The Tribune – Punjab’s move to withdraw free power may trigger political storm

Jupinderjit Singh – Tribune News Service

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 28 May 2020. The Punjab Government’s decision to withdraw free power facility from the farmers in a phased manner is set to trigger a political clash with the Shiromani Akali Dal saying it will launch an agitation to “save farmers.”

In response to the threat, the Congress said the SAD should first quit the coalition government at the Centre as the state government was being forced to follow the diktats of the Narendra government on the issue.

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said the party had been playing the role of a responsible Opposition by restricting protests to the virtual world only, but on the issue of farmers, the party will hit the streets.

Party insiders said the leaders might seek the “blessings” of Akal Takht, if needed, on the issue.

The party has called a meeting of its core committee on 30 May to chalk out the strategy on the matter. Notably, the farming community forms a major chunk of the Akali vote bank. The move to withdraw free power might give political fodder to it to reclaim much-needed support in the state.

“The Akalis should first resign from the coalition government at the Centre which is forcing the states to withdraw free power from farmers to get loans or funds from the Centre.

They should leave the coalition government and then talk about farmers,” said Sunil Jakhar, president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.

The Cabinet had on Wednesday decided that free power from farmers will be withdrawn in phases. The Cabinet said this was being done as the Centre had refused to help the state economically, arguing it had enough money to bail out the farmers.

The government said it would not burden the farmers and reimburse the power bills.

Free power leads to deeper and deeper bore-wells and further depletion of the goundwater level.
This will have catastrophic effect on Panjab, but neither SAD nor Congress have the guts to speak out for the long term interest of the state. 

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/punjabs-move-to-withdraw-free-power-may-trigger-political-storm-91228

Sikh24.com – Hurriyat Conference strongly condemns attack on Derby Gurdwara

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 27 May 2020. Strongly condemning the recent attack on Gurdwara Guru Arjan Dev in Derby (UK), the All Parties Hurriyat Conference has expressed solidarity with the Sikh community. The APHC asked the British government to take stern action against the attacker so that no one could dare to commit such a heinous act in the future.

All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) is an alliance of 26 political, social and religious organizations formed on 9 March 1993, as a united political front to raise the cause of Kashmir.

In a press note shared with Sikh24, All Parties Hurriyat Conference’s spokesperson Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai has said that this attack was extremely painful as Sikhs have always stood for the cause of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Smelling Indian agencies’ hand behind this attack, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai said that Sikhs have always supported the Kashmiris.

“When the innocent Kashmiris were being assaulted by Hindu extremists in all parts of India in August last year, the Sikhs opened the doors of their Gurdwaras for the oppressed Kashmiri Muslims and provided them food and shelter,” Sehrai said while adding that the Kashmiris can’t even think of attacking Gurdwara.

He expressed hope that the Indian agencies will not succeed in its nefarious design focused on creating discord between Muslims and the Sikhs.

Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai’s son Junaid Sehrai was an active Kashmiri militant who recently lost his life in an encounter with the Indian forces in Srinagar’s Nawakadal area on May 19.

On 25 May a Muslim man of Pakistani origin named Mohammed Ibrar had attacked Gurdwara Guru Arjan Dev in Derby. He smashed the Gurdwara property causing damage worth thousands of pounds.

After the attack, he had left a written note in Gurdwara Sahib in which he had tried to depict that he launched this attack out of anger against the Indian government for oppressing Kashmiris.

https://www.sikh24.com/2020/05/27/hurriyat-conference-strongly-condemns-attack-on-derby-gurdwara/#.Xs_EqsBS_IU

Sikh24.com – Punjab police cops brutally thrash Sikh journalist Major Singh

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 22 May 2020. Unnecessary glorification of Punjab police cops by the Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has made them so much fearless that they have now started physically assaulting the media persons.

Although, the India-wide police cops keep on crushing the freedom of speech and expression, but now they have also started brutally thrashing journalists by illegally taking them to Police station.

Such an incident has come to fore in Mohali where two police cops namely ASI Om Parkash and Amar Nath forcibly took a Sikh journalist Major Singh to Phase-1 police station of Mohali and brutally thrashed him.

Major Singh works as a correspondent for Rozana Pehredar from Mohali and Chandigarh. He is renowned for his work on Sikh issues.

Available information reveals that Major Singh was seeking Police’s version about the video of a person arrested in relation to a Gurdwara dispute.

The police cops thrashed Major Singh so brutally that he had to admit in a hospital situated in Phase-6 of Mohali.

Meanwhile, Dal Khalsa has strongly condemned the attack on Sikh journalist Major Singh.

Last month, the Punjab police had arrested scores of Sikh youths including a Sikh journalist Bhupinder Singh just for dissenting over Punjab police’s theory on Patiala incident.

Punjab police cops brutally thrash Sikh journalist Major Singh

The Tribune – Reveal ‘truth’ about lunch diplomacy outcome: MLA

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 22 May 2020. Qadian MLA Fateh Jang Bajwa today dared senior party leaders to reveal the truth about the outcome of their luncheon meeting with Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh at latter’s residence on Wednesday.

Four party leaders, PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar, Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Randhawa, Gidderbaha MLA Amrinder Singh Raja Warring and MLA Pargat Singh, had been invited for the luncheon by the Chief Minister amid face-off between the ministers and Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh.

“The leaders had been asking for the removal of the Chief Secretary. If the leaders had put their strong point of view before the Chief Minister, the latter must have given his reply to them and must have convinced them that the Chief Secretary was a good officer who is about to retire. They should tell the truth to the people,” Bajwa said.

Stating that one can understand CM’s point of view that removing the top bureaucrat will give a wrong message to the bureaucracy, he said the political class also had to show its face to the public.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/reveal-truth-about-lunch-diplomacy-outcome-mla-88574w

Sikh24.com – SIT requests CBI to share official documents related to enforced disappearance of Balwant Singh Multani

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 19 May 2020. Media reports reveal that the Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted to probe the enforced disappearance Sikh youth Balwant Singh Multani, is probing the case on the basis investigation report submitted by CBI in 2008.

Notably, the CBI had conducted a probe into this case on the directions of Punjab & Haryana High Court and a FIR was also lodged by the CBI. Later, the Supreme Court of India had quashed this FIR on technical grounds.

“The CBI had conducted an in-depth investigation in this case and we think it’s perfect to get directions for fresh investigation,” informed a senior Police officer on the condition of anonymity.

He further informed that the SIT has also requested the CBI to share the official documents pertaining to the investigation of this case.

It may be recalled here that an FIR No. 77/2020 was registered against the Ex-DGP Sumedh Saini in the Mataur police station on 06 May in relation to the enforced disappearance of Sikh youth Balwant Singh Multani.

Sections 364 (kidnapping or abduction in order to murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 344 (wrongful confinement), 330 (voluntarily causing hurt to exhort confession) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) of IPC have been invoked in this FIR registered on the complaint of Balwant Singh Multani’s brother Palwinder Singh Multani.

Balwant Singh Multani, who was a son of an IAS officer Darshan Singh Multani, was abducted by the Punjab police cops in December-1991 from his residence in 7-Phase of Mohali at the behest of Sumedh Saini.

Later, he was killed by committing inhuman torture in the Sector-17 police station in Chandigarh.

SIT requests CBI to share official documents related to enforced disappearance of Balwant Singh Multani

India Today – Amritsar temple priest repeatedly raped two women in confinement, arrested after police raid

The two victims, in a letter to Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes member Tarsem Singh, informed that they have been illegally confined and were being repeatedly raped by the Mahant and his men.

Manjeet Sehgal

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 19 May 2020. Amritsar police has arrested a temple priest and his accomplice on charges of keeping two women in illegal confinement and repeatedly raping them.

The prime accused, identified as Mahant Girdhari Nath, was working as the head priest at Guru Gyan Nath Asshram Valmiki Tirath in Ramtirth Complex under Lopoke police station in Amritsar, police officials told India Today TV.

The two victims, in a letter to Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes member Tarsem Singh, informed that they have been illegally confined and were being repeatedly raped by the Mahant and his men.

The Lopoke Police on Monday raided the temple complex and released the victims from the ashram and arrested Mohan Girdhari Nath and his accomplice Varinder Nath. Two of his men identified as Nachattar Singh and Suraj Nath managed to escape.

“We raided the complex on the basis of a complaint filed by Tarsem Singh Sayalka and have arrested two accused. Those who are on the run will be arrested soon as police teams are raiding their possible hideouts,” DSP Atari Guru Pratap Singh said.

More details about the deeds of the rape accused priest are awaited. The police is currently interrogating Mahant Girdhari Nath and Varindernath.

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/amritsar-temple-priest-repeatedly-raped-two-women-1679469-2020-05-19

Sikh24.com – With the lifting of curfew, devotees start thronging to Sri Darbar Sahib

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 18 May 2020. With the lifting of curfew in Punjab, a slow revival of hustle and bustle in Sri Harmandr Sahib is being witnessed today. The devotees have started thronging to the holiest Sikh shrine seeking blessings of Guru Sahib.

However, the administration is controlling the entrance paths of Sri Darbar Sahib to keep the rush low.

An SGPC official informed that around 21,000 devotees paid obeisance at Sri Harmandr Sahib on 17 May. He further informed that the SGPC was fully vigilant about social distancing inside Sri Darbar Sahib complex and the devotees were being asked to sanitize their hands before paying obeisance inside sanctum sanctorum.

With the lifting of curfew, devotees start thronging to Sri Darbar Sahib

The Statesman – 1.80 lakh migrants leave Punjab, over 10 lakh more in queue

Besides, nodal officers have been deputed for all these states who are pro-actively connecting to their counterparts in other states to facilitate the return of the migrants, and teams constituted at the level of the deputy commissioners for the mandatory medical screening of migrants.

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 16 May 2020. After losing their livelihoods due to the lock-down enforced to prevent the spread of Covid-19, over 1,80,000 migrant workers have left Punjab for their home states through 150 special trains even as over 10 lakh more have registered for returning to their native states through the government transport.

The nodal officer Vikas Pratap said Punjab government plans to send over 200 trains in next 10 days and the numbers would increase in near future at the maximum possible extent. He said that Punjab is likely to send more than 20 more trains daily.

Out of total 150 special trains sent so far, maximum trains (57) have gone from Ludhiana with another 45 trains from Jalandhar have taken migrants to different parts of the country. Other places from where trains have departed include Amritsar, Patiala, Mohali, Bathinda, Ferozepur and Sirhind. Maximum trains are going to Uttar Pradesh followed by Bihar and Jharkhand.

Punjab government is also sending trains to Chattisgarh, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. Assuring the state’s commitment to go the extra mile to mitigate their sufferings, Pratap said food, water and other essentials were also being provided to all those travelling back home for their journey.

Besides, nodal officers have been deputed for all these states who are pro-actively connecting to their counterparts in other states to facilitate the return of the migrants, and teams constituted at the level of the deputy commissioners for the mandatory medical screening of migrants.

Only those are being allowed to board the trains, who are found to be asymptomatic. Since 1 May, over 15.6 lakh migrant workers have registered through Punjab government portal for return to their native states. Of these, over 12 lakh have requested for government transport.

 1.80 lakh migrants leave Punjab, over 10 lakh more in queue

Sikh24.com – More victim families start turning up against Sumedh Saini

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 15 May 2020. After the indictment of Ex-DGP Sumedh Saini in Balwant Singh Multani’s enforced disappearance case, the families of other Sikhs eliminated by Saini have also started turning up to lodge criminal complaints against him.

Another such case pertaining to the abduction and elimination of a Mohali resident father and son has surfaced against Sumedh Saini. A daughter of this family has come forward to depose against Sumedh Saini as an eyewitness.

Similarly, Panthak Vichar Manch’s president Baljit Singh Khalsa is also ready to depose against Sumedh Saini in Court.

However, Professor Devender Pal Singh Bhullar’s family has not come forward to lodge complaint against Sumedh Saini about the enforced disappearance of Bhullar’s father and uncle.

More victim families start turning up against Sumedh Saini

Sikh24.com – Ex-DGP Virk remarks on Multani Case: If they didn’t give you justice for 29 years, then how can you expect it now?

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 14 May 2020. In an interview with Journalist Ritesh Lakhi, Ex-DGP Sarbdeep Singh Virk has said that if the family of Balwant Singh Multani couldn’t get justice during the last 29 years, then how can they expect it now. “If they didn’t give justice when Multani was murdered then how do you think that justice will come as a gift for you now,” he said.

Virk further said that people will have to unite and build up pressure on the state for justice otherwise there is no hope.

Admitting the prevalence of corruption in Punjab administration, Virk said that the administration of Punjab has been infected with corruption virus since long. “Cases like extrajudicial abduction and murder of Balwant Singh Multani are just a small manifestation of this corrupt system,” he added.

Ex-DGP Virk admitted that a lot of innocents got murdered under the garb of fight with ‘terrorism’ but unfortunately all these excesses got buried under the carpet. “I personally oppose such extra-judicial killings carried out intentionally by the cops for the sake of monetary rewards or promotion,” he added.

Citing an Urdu couplet “Mehsoos Yeh Hota Hai Yeh Daur-e-Tabahi Hai, Sheeshe Ki Adalat Mein Pathar Ki Gawahi Hai”, Virk said that the India system is very fragile and it becomes inefficient in front of a powerful person. “Getting justice in today’s system is very tough,” he said.

Grudging over no inquiry in the disappearance of Professor Devender Pal Singh Bhullar’s father and uncle, who were gazetted officers, Virk said that Professor Devender Pal Singh was innocent.

Virk also took on Badals for endorsing an armed attack on Sri Darbar Sahib in June-1984 and appointing Sumedh Saini as DGP of Punjab by sidelining senior IPS officers.

Ex-DGP Virk remarks on Multani Case: If they didn’t give you justice for 29 years, then how can you expect it now?