Sikh24.com – Ban on photography draws flak, SGPC justifies decision

Says move aimed at maintaining sanctity of Golden Temple (Harmandr Sahib)

GS Paul, Tribune News Service

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 08 January 2019. The SGPC’s move to ban photography and videography on the premises of the Golden Temple has not gone down well with Sikh scholars and devotees even as the religious body justified it saying that the decision has been taken to maintain serenity and spiritual ambiance of the shrine.

The SGPC clarified that the restriction is not applicable on photojournalists who cover visits by dignitaries and other events of religious or political significance inside the premises.

Similarly, professional documentary makers, too, could be allowed to shoot films that are religious in content subject to prior permission from the SGPC.

Nonetheless, warning boards in the parikarma of the shrine, carrying the prohibitory message in three languages, have been put up. The SGPC task force has been told to keep an eye on the violators.

SGPC chief secretary Dr Roop Singh observed that selfies clicked by most of the visitors in various poses and styles with Golden Temple in the backdrop appeared derogatory.

Dr Roop Singh said: “True devotees would seldom focus on clicking pictures as they revere the shrine with utmost devotion. Others consider the shrine as a tourist spot and capture their moments in a picnic mood.

We have imposed restriction on the second category of visitors. Also, hoards of visitors gather at the entrance to click pictures with their cameras and phones, thus creating hindrance in the movement of devotees at the parikrama,” he said.

The ban has drawn criticism from various quarters. Madan Lal of Solan, who paid obeisance at the shrine today, said he was unaware of the rule and was stopped by an SGPC staffer when he tried to click pictures.

“I am a mature person and came here with my family. How could they doubt my devotion towards the shrine? People take pictures for the sake of memory and it should be allowed,” he said.

Similarly, some students from Mumbai, who visited the Golden Temple for the first time, were a dejected lot. Deepak, an engineering student, said: “It is our hard luck that the orders were implemented on our maiden visit. Instead of a blanket ban of photography, the SGPC should keep a vigil on non-serious crowd.”

Former Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib Giani Kewal Singh said the orders should be withdrawn immediately. “Rather, the SGPC should insist on the visitors to maintain the sanctity and maryada of the shrine. The ban order will be seen as a negative step,” he said.

Sikh scholar Ashok Singh Bagrian said it was a narrow thinking on part of the SGPC to implement such dictatorial orders.

Scribes exempted

The SGPC has clarified that the restriction is not applicable on photojournalists who cover visits of dignitaries and other events of religious or political significance at the shrine.

May review decision, says Roop Singh

Amritsar: Dr Roop Singh, SGPC chief secretary, however, softened his stance when apprised of the resentment among visitors who come from far off places. “We may think of allowing the visitors to click pictures, but only under strict supervision,” he said.

Earlier, Dr Roop Singh said: “True devotees would seldom focus on clicking pictures as they revere the shrine with utmost devotion. Others consider the shrine as a tourist spot and capture their moments in a picnic mood. We have imposed restriction on the second category of visitors.

Also, hoards of visitors gather at the entrance to click pictures with their cameras and phones, thus creating hindrance in the movement of devotees at the parikrama,” he said.

Sehajdhari party asks Takht to intervene

Moga: The Sehajdhari Sikh Party has requested Akal Takht to intervene and direct the SGPC to revoke its illogical move to ban photography at the Golden Temple. Parmjeet Singh Ranu, president, alleged that it was a well-planned move initiated by the RSS through the SGPC to lower the popularity of the sacred Sikh Shrine, which is a world famous monument.

The SGPC had always followed the RSS diktats and even barred lakhs of Sehajdhari Sikhs to vote in the gurdwara elections, he alleged. Ranu alleged that the ban would ruin the image and popularity of the Sikh religion across the globe. “People create memories by clicking pictures at the revered shrine. They will see it a negative move,” he claimed.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/ban-on-photography-draws-flak-sgpc-justifies-decision/710642.html

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The Tribune – SGPC mulls green belt at Golden Temple, other shrines

Tribune News Service

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 03 January 2019. The Shromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), in coordination with the Forest Department, has planned to increase the green belt in the Golden Temple complex. Plans are also afoot to set up green belts in other gurdwaras and educational institutions being run under its control.

A meeting was held between officials of the SGPC and the Forest Department.

Forest Officer Rajesh Gulati said plants would be provided free of cost to the SGPC and the latter would share the responsibility of taking care of the plants. “Apart from traditional plants, we will provide plants which have medicinal value,” he said.

Chief Secretary Dr Roop Singh said the SGPC wanted to plant ornamental saplings around the parikrama of the shrine, which is mostly covered with marble. “The plan is to raise a green belt in some portions of the parikrama. The marble tends to get hot during summer.

These plants would not only beautify the area, they would also provide relief from heat. Besides, some other spots towards inns and the office too would have a green cover,” he said.

The Shromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee recently created a vertical garden with 24,000 plants of different varieties in the shrine complex.

Dr Singh told that a circular would be released to other gurdwaras and educational institutions to identify suitable spots on their premises where green belts could be created.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/sgpc-mulls-green-belt-at-golden-temple-other-shrines/708524.html

NDTV News – “Modi-Ji, Forget Bullet Train”: BJP leader after train ride from hell

BJP leader, Laxmi Kanta Chawla, was travelling AC-3 on the Saryu-Yamuna train on December 22 and had been stuck for an extra 10 hours.

Deepshikha Ghosh

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 26 December 2018. A BJP leader’s long video rant to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal from a train delayed by several hours on the weekend is in wide circulation on social media.

“For god’s sake, forget the bullet train and focus on the ones already running,” says Laxmi Kanta Chawla, a BJP leader from Amritsar.

Ms Chawla, a former Punjab minister, was travelling AC-3 on the Saryu-Yamuna train on December 22 and had been stuck for an extra 10 hours when she made the mobile phone video. Reports suggest the train from Amritsar to Ayodhya was delayed by many more hours.

“My only appeal to the government and PM Modi is, please take pity on us common people. The trains are so broken down.

We have suffered so much difficulty in the past 24 hours, the train changed direction and is running late, but no one is giving us any information. There is no food arrangement for people spending extra 10 hours on the train,” said the veteran leader, who used to be a college lecturer before joining politics.

“Forget about trains that run at 120 km or 200 km per hour. People are on the footpath, there is no waiting room and people are sleeping in the open in such biting cold, Piyush Goyal ji and Modi ji.” She also talked about corrupt railway officials demanding bribe.

Ms Chawla said she had tried every helpline advertised by the railways and had even mailed the minister, but the helpline appeared to be “only for the newspapers”.

“The Shatabdi and Rajdhani are for the wealthy. What about this train, used by the poor, the labourers, the soldiers.” she questioned and advised the railways minister to travel on such trains and see for himself what the masses go through.

“Modi-ji, people are upset. I don’t know who has seen acche din (good times), certainly not the common man.”

Known for her outspokenness, Ms Chawla headed the ministries of health and social welfare.

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/modi-ji-forget-bullet-train-bjp-leader-laxmi-kanta-chawla-after-train-ride-from-hell-1968277

Outlook India – Amritsar Train Tragedy: Magisterial report on probe gives clean chit to Navjot Kaur Sidhu

Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest at the Ravana effigy burning event where the incident took place and had said earlier that she came to know about the accident as soon as she left the site.

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 06 December 2018. A report of the magisterial probe into the Amritsar train tragedy that killed around 60 people and left several injured has apparently given a “clean-chit” to Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Navjot Kaur Sidhu, was the chief guest at the Ravana effigy burning event where the incident took place. Earlier she had said that she came to know about the accident as soon as she left the site.

Jalandhar Divisional Commissioner B Purushartha, appointed the special executive magistrate by the government to probe the accident, indicted the son of a Congress councillor, who organised the event as well as officials of Amritsar district administration, municipal corporation, railways and local police, official sources said.

The crowd watching the burning of a Ravana effigy near Joda Phatak on October 19 were mowed down by a passing train.

A 300-page report of magisterial probe into the accident stressed that Saurabh Mithu Madan, son of the Congress councillor and a close aide of the Sidhus, should have ensured safety of people at the venue, official sources said.

The report submitted to the Punjab Home Secretary last month also blamed Amritsar administration and municipality officials over safety measures and permission given for holding the event.

The role of railways also came under the scanner for giving the green signal to a fast train despite the presence of a huge crowd on the tracks.

The Home department has put up the file pertaining to the report before Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for further action.

Notably, an inquiry conducted by the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety into this incident had blamed “negligence” of people, standing on the railway track, for the tragic incident.

Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police (Railways) Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota is conducting a separate inquiry into the accident to fix responsibility.

The statements of over 150 people including railway officials and Navjot Kaur Sidhu were recorded by Purushartha, while Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had questioned the Railways for giving clean chit to loco-pilot of the train, had submitted his statement in writing.

Opposition Akali Dal had earlier rejected the institution of the magisterial probe and sought registration of case against Navjot Kaur Sidhu and the event organiser, claiming that she allegedly left the venue without bothering about the victims.

Earlier, Sidhu had urged all political parties to avoid indulging in mudslinging. Sidhu, who visited the civil hospital to meet the bereaved families, said the accident was an outcome of negligence and that it was not motivated.

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/amritsar-train-tragedy-magisterial-report-on-probe-gives-clean-chit-to-navjot-kaur-sidhu/321305

The Tribune – SGPC comes to rescue of Sikligar Sikhs in Maharashtra

Tribune News Service

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 03 December 2018. The Shromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has taken cognisance of the damage done to the houses of Sikligar Sikh families and ‘Nishan Sahib’ in a gurdwara by the police at Balsa village in Maharashtra.

SGPC secretary Diljit Singh Bedi said the Chhattisgarh Sikh Mission incharge had been deputed to probe and report back in this regard.

The SGPC will also approach the Maharashtra Government to ensure the safety of the Sikligar Sikhs.

The committee has been taking care of Sikligar families with monetary aid and by helping their children get education. Last year, the SGPC paid school fee of 84 children in various schools at Vishakhapatnam.

Besides this, 40 “frivolous” cases registered against the Sikligar youth were settled.

The apex Sikh body has made arrangements to get them technically trained in various skills.

Knitting centres were opened for their women to make them self-reliant, Bedi said.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/sgpc-comes-to-rescue-of-sikligar-sikhs-in-m-rashtra/692984.html

Sikh24.com – Dal Khalsa admonishes Indian Army Chief for beating drum of law & order problem in Panjab

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 16 November 2018. Joining issue with Indian army chief Bipin Rawat regarding his statement on “attempts” to revive insurgency in Punjab through “external linkages”, the Dal Khalsa said the army chief has overlooked Maur Bomb Blast terror case that has internal linkages having roots in Sirsa cult.

Dal Khalsa’s spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh in an interview to a news agency said the people of Punjab are sure that the footprints of Maur blast will reach to Delhi via Sirsa. “Police under Sukhbir Badal, the then Home Minister, blamed militants for the terror act, which turned out to be a farce”.

Contesting Indian army chief’s statement that “it would be too late” if India does not act soon to stop the attempts to revive terrorism in Punjab, the pro-freedom group leader categorically stated that there’s no terrorism in Punjab.

New Delhi has always wrongly portrayed Punjab problem as a law and order where as its political conflict between Punjab and India that requires peaceful political resolution.

“The only attempts that are being made in Punjab is to secure and protect basic fundamental rights of the peoples including the right to self determination upheld and safeguarded as per the UN charter to which India is a signatory”, said he and added that other than that it’s the figment of imagination of the security establishment, who always thrive on upping the ante for their own legitimacy and survival.

Which law of India allows the army chief to issue threats to the peace-loving people of Punjab? Why should the people of Punjab be made scapegoats of India’s war mongering with Pakistan?

Exposing the double standards of the Indian government, he said when the Pakistan army chief speaks on political and foreign policy matters, India cries foul, but on the other side, the present dispensation under Narendra Modi is allowing its own army chief to issue political statements whether it relates to Punjab, Kashmir or Assam.

On army chief blaming Sikhs For Justice for trying to destabilize the peace in the region, he said this is a loaded question, straight from the archives of the government.

We don’t hold any brief for Sikhs for Justice. However, we strongly condemn the illegal arrest of the activists who were peacefully putting up posters for referendum.

The Indian court’s judgement allowing peaceful propagation of any political movement upholds the right to speak and put up posters for self determination and even for a separate Sikh state.

While we disagree with their methodology and daily utterances, yet the SFJ has a democratic right to talk about a referendum. Talking about a referendum in a democratic manner is not an anti-India move but a pro-people and pro-rights movement.

We reiterate that SFJ’s referendum is a democratic exercise to know the will of people of Punjab whether they aspire to become independent from India, whereas, the real referendum would be held in Punjab either under the aegis of UN or with the consent of New Delhi.

So we take exception that under the garb of referendum issue, Indian army chief has issued veiled threat to Sikhs.

https://www.sikh24.com/2018/11/16/dal-khalsa-admonishes-indian-army-chief-for-beating-drum-of-law-order-problem-in-punjab/#.W_EYZuJRfIU

The Tribune – Amritsar tragedy: SIT questions 14 drivers and guards of Northern Zone of Railways

Neeraj Bagga, Tribune News Service

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 14 November 2018. A four-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Government Railway Police (GRP) on Wednesday questioned 14 drivers and guards of the Northern Zone of the Railways as a part of its enquiry into the tragic train accident which claimed 59 lives on October 19.

The SIT, headed by Assistant Inspector General (GRP) Daljit Singh Rana, DSP Surinder Kumar, Inspector Nirmal Singh and Inspector Dharminder Kalyan, quizzed railway employees.

It came out in the probe that the Railways had issued a direction of caution to all the trains plying between Manawala railway station and Amritsar railway station after a body was noticed close to Joda Phatak on that day.

The caution order had been issued from the Beas railway station at about 4.20 pm. The instruction may have been removed after lifting of the body from the site.

Sources stated that the drivers and guards of four trains other than the DMU, which killed the Dasehra revellers, which had crossed Joda Phatak before the DMU were quizzed. These trains were Howrah Mail, Chattisgarh, Dadar and Superfast Amritsar to Chandigarh.

SHO GRP Amritsar railway station Balvir Singh Ghuman said the GRP had registered a case under Sections 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 304A (causing death by negligence) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC, against unknown persons in connection with the train tragedy on October 20.

He said the names could only be incorporated in the FIR as per the recommendations of the SIT which has got three months long period.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/amritsar-tragedy-sit-questions-14-drivers-and-guards-of-northern-zone-of-railways/682991.html

Scroll.in – Jallianwala Bagh massacre: How Colonel Dyer exploited the planned gathering as a ‘gift of fortune’

In a new book, Kishwar Desai writes about how the residents of Amritsar were manipulated and insufficiently warned before the massacre in 1919.

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 12 November 2018. Since April 13 was a Sunday, many of the shops were closed in any case and the hartal was still on. With the constant presence of the army on the streets, few people would have been out in the morning.

However, at 9.30 am, Dyer decided to make two proclamations, neither of which was likely to have been heard. The Naib Tehsildar who was making the proclamations said he had halted at around 19 places where anywhere between 100 to 500 people had gathered.

Most of them, he said, were jeering, and it was doubtful if anyone grasped the importance of his words. He also mentioned that there were announcements of the Jallianwala Bagh meeting taking place simultaneously, or at least discussions about it.

There are also reports of people staying indoors when Dyer’s entourage passed by. In any case, the terms of the proclamations were unclear, perhaps deliberately so. They were read out to the beat of a drum by the Naib Tehsildar.

The first proclamation said:

The inhabitants of Amritsar are hereby warned that if any property is destroyed or other outrages committed in the vicinity of Amritsar it will be taken that incitement to perform these acts originates from Amritsar City, and such measures will be taken by me to punish the inhabitants of Amritsar according to Military law.

All meetings and gatherings are hereby prohibited and I mean to take action in accordance with Military Laws to forthwith disperse all such assemblies.

It was signed “RE Dyer, Brigadier General, Commanding Jullundur Brigade”.

This was a printed proclamation, as was the first part of the second one. But the final and most crucial part of the second proclamation, which spoke of dispersal by “force of arms”, was only read out.

The first part said:

It is hereby proclaimed to all whom it may concern, that no person residing in the city is permitted or allowed to leave the city in his own private or hired conveyance, or on foot without a pass from one of the following officers:

The Deputy Commissioner

The Superintendent of Police – Mr Rehill

The Deputy Superintendent of Police – Mr Plomer

The Assistant Commissioner – Mr Beckett

Mr Connor, Magistrate

Mr Seymour, Magistrate

Ara Muhammad Hussain, Magistrate

The Police Officer-in-charge of the City Kotwali

This will be a special form and pass

The next part of the proclamation, which was only read out, said:

No person residing in the Amritsar city is permitted to leave his house after 8.00 pm.
Any persons found in the streets after 8.00 pm are liable to be shot.

No procession of any kind is permitted to parade the streets in the city, or any part of the city, or outside of it, at any time. Any such processions or any gathering of four men would be looked upon and treated as an unlawful assembly and dispersed by force of arms, if necessary.

A note by Irving clarified, “I have put in the words ‘if necessary’ in the draft which I was asked to edit in legal language so as to bring it into line with ‘liable to be shot’ in paragraph 2.”

But did the addition of these words really have any preventive impact or was it only to protect Dyer and Irving?

This second (ambiguous) statement was read out in Urdu and Punjabi and it is the addition of the last two words that indicated that some kind of warning would be given before shooting.

The additional information that people would be shot if they were out after 8.00 pm, also made it confusing for most. Many who heard it may have thought that people would only be shot after 8.00 pm if they were still on the streets.

In any case, the proclamation was made at 19 places, none of which were close to Jallianwala Bagh or even the Golden Temple – the most crowded part of the city and an area where even visitors were likely to throng to.

For the residents of Amritsar who wanted to attend, the fact that a respected local elder and barrister, Kanhya Lal, was going to address the assembly meant they could expect to receive some “sound advice”.

Kanhya Lal himself said in his evidence to the Congress Committee: “I heard that some men (who have not been traced up to this time to my knowledge) had on the 13th April, proclaimed that a lecture would be given at Jallianwala Bagh by me.

This led or induced the public to think that I should have given them some sound advice on the situation then existing.”

A boy with a tin can had also gone around announcing that Kanhya Lal would preside over the 4.30 pm meeting at Jallianwala Bagh. He too could not be traced later. Neither could Hans Raj, the person said to have called the meeting, be questioned about the meeting, as he became a government witness in the “Amritsar Conspiracy Case”.

He did not give evidence before the Hunter Committee as he had left for Mesopotamia by then.

Some historians suspect that Hans Raj was used to gather a crowd because Dyer wanted a large number of people to be “punished”.

That the meeting was going to be held at 4.30 pm was confirmed at 1.00 pm to Dyer, who remained at Ram Bagh till at least 4.00 pm, and later said, “I went there as soon as I could. I had to think the matter out. I had to organise my forces and make up my mind as to where I might put my pickets.

I thought I had done enough to make the crowd not meet. If they were going to meet I had to consider the military situation and make up my mind what to do, which took me a certain amount of time.”

The “military situation” meant he must have asked for a map of the area and studied how he could attack the enemy, with maximum impact. He was proud of his technical skills.

Something of what was going through his mind is in his biography, The Life of General Dyer, written by Ian Colvin, in close association with Dyer’s wife, Anne, in 1929. Puzzled about how to attack the “rebels”, he had exulted over the “gift of fortune” when the “rebels” decided to congregate in an open space.

He wanted to take “immediate action” on the Amritsar “mob” which had tasted blood and “began to feel themselves masters of the situation”. He realised that he needed to bring a sizeable crowd together, but how could he do it?

In the narrow streets, among the high houses and mazy lanes and courtyards of the city the rebels had the advantage of position. They could harass him and avoid his blow. Street fighting he knew to be a bloody, perilous, inconclusive business, in which, besides, the innocent were likely to suffer more than the guilty.

Moreover, if the rebels chose their ground cunningly, and made their stand in the neighbourhood of the Golden Temple, there was the added risk of kindling the fanaticism of the Sikhs. Thus he was in this desperate situation: he could not wait and he could not fight.

The fact that the rebels themselves chose to go to an open space, where they could be corralled in was an unexpected “gift of fortune”: something he could only have hoped for and not devised. As his admirer Ian Colvin said, now the enemy was within easy reach of his sword.

“The enemy had committed such another mistake as prompted Cromwell to exclaim at Dunbar: ‘The Lord hath delivered them into my hands.’”

For Dyer, this was not a murderous attack on defenceless, innocent people. For him the people assembled were all guilty; it was a state of war, in which he wanted to teach them a “moral” lesson. He assumed all of those present at Jallianwala Bagh to be guilty without any idea of who they were.

Dyer’s planning was impeccable. He ensured that he conscripted soldiers who were sufficiently removed from Punjab so they were able to shoot without compunction. He deliberately took no British troops, because he wanted no blame to fall on them. He took none of the other commanders, what would have happened if they resisted his orders?

He was thus accompanied by twenty-five Gurkhas and twenty-five Baluchis armed with rifles. These were fierce fighters and the Gurkhas, especially, were incredibly loyal. They had no connections with Punjab, they did not even know the language.

Aware that if the crowd rushed towards him, there might be hand-to-hand combat, he took forty Gurkhas armed only with khukris. He was prepared for a bloodbath. Knowing fully well that they would not fit into the entrance, he took two armoured cars.

This was more for effect and, if things got out of hand, for escape. He also placed pickets all along the routes to the Bagh so people could be shot even if they escaped.

As the Hunter Committee admitted in its report to the British Parliament in 1920, “It appears that General Dyer, as soon as he heard about the contemplated meeting, made up his mind to go there with troops and fire” because they had “defied his authority” by assembling.

The fact that they may have been unaware of his prohibitory orders was not important for him. He wanted to create a “wide impression”.

He said, “If they disobeyed my orders it showed that there was complete defiance of law, that there was something much more serious behind it than I imagined, that therefore these were rebels, and I must not treat them with gloves on. They had come to fight if they defied me, and I was going to teach them a lesson.”

In his defence, British historians have said that he took a very small force and that he was surprised by the crowd that he found, forcing him to react the way he did. This is contrary to the facts.

He had carefully calculated how he would spread the force available to him all around the city and an aircraft flying over the meeting had already conveyed to him the strength of the crowd.

He stationed around fifty men to protect his Ram Bagh base, and also dropped off five pickets of forty each en route to Jallianwala Bagh. It was thus that he was left with “fifty rifles, forty armed Gurkhas and two armoured cars”. But he also had another fifty stationed at the Kotwali, which was not very far from Jallianwala Bagh.

Of course, the people assembling at the Bagh had no inkling of his plan, while he knew about their meeting. The CID, based in the Kotwali, were keeping a close eye on the assembly, as they had been asked to do. They too did not request people to leave, or stop them from going to the Bagh, following the morning proclamation by Dyer.

This would have added to the confidence of the gathering at Jallianwala Bagh, as the police would have watched them assemble and done nothing about it. Some members of the CID and a few police constables were even seen at the gathering, as was normal.

It is also interesting to note that despite the large presence of the army and the discomfort and deprivations they had been subjected to, the people of Amritsar still had faith in the system, in each other and, to a large extent, the British.

They were defiant, but also sombre, after the deaths on April 10, they could not imagine that a peaceful gathering, so close to the Golden Temple, on the festive day of Baisakhi could become a bloodbath.

The events of April 10 were seen as an aberration. The two days of calm that followed had given them false hope, leading them to believe that things had calmed down and they could carry on with their satyagraha.

Excerpted with permission from Jallianwalla Bagh, 1919: The Real Story, Kishwar Desai, Westland.
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https://scroll.in/article/901710/jallianwala-bagh-massacre-how-colonel-dyer-exploited-the-planned-gathering-as-a-gift-of-fortune

Sikh24.com – 1984 Sikh Genocide: Rights and Justice March to be taken out in Amritsar Sahib on November 3

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 01 November 2018. Blaming the Indian political establishment and justice system for failing the Sikhs from November 1984 massacre to Bargarhi-Behbal Kalan incidents, the Dal Khalsa will organize a ‘Rights & Justice March’ in the city on 03 November.

Addressing the media spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh and general secretary Paramjit Singh Tanda said the march would highlight the violence unleashed on Sikhs, denial of justice to aggrieved community and failure of international community in holding the Indian state accountable for the massacre of Sikhs.

“Even the tainted cops responsible for Behbal Kalan firing incident is enjoying impunity under full political patronage”.

Calling November 1984 a big blot on the image of so-called largest democracy of world, they said it was a state sponsored pogrom that had left deep scars on the psyche of Sikhs. They said lumpen elements in Congress and BJP played tandav with full impunity.

They said the failure of Indian justice system to deliver justice to victims of Delhi massacre in 84 paved the way for Mumbai killings in 92-93, Gujarat pogrom in 2002 and Orissa in 2008.

They made it clear that their community has lost all hopes to get justice from the (Indian) state. Hence, they would knock the doors of the United Nations to nail the perpetrators.

They said the march will begin from Bhandari bridge and culminate at Darbar Sahib where candles will be lit in memory of those who perished in the violence perpetuated by high and mighty of the Congress governing the country at that time.

They rubbished the Rahul Gandhi’s theory that his family and Congress party has nothing to do with the massacre of Sikhs.

Kanwar Pal said ironically India and its politicians want to mute the world. That is not possible. The tide has started to flow in the other direction. He referred the passing of a motion in the Canada’s Ontario state assembly and Pennsylvania in USA calling the mass killings of Sikhs in 1984 as ‘genocide’.

https://www.sikh24.com/2018/11/01/1984-sikh-genocide-rights-and-justice-march-to-be-taken-out-in-amritsar-sahib-on-november-3/#.W9yCFOJRfIU

The Tribune – Lifts opened at entrance to Harmandr Sahib

Tribune News Service

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 31 October 2018. Two lifts were inaugurated in the Harmandr Sahib complex by SGPC chief secretary Dr Roop Singh and junior vice-president Harpal Singh on Wednesday.

These lifts, installed at the entrance, would help devotees reach the ‘parikarma’ and the Central Sikh Museum. Dr Roop Singh said each lift, costing Rs 11 lakh, had a capacity to carry 10 persons at a time and would benefit people who faced difficulty in using the stairs.

Last year, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) had decided to install special lifts to allow easier access to physically challenged devotees to the shrine’s parikarma’.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/lifts-opened-at-entrance-to-golden-temple/676978.html