The Statesman – Residents of northeast Delhi form human chain for safety of children going to school

It can be seen in the video that the locals made a human chain to escort schoolchildren to safety amid the ongoing tensions in the national capital.

New Delhi – India, 25 February 2020. Residents of Yamuna Vihar in northeast Delhi are reportedly forming a human chain to ensure the safety of schoolchildren.

In a video that is being circulated on social media and is reported to be of the northeast Delhi, people are seen forming a human chain to escort their schoolchildren to safety.

A Twitter user shared the video with the caption, “This is happening now at Yamuna Vihar in East Delhi. Locals form a human chain to escort schoolchildren to safety. Police are nowhere to be seen.

Remember this is Delhi, barely 20 km north of Hyderabad House, the site of Modi-Trump joint statement an hour or so back.”

It can be seen in the video that the locals made a human chain to escort schoolchildren to safety amid the ongoing tensions in the national capital.

“Hope Delhi school administrations will take a call on a day-to-day basis on keeping the schools closed particularly in sensitive areas given the law & order situation,” a user wrote.

A post read, “Salute to these people….”

Another user wrote, “These are the small things that just remind me that humanity is still not strangled a political death.”

On Monday, the violence took an ugly turn in the city as stone-pelting started in Maujpur, a neighborhood of Jaffrabad, and the protesters later also shot fire at the police personnel.

In the violence, seven people including a cop were killed and nearly 100 were injured. After Jaffrabad and Maujpur, violence spread to Chandbagh and Bhajanpura areas as well following which an unspecified number of houses and shops were damaged or burnt.

Home Minister Amit Shah had held a late-night meeting with the Delhi police chief, the Union Home Secretary, and other senior officials to overview the situation in Delhi.

Shah today also chaired a meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Lt Governor Anil Baijal, Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, Congress leader Subhash Chopra, BJP leader Manoj Tiwari, and others.

Residents of northeast Delhi form human chain for safety of children going to school

The Tribune – Malerkotla woman’s death brings communities together

Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus organise bhog ceremony after no one from kin came forward

Parvesh Sharma – Tribune News Service

Sangrur – Panjab – India, 23 February 2020. Muslims, with the help of Sikhs and Hindus, organised the “bhog” ceremony of a Sikh woman, Rani (55), in Malerkotla on Sunday. She passed away in her rented accommodation on 15 February. She was a divorcee and worked as a maid. After none turned up for the last rites, Muslims pooled in money cremated the body as per Sikh tenets.

“Rani got divorced 15 years ago. Since then, she had been staying at a colony in Malerkotla in a rented room owned by a Muslim family. With the help of our Sikh and Hindu brothers, we organised the ‘bhog’ and performed the ‘antim ardas’ at Gurdwara Sahib Baba Namdev in Malerkotla as per Sikh rituals,” said Aslam Kala, a Malerkotla resident.

After her death, the landlord, in whose house she was putting up, informed members of her family, but they refused to attend the cremation.

Sapinder Singh, a retired government employee, said: “Our Muslim brothers have made us proud and proved that we are united. But the attitude of Rani’s family has been shocking as they refused to perform her last rites. Her daughter had expressed her desire to come, but her husband did not allow her.”

“Aslam has followed Sikh rituals and we offered him support,” said Karnail Singh, another resident.

Antwerpen: Middenstatie

Middenstatie/Antwerpen Centraal
09 January 2020

Looking down to the lower levels


Street level with escalator to Pre-metro station Diamant

Train to Poperinge via Gent and Kortrijk

Gent-Sint-Pieter and Poperinge (near Ieper)

Antwerpen Middenstatie (Central Station)

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Hindustan Times – Pakistan is safe, maximum Sikhs from India should visit gurdwaras there: Akal Takht Jathedar

People of both India and Pakistan don’t need to fear visiting each other’s country. Pakistanis are loved by people in India, says the Jathedar

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 24 February 2020. Akal Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh has said that Pakistan is a safe country and maximum Sikhs from India should visit all historic gurdwaras there.

In a video shared by Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) president Satwant Singh, the jathedar can be heard saying: “Historic gurdwaras hold big importance for SIkhs. ‘Darshan-didar’ of these gurdwaras has given me immense pleasure and peace of mind.

I have no word to recognise the love shown by Pakistan’s sangat and common people towards me. Not only me, locals also share warm vibes with every person coming from India here.”

“People of both India and Pakistan don’t need to fear visiting each other’s country. Pakistanis are loved by people in India,” Giani Harpreet Singh said.

He further said, “I would like to give a message to Sikhs living across India that they should come here in maximum numbers to have ‘darshan’ of historic gurdwaras.

By doing so, they will not only get the blessings of the Guru, but also get rid of illusions about the atmosphere in Pakistan. They will come to know that peace prevails in this country. So, Indian Sikhs should visit here.”

“We want historic gurdwaras, many of which are in a state of neglect, to be reopened. Footfall of Sikhs at these gurdwaras will help them getting restored,” said the jathedar.

Speaking on low footfall at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, which was the last resting place of Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak, the jathedar said, “Complicated procedure of getting permission for the pilgrimage and condition of passport are the main hurdles. Governments of both the countries should sit together to find out a solution.”

He appreciated the PSGPC’s efforts for the betterment of the gurdwaras and welfare of the Sikhs living in Pakistan. – Why was Delhi Police unprepared for violence even after BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s threats?

Some videos even showed the police participating in the violence

New Delhi – India, 25 February 2020. For three days now, violence has gripped parts of North East Delhi. And for three days by Tuesday afternoon, the response of Delhi Police has been woefully inadequate.

Videos and witnesses have pointed to a complete failure by the Delhi Police to contain the aggressors, a lack of sufficient forces despite clear signs that they would be needed and, in some cases, the active involvement of the police in the violence.

What is going on?

The violence came after threats and stone-pelting on Sunday near sites of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in neighbourhoods with a significant Muslim presence in Delhi’s north east. On Monday, anti-Muslim mobs set out to evict protesters. Seven people died in the resulting clashes including a head constable of the Delhi Police.

The act provides a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants from three countries, except if they are Muslim.

Yet despite these developments and the heightened security that came as a result of the visit of US President Donald Trump to India’s capital, there were fresh reports of violence on Tuesday morning.

On Monday evening, as details of the intensity of the violence and the casualties emerged, a number of eyewitnesses, politicians and journalists all said that the police action had been inadequate, in some cases non-existent and in others complicit.

One leader of the Aam Aadmi Party said that the Commissioner of Police, who reports not to the Delhi government but to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs led by the Amit Shah of the Bharatiya Janata Party, was not answering requests for additional deployment.

It all began with an ultimatum on Sunday by BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who threatened to take the law into his own hands if the Delhi Police did not clear out protesters who had occupied public spaces in the area. Mishra stood in front of a police officer and said he would not even listen to the police if nothing had happened within three days. He proceeded to lead a pro-government rally close to a protest site.

Regardless of who began the violence since reporting on this remains unclear, it is apparent that Mishra’s threats were not just known to the police, they took place right in front of an officer. So there could be no excuse for the lack of preparedness for the tensions that followed.

The Indian Express reported that on the very same night of Mishra’s threats, stones were thrown at Muslim houses and their residents targeted. By Monday morning, things were even more tense. Yet the police were present in very small numbers, as noted by Reuters’ Devjyot Ghoshal.

Reporters at the spot said even where the police were present, they did not act.’s Vijayta Lalwani said that the authorities intervened only after a pro-government mob had been allowed to set fire to a shop.

“At 5.10 pm, a mob of young men saw a garment shop and a pan shop across the street from the temple,” said another report in the Indian Express. “Over 20 police personnel watched as young men, some teenagers, broke down banners, shutters, and looted the pan shop.”

A reporter for the Hindu also pointed out the belated actions of the police.

Even more disturbingly, the police seemed to participate in the violence. Reuters’ Ghoshal posted a video in which police personnel instructed an anti-Muslim mob on when to thrown stones, with one official joining in.

In contrast to the situation at the site of the protests against the CAA, where police were frequently using tear gas in an attempt to disperse crowds, the anti-Muslim mob sites had a more “festive” mood, with food being distributed to the police, The Wire reported.

“When we came into the area commandeered by the Hindutva group, the most notable thing was the aura of festivity,” the Wire report said. “A large group of people was shouting slogans, including the now notorious ‘goli maaro saalon ko’, while groups of people distributed biscuits.

A man was carrying around a large tray filled with plates of upma, which he was giving the policemen standing by, a significant number of whom were happily partaking of the food.”

By Monday evening, the Delhi Police had put out a few statements acknowledging the casualties and injuries, and calling on people to maintain peace. Yet by night, the Gokulpuri tyre market, which has a significant Muslim presence, and a mosque nearby was set on fire, even though it is right next to the area’s police station.

Despite all of these developments and widespread reporting on the inadequate presence of the Delhi Police, the same situation seemed to play out even on Tuesday morning.

The News – Report says UK spy chiefs don’t trust Home Secretary Priti Patel

Murtaza Ali Shah

London – UK, 24 February 2020. British intelligence chiefs are sharing less information with Home Secretary Priti Patel because they do not trust her or like her needless intervention in their work, a news report has suggested.

Top officials within the intelligence services, Cabinet Office and Home Office have shared that intelligence chiefs are reportedly sharing less information with Patel than they did with her predecessors because they do not “have confidence in her abilities”.

A report in The Sunday Times claimed that the MI5 finds the Home Secretary “extremely difficult to deal with” because she does not “grasp the subtleties of intelligence”.

The report added that security service personnel apparently regularly “roll their eyes” following interventions made by Patel during high-level meetings. The Sunday Times reported that intelligence bosses have reduced the amount of information they share with Patel.

An official told the newspaper: “The spooks find her extremely difficult to deal with. She doesn’t grasp the subtleties of intelligence. It’s not black and white. They don’t have confidence in her abilities.” Another source said the security services “have to decide how much to share, and they share less”.

Sources also claimed that Patel is now “informed about things later in the decision-making process”.

Separately, a senior civil servant has quit Patel’s team amid bullying allegations. Mark Thomson, the director-general of UK Visas and Immigration and HM Passport Office, will leave his role. Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) member Mick Jones blamed Patel’s approach to immigration policy for Thomson’s departure.

He told the Guardian: “He’s indicated to our reps that it was mainly because they had had major run-ins. It was clear that [Patel] had come in and was trying to do things that they [Home Office officials] just weren’t comfortable with and [Thomson] sort of said “I’m off then”.’

However, late on Sunday, the MI5 rejected claims that its officials are withholding information from Patel because they do not trust her. An informed security source said Patel was getting the same information from the agency as any other home secretary.

The report was published after a series of stories, which have not been fully denied, claiming that Patel has had a series of difficult relationships with officials during her ministerial career and that she is currently trying to oust the permanent secretary at the Home Office, Sir Philip Rutnam.

Patel’s allies believe that officials are briefing against her because they do not like being challenged.

After allegations were published on Sunday, Patel expressed her concern at “false allegations” saying they were made about her amid claims of bullying and distrust from intelligence chiefs. An ally said she was “absolutely livid” about the recent slew of allegations and insisted she was demanding a leak inquiry to be carried out by the Cabinet Office.

However, Cabinet Office sources were adamant that a request had not been received either formally or informally, exposing an apparent escalation of the row. The latest allegation came after she was accused of bullying officials and creating an “atmosphere of fear” at the department, which allies denied.

On Sunday, a Home Office spokesman said: “The Home Secretary and permanent secretary are deeply concerned about the number of false allegations appearing in the media.

“They are focused on delivering on the Home Office’s hugely important agenda, which includes creating an immigration system that works for the UK, putting more police on the streets and keeping the public safe from terrorism.”

A government spokesman responded, “The Home Secretary and MI5 have a strong and close working relationship, and baseless claims to the contrary are both wrong and against the public interest.”

Patel was first appointed to the cabinet in 2016 as international development secretary when Theresa May was prime minister. She was forced to resign the following year after it emerged that she had failed to tell No 10 about a series of meetings she had had with Israeli ministers while she was visiting the country for what was supposed to be a holiday.

There are very good reasons not to trust Ms Patel and some of her South Asian colleagues: They are supporters of Hindutva and the values of Hindutva are not the values of the UK as I know them ! – Terrorists are trained in Nagpur, not Kartarpur

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 23 February 2020. Strongly reacting to Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta’s statement about Kartarpur, the Sikh Youth Federation Bhindranwala has said that the terrorists are trained at RSS’ headquarters in Nagpur, not at Kartarpur Sahib.

The SYFB has cited names of notorious Hindutva terrorists like Colonel Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya who are being shielded by the Indian state machinery despite committing heinous crimes.

Speaking to Sikh24, SYFB’s senior vice president Bhai Ranjit Singh Damdami Taksal said that DGP Gupta has ultimately depicted the hate he is having towards Sikhs in his mind due to which the sacred Sikh shrine Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib also seems a center of terrorism to him.

“If paying obeisance at Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib makes someone ‘terrorist’ then millions of Sikhs are going to become ‘terrorists’ proudly,” he said while adding that dubbing Sikhs and Muslims as terrorists was not a new thing in India.

Bhai Ranjit Singh Damdami Taksal has posed a question to Dinkar Gupta that does he also feel same about the Hindu pilgrims who return after having a glimpse of Maan Sarovar in China.

Bhai Ranjit Singh Damdami Taksal has sought immediate indictment of DGP Dinkar Gupta.

Terrorists are trained in Nagpur, not Kartarpur

Antwerpen: Koningin Astridplein – Middenstatie

Koningin Astridplein
09 January 2020

Tram 12 to Groenplaats
It seems that some Tram 12’s go to Bolivar,
others only as far as Groenplaats

Left: Tram 24 to Silsburg – Right: Tram 24 to Havenhuis

Centraal Station perron 6

Centraal Station perron 6 – Tram 12 and Bus 23

Middenstatie – Centraal Station
Top level

Stairs and escalators to lower levels

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Deccan Chronicle – Divide is complete in Balapur, Saidabad

Hindus, Muslims prefer people of same religion; caste is also key criteria.

Harleen Minocha and Rajeshwari Parasa

Hyderabad – Telangana – India, 24 February 2020. Does ‘Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isaai, sab mil kar hain bhai bhai’ stand true for certain areas in Hyderabad anymore? No, if one gauges the distrust and insecurity of those letting their houses out for rent.

Landlords in Saidabad and Balapur say they don’t want to share the roof with Muslims or Christians, because they ‘can’t be trusted’. In Dilsukhnagar and Serilingampally, on the other hand, owners try to subtly determine the caste and creed of house-hunters by probing their full names.

Mr Mohammed (name changed), a government official, recounted the troubles he and his family had to face while house hunting in Santosh Nagar near Balapur, about four years ago. “While I was turned away by many, others gave me a preferential treatment only because of the post I held,” he said.

“There seems to be a bias against the Muslim community that has only widened in the past five to six years. Landlords from the Hindu community did not wish to provide me and my family an accommodation mostly because of our food habits.

They say that Muslims and Christians are not good people,” said Mr Mohammed. However, he added that such was the case with landlords of the Muslim community who shy away from renting out their homes to Hindu families “to avoid any risk of communal tensions in the future”.

Mr Akash (name changed), a businessman in Saifabad area, complained that Muslim home-owners refuse to share their roof with Hindu house-hunters. “This is a common practice in areas dominated by either community. They don’t want to risk potential tension in the future,” he said.

But even among Hindus, there are houses that are only rented out to Brahmins, with a separate ‘pooja’ room.

“There are the usual conditions such as small family, vegetarian, and limited parking slots, but owners also ask for surnames as they cannot ask for the caste name directly,” Ms Alluri Leena, a tenant in Dilsukhnagar said. “Vexed by the same question from house-owners, we started introducing ourselves with our ‘full name’ instead.”

A similar situation exists in and around Serilingampally. A research scholar, Mr Shahal, faced such questions when he was hunting for a place recently. He was asked his second name before the owners revealed further details of the vacant premises.

He also found boards stating that the home would be given only to Brahmins, in and around Doyens colony, apart from the usual ‘Non-Vegetarians not allowed’ board.

And in houses that are allotted only to Brahmins, an owner on the condition of anonymity, said that there are facilities like separate puja rooms. They were preferred as they follow a non-vegetarian diet and can mingle with neighbours without hesitation. “They have so much to share in common,” he said, without a trace of irony.

The Hindu – Shared values between India-USA are discrimination, bigotry, hostility towards refugees: Amnesty International

Amnesty International hit out at the Indian government over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, saying it legitimises discrimination based on religious grounds

New Delhi- India, 24 February 2020. The shared values between India and the USA are “discrimination, bigotry, and hostility towards refugees and asylum seekers”, Amnesty International USA said in a joint statement with Amnesty International India ahead of USA President Donald Trump’s visit to India on Monday.

Trump, accompanied by his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner as well as senior officials of his administration, landed in Ahmedabad on the first leg of his two-day visit to India.

“Anti-Muslim sentiment permeates the policies of both the USA and Indian leaders. For decades, the USA-India relationship was anchored by claims of shared values of human rights and human dignity. Now, those shared values are discrimination, bigotry, and hostility towards refugees and asylum seekers, Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA’s executive director, was quoted as saying in the statement.

It was a reference to the anti-CAA protests in India, the internet lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir and the Muslim ban expansion by President Trump affecting Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania, the statement said.

It added that Amnesty International USA’s researchers travelled to Lebanon and Jordan to conduct nearly 50 interviews with refugees that as a result of the previous version of the ban have been stranded in countries where they face restrictive policies, increasingly hostile environments, and lack the same rights as permanent residents or citizens.

The statement also came down hard on the Indian government, hitting out at the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) 2019 and saying it legitimises discrimination based on religious grounds.

It criticised statements such as identify them (the protestors) by their clothes or shoot the traitors by Prime Minister Modi and his party workers. Such remarks “peddled the narrative of fear and division that has fuelled further violence”, it said.

The internet and political lockdown in Kashmir has lasted for months and the enactment of CAA and the crackdown on protests has shown a leadership that is lacking empathy and a willingness to engage.

We call on President Trump and Prime Minister Modi to work with the international community and address our concerns in their bilateral conversations, Avinash Kumar, executive director, Amnesty International India said in the statement.