty Network, a social group involved in rescue and rehabilitation work, showed that 2,000 children disappear from the state every year.

In April, senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav, who was then in Opposition, had raised a question in the state Assembly claiming that over 572 children had gone missing from various locations in Patna district in last one year.

However, that is not all, Mr Yadav, who is now a senior minister in Nitish Kumar’s Cabinet, had cited National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data to point out that cases related to human trafficking in Bihar had increased in past few years.

“After I raised the issue in the state Assembly, several persons who have been involved in the racket were arrested, most of them were from Uttar Pradesh,” he said.

NCRB data shows that in 2015, 332 cases of child trafficking were registered in Bihar, the third highest in the country. Assam registered 1,317 cases and West Bengal had 1,119 cases.

Reports suggest that in 2017, around 160 persons involved in child trafficking were arrested by Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel on the Indo-Nepal border. Around 560 children were also rescued.

SSB personnel during their operation in 2016 had arrested 136 persons from border areas. These included 89 from Bihar and 47 from Nepal. Altogether 824 children, including girls, were rescued during this period.

According to an assessment, minor girls and women are the main targets of immoral trafficking in Bihar. Activists involved in combating child trafficking in the state recently claimed that 6,000 children from various parts of the country have been rescued in last couple of years.

“Areas surrounding Nepal border are highly sensitive. It is tough to rescue girls as they are often pushed into flesh trade by traffickers. We also found that underage boys were mostly sold to bangle and carpet factory owners outside the state and are forced into bonded labour,” activist Suresh Kumar told this newspaper.

Giving an account of an incident which occurred a few months ago, Mr Kumar said that a teenage girl from Patna was pushed into prostitution by people who posed as placement agents.

“We later came to know that the girl was taken to Uttar Pradesh and probably pushed into prostitution. Despite all our efforts, we couldn’t trace the whereabouts of the girl,” Mr Kumar said.

In another incident, a 12-year-old girl from Nawada was sold to UP-based traffickers by her own maternal grandmother and aunt for Rs 12,000. The girl was later rescued by a group called Tatwasi Samaj Nyas which also helped the police arrest people who were behind the racket.

According to a recent report, a majority of victims are from Patna, Gaya, Nalanda, Nawada, East and West Champaran, Sitamarhi, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Samastipur, Madhepura, Supaul and Kishanganj.

Child rights organisations working to prevent such cases are of the view that the surge in immoral trafficking is also linked to pushing the victims into “forced surrogacy”, an emerging money spinner.

Earlier a group working against girl trafficking had rescued several victims out of whom four complained of being used as “surrogate mothers”.

Talking to this newspaper about the issue, an activist working with Human Liberty Network said, “Surrogacy racket is booming in the country. Young girls between the age of 17 and 20 are being pushed into the bearing children for others,” said the activist who helped rescue and rehabilitate nearly half a dozen such girls.

A Role model

Tronie Foundation CEO Rani Hong, a survivor of child trafficking, is a role model for all rescued children. She had earlier met Bihar government officials to launch a campaign against gangs who work as touts and exploit people, especially daily wage earners in rural areas and their children.

“I strongly believe that we need to stand up and if we can do that as a nation then we can drastically reduce, even prevent child trafficking. I want to work with the Government of India and launch a massive campaign against trafficking and slavery,” said Ms Hong.

Ms Hong was pushed into the slavery when she was just six years of age. She was kidnapped from Kerala and taken to Canada before being rescued. “I was tortured and treated like a slave and later abandoned as a destitue,” she said.

Ms Hong and her husband run special awareness drives in 20 countries, including India, through her US-based foundation. Till 2016, she served as special advisor, human trafficking, for the UN.

http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/091217/bihars-child-bazaar-2000-kids-trafficked-annually.html

The Tribune – Now, ex-Hazoori Raagi opposes SGPC president’s appointment

Says the decision has hurt sentiments of Sikhs

GS Paul, Tribune News Service

Amritsar, 8 December 2017. The opposition to the SAD’s pick for the SGPC president’s post today reached Akal Takht when the Sikh Sadbhawna Dal, headed by former Hazoori Raagi of Golden Temple Bhai Baldev Singh Wadala, claimed that choosing Gobind Singh Longowal was a mistake.

Amid mild resistance, Wadala, along with his supporters, reached Akal Takht to get ‘ardas’ performed for the success of their campaign against conversion of Gurdwara Gurudongmar Sahib into a Buddhist temple in Sikkim under a political conspiracy.

Wadala said a person who had defied Akal Takht’s ‘hukumnama’ against the Dera Sirsa head could never be fit to head the apex body of the Sikhs. He said till the SGPC was made free of interference of the ‘Fakhr-e-Kaum’ family (senior Badal was conferred this title by the SGPC), nothing could be expected from it.

“A series of instances of Guru Granth Sahib’s desecration, a flip-flop over the decision of pardoning the Dera Sirsa head, inaction against sacrilege of historic gurdwaras in Sikkim and now, the appointment of Longowal have hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs across the globe.

It was the Badals who were behind all these controversies. The need of the hour is to release the ‘Panth’ from their clutches and boycott them from public platforms,” he said.

A day after his election, Longowal had to face the wrath of the United Sikh Party activists who showed black flags during his visit to Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib in Patiala.

Earlier, a Sikh activist, Baldev Singh Sirsa, had alleged that Longowal was behind the “shady” land deal between two gurdwaras in 2004 when he was an MLA. The parallel jathedars also burnt his effigies in Ajnala recently.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/now-ex-hazoori-raagi-opposes-sgpc-president-s-appointment/510422.html

The News – Man acquitted of murder of Sikh woman

Lahore-Panjab-Pakistan, 9 December 2017. Additional District and Sessions Judge Irfan Basra Friday acquitted a person namely Hafiz Shahzad of murder charges of a Canadian national Sikh woman, Rajvinder Kaur Gill.

The court has acquitted the accused after prosecution failed to prove charges levelled against him. It is pertinent to mention here that the main accused in this murder case namely Shahid Ghazanfar alias Karishna Roy is still at large.

On January 2, 2013, Sarwar Road police had registered an FIR on the complaint of Sikandar Singh Gill, father of the victim girl. The complainant stated that his daughter Rajvinder Kaur reached Lahore Airport from Canada on August 25, 2012. He said when she reached Lahore, she had Canadian passport bearing number 354321045161686, cash, a laptop, gold ornaments and other things of personal use with her.

He added that she was in contact with Shahid Ghazanfar alias Karishna Roy and Shahzad but so far they could not find her neither she called her family telephonically after reaching Pakistan. Sarwar Road police arrested Shahzad and produced him before the Cantonment judicial magistrate.

Later, police claimed that Hafiz Shahzad had confessed to his crime, kidnapping and murdering the woman on the behest of Shahid Ghazanfar alias Karishna Roy. As per police, Shahid had invited Rajvinder Kaur to Pakistan for a diamond auction in Lahore.

Shahid and Gill had known each other for a long time and he had told her that he would pay her back the money he owed her when she came to Lahore. Shahid and Shahzad received Gill at the airport and drove her to Sheikhupura on motorway.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/254068-man-acquitted-of-murder-of-sikh-woman

Dawn – A little dissent, please

Abbas Nasir

Op/Ed, 9 December 2017. Whether or not the mainstreaming project was approved by the government, it seems to be steaming ahead with concessions being made to groups espousing extremist and intolerant causes.

It was several months back that retired Lt-General Amjad Shoaib, who informally speaks for the security establishment, disclosed in a TV interview that the then DG ISI, Lt-General Rizwan Akhtar, had proposed to the PML-N government to mainstream militant religious organisations.

This mainstreaming proposal had two strands; the first encouraged and facilitated the participation of these groups in the country’s electoral politics, the second proposed the recruitment of the militants belonging to these organisations in the security forces.

The retired general’s disclosure spurred considerable media excitement about the merits and demerits of such a mainstreaming project particularly when at no point was it made apparent what sort of de-radicalisation programme the militants would have to attend before their induction into the security setup.

The general complained then about a lack of response from the government to the proposal. The problem with making too many assumptions is that one or more could be wrong. But with no transparency at all about this so-called mainstreaming, a number of doubts emerge.

The first and foremost is the speed with which political mainstreaming is proceedings with Ahle Hadith, and possibly Deobandi, groups being nudged into electoral politics; now even militant strands of the Barelvi movement are being pushed into the fray.

It is easier to see the political strand of the project being executed as its manifestations are public. Nobody has any idea if similar progress is being made in the militants’ induction into the police and paramilitary forces or whether that is on hold or if any de-radicalisation programme has at all been initiated.

My major issue with such policy rollout is that the lack of debate does not allow either the protagonists or the opponents of such a plan to explore the range of likely repercussions.

Thus, far-reaching decisions are taken in an environment which can be likened to Alice in Wonderland, ie, where those rolling it out are so committed and enthusiastic about the correctness and the wisdom of their decision that they don’t pause for a moment to consider any adverse scenario.

Sadly, in the current political situation in the country, with next year’s elections approaching fast, other compulsions seem to be coming into play with more than hints that all kinds of strange bedfellows are being ushered in in the quest for ‘desired’ results.

PTI leader Imran Khan’s electoral alliance with JUI-S leader Maulana Samiul Haq; PPP leader Asif Zardari’s U-turn on the policy announced by his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to oppose any extra-constitutional measures to effect change of government and many other pieces fit into the same jigsaw.

Mr Zardari has now gone ahead and endorsed any street agitation by Dr Tahirul Qadri to topple the government. Who knows if the new bonhomie between the two leaders, who were photographed by the media holding hands, could also lead to an electoral adjustment between PAT and the PPP?

If Mr Zardari believes his going along with Tahirul Qadri will net the party some Barelvi votes outside of Sindh (where his once-federal party now finds itself restricted), he may feel his political opportunism is worth it.

Of course, the PPP will need to calculate the loss suffered by the party’s credibility against any gains made due to Tahirul Qadri’s possible support if the two were to go together in any agitation to cut short the PML-N’s tenure and then in any subsequent election.

If the by-elections in Punjab and also KP are any indicator, the PPP’s votes coupled with those accruing to a possible deal with PAT won’t better the Zardari-led party’s chances in any significant measure.

Many of these chess moves, the outcome of which is far from certain, are being played mainly with a view to eroding the vote bank of the PML-N particularly in Punjab and KP.

If you ask my honest opinion, I’d say all these machinations are not needed as the PML-N in-fight involving the doves and the hawks is debilitating enough for the party, and any outside tinkering with the process is wholly unnecessary.

You have doubts about this? Just go and search for the TV interviews of the Punjab government spokesman Malik Mohammad Ahmad Khan in the aftermath of the military and intelligence-brokered agreement which saw the TLYRA lockdown of Islamabad end.

The spokesman was categorical in not blaming anyone but the federal government for the fiasco and watching him holding forth it was difficult to believe that the administrations in the province and at the centre belonged to the same party.

God help the PML-N if the same dichotomy presents itself in the run-up to the elections, in the selection of candidates and the election campaign, despite huge swathes of support for the party in Punjab.

In the fast-emerging political dynamics of Pakistan, my major concern is that the space for expression of any liberal thought or dissent that is seen as hostile by the establishment is leading to disappearances and others repressive measures.

Politically engineer all you want, but for God’s sake do not stamp out dissent by disappearing bloggers, social media activists and political workers. Peaceful dissent is vital for the well-being of any society. Each time we have forgotten this, the consequences have been disastrous.

This week another Lahore-based activist who slammed the Faizabad accord facilitated by the ISI has gone missing. I have no means of saying definitively who is responsible. But the track record of state institutions can perhaps guide us.

The writer is a former editor of Dawn

abbas.nasir@hotmail.com

https://www.dawn.com/news/1375403/a-little-dissent-please

The Hindustan Times – Man hacked to death, set ablaze in Rajasthan: Nephew says Afrazul didn’t wrong anyone

Afrazul’s family says he was harmless and worked to help others from his village in Malda find employment in Rajsamand.

Salik Ahmad

Rajsamand-Rajastan-India, 8 December 2017. Migrant labourer Afrazul who was brutally hacked and burnt by a fanatical unemployed man on Wednesday, lived with 24 labourers who shared four rooms in a rented single storey house in Rajsamand’s Dhoinda, about 300 km south of Jaipur.

Fifty-year-old Afrazul also worked as a labour contractor facilitating fellow villagers from Malda’s Sayadpur village in West Bengal find work here. They earlier lived in Kakoli, another area of the district and had moved into this house just over a month ago.

The father of three apparently had no vice.

“The only vice, he had was that he used to smoke bidis,” says Inaul Sheikh, Afrazul’s nephew who stays in the same accommodation.

He says Afrazul did not wrong anyone.

“Go to the labour market at Jhal Chakki and ask the people there who have seen him for the past 12-13 years. They will tell you what kind of a person he was,” he adds.

The man seen killing him in a video, Shambhu Lal Regar who was arrested on Thursday told police he killed Afrazul to save a woman from ‘love jihad’, a term used by right-wing Hindu groups to describe inter-faith marriages which they claim is an Islamist conspiracy to convert Hindu women through marriage or coercion.

But Inaul says he had nothing to do with it.

“If five or six years ago, some person from Malda took a girl from here what does it have to do with my uncle?” he asks.

Afrazul’s son-in-law Mosharaff Khan, another tenant in the same building, says his father-in-law had left for the labour market at around nine in the morning on Wednesday.

“There was a drizzle. We were watching television when he had tea and left. At 11:30am, he called to say that some labourers need to transfer money back home and needed his help,” he said.

At 3 pm, Inaul got a call informing him that the owner of the bike whose registration number ended with 786 had met an ‘accident’. When Inaul reached the spot, police had cordoned off the area where the charred body of his uncle was lying. Afrazul was not very religious and occasionally offered the juma (Friday congregation) prayer.

Mosharaff says Afrazul gave Rs 12000 to him on his marriage. “Garib majdoor aadmi kitna dega (how much can a poor labourer give?)”quips Afrazul’s fellow worker Samiul Sheikh who has been living in Rajsamand on and off for the past 18 years and knew the deceased for a long time.

The labourers keep their families at home. They keep coming at regular intervals depending on employment.

Afrazul’s wife and three daughters live in Malda. The elder two daughters are married, while the youngest (16) is yet to be married.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/smoking-was-afrazul-s-only-vice-says-nephew/story-Jt7LTzCcITMDIl21DmvlsI.html

Sikh24.com – Controversial SGPC president undergoes secret meeting with Giani Gurbachan Singh

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar-Panjab-India, 6 December 2017.  Newly appointed SGPC President Gobind Singh Longowal, who has been entangled in controversies since his first day of election, today silently paid obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum Sri Harmandr Sahib.

Despite of being his primary visit to the holiest Sikh shrine after becoming SGPC President, media was kept apart from this visit by the SGPC.

Sources have informed that the newly elected SGPC President Gobind Singh Longowal underwent a secret meeting with the SGPC appointed Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh after paying obeisance inside sanctum sanctorum. It has come to fore that senior SGPC officials were not allowed to enter the room during the meeting.

As per a press note shared by the SGPC with Sikh24, it has been informed that during his visit Gobind Singh Longowal got information about the on-going tasks inside Sikh shrines by meeting the senior SGPC officials in its head office.

SGPC Chief Secretary Dr Roop Singh apprised Gobind Singh Longowal with all the senior SGPC officials and promised him of full support during his tenure.

The press note does not make any mention of the meeting with Giani Gurbachan Singh.

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/12/06/controversial-sgpc-president-undergoes-secret-meeting-with-giani-gurbachan-singh/#.WiodOzdrzIU