Hindustan Times – Three women thieves travelling with Sikh pilgrims from Pakistan arrested

Lucknow – Uttar Pradesh – India, 22 August 2019. Three Ludhiana women thieves and pick-pockets, travelling with Sikh pilgrims from Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, were arrested by the Alambagh police here on Thursday.

Police said they are part of a gang travelling with the pilgrims, who are on a visit to different cities of India. “The miscreants strike during gatherings being organized for the pilgrims in various places,” said a police officer.

Inspector of Alambagh police station Anand Shahi said the three women, Seeto Singh, Sukhwinder and Daani, were arrested near Chander Nagar locality, under Alambagh police station limits, when they stole hand-bags of three women pilgrims. He said the stolen hand-bags were later recovered from their possession.

Shahi said the arrested women revealed during interrogation that more members of their gang had mingled with the pilgrims when they entered India via Punjab and had committed several thefts and done pick-pocketing at different locations.

He said some they committed crime at three places in Lucknow (Bakshi Ka Talab, Ganeshganj and Alambagh) and added that their gang members committed thefts in Sitapur, Shahjahanpur, Bareilly and some places in Punjab.

He said police officials of the places where thefts were committed have been informed about their arrest.

“The pilgrims have now reached Kanpur and their hosts have been informed about the gang. He said the arrested women had revealed names of some members of their gang and their details have also been shared with the hosts,” Shahi said.

Nankana Sahib is in Punjab province of Pakistan that is named after the first Guru of Sikhs, Guru Nanak, who was born in the city and first began preaching there. It is a city of historic and religious value and a popular pilgrimage site for Sikhs from all over the world.


The Hindu – Magsaysay award winner briefly put under house arrest for planning J&K support march

Omar Rashid

Lucknow – Uttar Pradesh – India, 11 August 2019. Sandeep Pandey had announced a candlelight march in solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370 and the clampdown on communication.

Magsaysay award winner and social activist Sandeep Pandey was on Sunday briefly barred from leaving his house here by the Lucknow police after he had announced a candlelight march in solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370 and the clampdown on communication.

Mr Pandey’s wife Arundhati Dhuru, an activist herself, said in a text message: “There are police outside our home, not allowing any of us to go out.”

However, she said the police team had left the residence around 4 pm.

Mr Pandey was among those who had announced the demonstration “in support of people of Kashmir” on Sunday at 6 pm. The demonstration was scheduled at the Gandhi statue in Hazratganj in the heart of the Uttar Pradesh capital.

Mr Pandey was put under “house arrest” even after he had informed the police that the protest was postponed to August 16 in the wake of their security concerns around the Bakrid and the Independence Day, said Rajeev Yadav of the Rihai Manch, a civil rights group based in UP which was part of the scheduled demonstration.

“No security in Lucknow, leave Kashmir aside. Lucknow police officers’ dictatorial direction,” said Mr. Yadav.

President of the Rihai Manch and senior advocate Mohammad Shoaib said he was also being pressured by the police to call off the demonstration. “When I told them we were willing to be arrested under the relevant legal Sections for holding a protest, they told me they didn’t want to arrest us,” he told The Hindu.

Police personnel led by CO and SHO rank officers had gone to his residence but left soon after.

The police are yet to issue a statement.


The Hindu – Yogi Adityanath pins Sonbhadra blame on Congress – Samajwadi Party

Omar Rashid

Lucknow – Uttar Pradesh – India, 21 July 2019. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday held the Congress and partly the Samajwadi Party responsible for the Sonbhadra killings over a land dispute, which he said were a result of the “sins” committed by the previous Congress governments.

Mr Adityanath said “going to the bottom” of the case, the incident “is an example of a political conspiracy and goondagardi (hooliganism)”, and had exposed the “anti-Dalit and anti-tribal face of the Congress”.

He said the National Security Act would be invoked against all those involved in the land grab incident.

The CM, who visited the affected village in Sonbhadra and met the families of the victims, also claimed that the main accused in the shootings, gram pradhan Yagya Dutta, was an “active member” of the SP, while his brother belonged to the Bahujan Samaj Party. Both have been arrested.

In an apparent dig at Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had a 24-hour stand-off with the Mirzapur administration over the issue, Mr Adityanath said the Congress, which was “shedding crocodile tears”, should apologise to the poor tribal families for starting the land dispute leading to the loss of 10 lives.

According to the two-member probe by the Yogi Adityanath government, the land dispute in Umbha and Sipah villages in Ghorawal, Sonbhadra, where the shoot-out took place, traces its genesis to 1955, when a tract of barren tribal land was illegally registered under the name of a public trust, Adarsh Cooperative Society, run by a then Congress Rajya Sabha MP.

Then, in 1989, when the Congress was still ruling in UP, the government said the trust’s land was transferred in the name of individual members of the trust, who then sold it to the accused gram pradhan in 2017 after failing to get possession. A three-member committee under the Additional Chief Secretary-Revenue has been formed to probe the entire matter.

Compensation increased

Mr Adityanath, meanwhile, increased the compensation for the families of the deceased to Rs 18.5 lakh from Rs 5 lakh, while the injured would receive Rs 5 lakh against the Rs 50,000 announced earlier.

The CM, while assuring all help and development to locals, also promised them that houses would be provided to members of the SC and ST communities of Sonbhadra within a year, while a separate committee would be formed to pay attention to the overall development of the district. The affected villages would also get a police outpost, an Anganwadi centre and a fire tender centre.

Ms Vadra, who was prevented from visiting the affected village in Sonbhadra by the Yogi Adityanath government, tried to take credit for the CM’s visit. “Better late than never, standing with the victims is the duty of the government,” Ms. Vadra tweeted.

‘Fulfil demands’

She said when thousands of Congress workers and justice-loving people supported the voice of the victims of Umbha village, the government realised that it was a “serious incident.”

Ms Vadra also asked the Yogi Adityanath government to implement the promises made by him in Sonbhadra and also fulfil their demands.

Ms Vadra had on Saturday endorsed the five-fold demand put forth by the tribals: Rs 25 lakh compensation to the family of each victim; ownership rights over the land they have been cultivating for generations; fast track hearing of the July 17 killings in Ghorawal; withdrawal of cases against “innocent” villagers over the land dispute; and security for tribals leading the fight for their land rights.


The Hindu – Plaint against rapper for post on RSS chief, UP Chief Minister

‘Hard Kaur had insulted senior leaders’

Lucknow – Uttar Pradesh – India, 20 June 2019. A complaint was submitted here on Thursday against UK-based rapper Taran Kaur Dhillon aka Hard Kaur for an alleged abusive post against RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on a social networking platform, police said.

The complaint was submitted at the cyberpolice station in Bandra Kurla Complex by one Sandip Ghuge, who claims to be the president of the BJP Chitrapat (Film) Union, an official said.

The complaint alleged that Ms Kaur had “insulted and abused” the senior leaders.

It said she had no right to abuse the respected personalities without any reason, proof or any justification, the official said.

The complainant has sought action against the singer for misusing the social media platform to “promote hatred by using abusive language.”

Ms Kaur, known for her hit songs like “Glassy” and “Move Your Body,” owns a music label, Future Records.

She has been booked for sedition in Uttar Pradesh for the alleged objectionable remarks against Mr. Bhagwat and Mr. Adityanath.


NDTV – Congress blocked fund release to anti-Sikh riot victims: Rajnath Singh

“I ordered the release of the fund. And we have given Rs. 2 lakh to every family of the victim,” Rajnath Singh said.

Lucknow – Uttar Pradesh – India, 24 March 2019. Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday accused the Congress of blocking the release of compensatory funds meant for the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Speaking at an event in Lucknow, Mr Singh said: “When I took the office of Home Ministry in 2014, I got to know that the ministry had the extra fund of Rs. 90 crore that was meant for the victims of the anti-Sikh riots, but the Congress had not released it.”

“I ordered the release of the fund. And we have given Rs. 2 lakh to every family of the victim,” he added.

“It is the first time, that a leader of the then ruling party has been convicted for his crime during the riots. It could be possible because the BJP was at the Centre. And I had also ordered the formation of SIT to investigate the riots.”

He further criticised the Congress for questioning Balakot strike conducted by Indian Air Force. “I can assure you every action was taken after the intelligence input. I don’t understand the attack was conducted in Pakistan, why Congress is feeling pain?”

Mr Singh also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stating that he has emerged as the “most popular leader” of the world. Mr Singh further added that, “I am not telling you because the election is coming, but India’s Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) is not only India’s favourite leader but has also emerged as the world’s most popular leader.”


The Indian Express – 1984 riots: SIT to examine over 1250 cases filed in Kanpur

On 05 February 5, the state government ordered to set-up a four member SIT headed by former UP DGP Atul to examine the cases filed during 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The Kanpur police have been collecting the case documents and the status of each cases to be sent to the government

Manish Sahu

Lucknow – Uttar Pradesh – India, 13 February 2019. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the Uttar Pradesh government to examine and probe anti-Sikh riot cases lodged in Kanpur after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984, have to handle 1,254 cases including 1,101 to be investigated again as these were all closed on various grounds.

All the cases to be handed over to the SIT were registered at different police stations of Kanpur district during the riots.

On February 5, the state government ordered to set-up a four member SIT headed by former UP DGP Atul to examine the cases filed during 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The Kanpur police have been collecting the case documents and the status of each cases to be sent to the government.

“The state government, taking a suo motu decision after taking cognizance of requests made in a petition related to the Sikh riots filed in the Supreme Court, decided to form SIT in the riot cases. In the petition pending in the Supreme Court, petitioner had requested for examination and investigation of cases by an SIT,” said principal secretary (home) Arvind Kumar.

The petition, Manjit Singh and others vs Government of India, was filed in 2017 in the Supreme Court. Former DGP Atul is chairman of the SIT while district judge (retired) Subhash Chandra Agarwal and additional DG, prosecution (retired) Yogeshwar Krishna Srivastava are its members and a serving SSP or SP will also be there in the team as member-secretary.

The tenure of the SIT has been fixed at six months.

As per government directives, the newly formed SIT would be examining cases in which closure reports were filed, those in which accused were acquitted and also the cases pending for investigation. If found appropriate, the SIT will investigate the cases under provisions of section 173 (8) of the CrPC.

In cases where the accused were acquitted, if it is found during examination that no writ/ appeal was filed in such cases while it was required as per merit, the SIT is supposed to recommend to the legal authorities concerned to file a writ/appeal in a higher court.

The SIT will be provided police inspectors, sub-inspectors, other employees and prosecuting officers for assistance in the examination and investigation.

When contacted, SIT chairman Atul said, “I have so far not received the government order in this regard. After receiving the order, it will be clear what job SIT has been assigned. We will certainly ask for human resources to complete the assignment.”

Principal Secretary (Home), Arvind Kumar, said, “The four SIT members have been informed telephonically about the order.” Additional DG, Prosecution (retired) Yogeshwar Krishna Srivastava, the SIT member, said, “We have to only examine the cases registered in Kanpur during 1984 riots.”

Additional Superintendent of Police, Rural area (Kanpur), Pradyumna Singh, informed, “as per records available, a total of 1,254 FIRs were lodged in connection with 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Kanpur.

These cases were registered at 29 different police stations. Of the 1,254 cases, closure reports have been filed in 1,101 cases. Police had filed chargesheet in 153 other cases.”

He added, “We are still collecting details about how many deaths occurred during riots and also present status of the cases pending in court.”

Awaiting justice

Kanpur resident Harmohinder Kaur, 70, is hopeful that the killers of her husband Bhagat Singh and brother-in-law Harbansh Singh will be brought to justice by SIT.

“I am waiting for the SIT to investigate the murders of my husband and brother-in-law because Kanpur police had failed to trace any assailant then, said Kaur, who retired as a lecturer from Guru Nanak Degree College in Kanpur. Kaur now lives in Rambagh locality in Kanpur with her only son, Rana Ranvir Singh.

Giving details of the case, Kaur said she was staying with her family in Sharda Nagar area of Kanpur at the time of the riots. “A day after the death of Indira Gandhi, a mob of over armed miscreants barged in our house. My husband Bhagat Singh (then 35) and Harbansh Singh (then 34) were standing outside the house.

The mob caught and hit them with sticks and sharp-edged weapons. Later, they escaped,” said Kaur.

“We took both of them to hospital. Since curfew was clamped in the city, no senior doctors were present. Junior doctors asked to arrange for blood, but we could not do so due to the situation. Later, my husband and brother-in-law died during treatment,” added Kaur.

Bhagat Singh used to run an air-conditioner repair shop at Badariya Bagh and Harbansh Singh help him in the business. A case was filed against unidentified persons at Kalyanpur police station but police failed to trace any accused and closure report was filed, added Kaur.

After the incident, I started working at Guru Nanak Degree College on contractual basis for survival and two years later I was made a permanent employee. “Fearing that I may lose my son, I send him to a relative’s house in Punjab where he studied.

Rana Ranvir Singh returned to Kanpur after a decade. He completed his intermediate and runs an AC repair shop,” she added.


The Deccan Chronicle – UP government forms SIT to investigate 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Kanpur

About 2,800 Sikhs were killed across India during the pogrom that broke out after Indira Gandhi’s assassination on 31 October 1984.

Lucknow – Uttar Pradesh – India, 06 February 2019. A four-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted by the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh to investigate the circumstances that led to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Kanpur following the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Headed by retired Uttar Pradesh director general of police, Atul, the team includes retired additional director (prosecution) Yogeshwar Krishna Srivastava and retired district judge Subhash Chandra Agarwal. It will also include a senior-level officer from the Uttar Pradesh police.

The SIT has been asked to submit its report in six months, an official statement said on Tuesday.

According to official records, about 2,800 Sikhs were killed across India, including 2,100 in Delhi, during the pogrom that broke out after Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards on 31 October 1984.


The Hindustan Times – Dalit MP Savitri Bai Phule quits BJP over ‘ignoring community’s issues’

The youngest Dalit MP in Lok Sabha, 37-year-old Savitri Bai Phule is expected to announce her next political move at a rally in Lucknow’s Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan on 23 December.

Manish Chandra Pandey

Lucknow – Uttar Pradesh – India, 07 December 2018. BJP’s Dalit MP from Uttar Pradesh, Savitri Bai Phule resigned from the party on Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s death anniversary on Thursday after accusing the BJP of ignoring Dalit issues.

Immediately after sending her resignation to BJP chief Amit Shah, she told HT on phone that several other Dalit and OBC MPs from the BJP were in touch with her and might quit soon.

Phule’s letter questioning BJP’s commitment to reservation in April, a charge she repeated on Thursday, had resulted in several other Dalit MPs writing to BJP accusing it of neglecting them and their issues.

The youngest Dalit MP in Lok Sabha, 37-year-old Phule is expected to announce her next political move at a rally in Lucknow’s Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan on 23 December.

“We are expecting two lakh people at the rally,” said Phule’s aide Ranjeet Kumar. A first time lawmaker from Balha in 2012, she had become an MP from Bahraich in 2014 on a BJP ticket. She had previously been in the BSP and some political leaders indicated that she had feelers from the Samajwadi Party.

The BJP reacted cautiously to her resignation. “We have always been championing cause of the Dalits. It’s not for nothing that today we have maximum Dalit MLAs and MPs and our Dalit support is growing,” said UP BJP general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak.

He, however, added, “All that I would like to say is several people, including Dalit and OBC leaders from other parties, are also in touch with us.” Soon after sending her resignation, Phule also held a press conference in Lucknow where she attacked the BJP.

Her resignation came in the middle of BJP’s Dalit connect initiatives in UP which have seen the party holding meetings with all Dalit subcastes in the state capital.

“I have been raising Dalit issues in Lok Sabha since 2014, but since I come from a marginalised community, my voice was always ignored. That’s why I have decided to quit the party. I have raised the same issues in the state capital too,” she said.

Two days back Phule had taken on chief minister Yogi Adityanath over his alleged ‘Hanuman a Dalit’ remark saying if Lord Hanuman was indeed a Dalit, then the community should get right over his temples. She had also described Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cleanliness campaign or ‘swacchta abhiyaan’ a sham.