The Tribune – Approval to acquire land for Ferozepur-Amritsar rail link

Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepur – Panjab – India, 05 March 2019. Decks have been cleared for the Ferozepur-Amritsar rail link, following nod by the state government to acquire land for the project. The rail link has the potential to shorten the distance between the northern states, including Punjab, to trade capitals of Gujarat and Maharastra to a large extent.

The state government has approved Rs 40 crore for the acquisition of land in Ferozepur and Tarn Taran districts to lay the rail track, needed to revive this vital link between two border districts of Ferozepur and Amritsar.

Vivek Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager (Ferozepur Division), said though he had not received any official information on this, but once the land was made available, the Railways would start the work immediately.

Earlier, the rail link between Majha and Malwa was snapped at the time of partition when the province of Punjab was divided and some part of Ganda Singh Wala (now in Kasur) fell into the share of Pakistan, for which now an alternative broad-gauge link between Ferozepur and Patti needed to be constructed.

Though the crucial rail link was given a ‘green signal’ in the 2013 rail budget, the matter remained hanging in abeyance due to the delay on part of state government to provide land.

Last year, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had himself written to the Railway Ministry to expedite the process of construction of the broad-gauge link between Gharyala on the Amritsar-Khemkaran line and Mallanwala on the Ferozepur-Jalandhar line.

The matter had also been taken up by Rajya Sabha MP Shwet Malik, now state BJP chief, with the Railways on several occasions. Malik had even accused the “high-profile transport lobby” of trying to jeopardise the project due to their vested interests.

Social worker Ashok Bajaj said “The rail link is extremely vital to join the two strategically located border districts of Ferozepur and Amritsar.”

It will also be a boon for farmers who will be able to send vegetables and fruits to the markets in Mumbai and other areas within two-three days. The project would also ease the movement of troops in this border region, Bajaj said.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/approval-to-acquire-land-for-ferozepur-amritsar-rail-link/738606.html

The Tribune – SAD chief says CM is backstabbing Sikhs

Ferozepur – Panjab – India, 21 December 2018. Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today accused Chief Minister Capt Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal of backstabbing the Sikh community and indulging in “blatant sycophancy” of the Gandhi family to save his chair.

Addressing mediapersons here after a meeting with party workers, Sukhbir said it was astonishing that Captain Amarinder Singh was still claiming that the Gandhi family and the Congress were not involved in the 1984 genocide even after the Delhi High Court had stated the opposite.

The former Deputy Chief Minister said the court had observed while sentencing Sajjan Kumar to life imprisonment that he had escaped the law for 34 years due to political patronage.

“People don’t need a Chief Minister who claims he left the Congress in protest against Operation Bluestar but now refuses to speak up for the victims of the 1984 massacre and is working overtime to save the Gandhi family,” he added.

Sukhbir said Rahul Gandhi should specify when he would expel Jagdish Tytler and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath from the Congress. “Is he still waiting for them to be convicted before acting against them?” the SAD president asked.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/sad-chief-says-cm-is-backstabbing-sikhs/702324.html

Sikh24.com – Punjab government approves Rs 1.59 billion to develop and beautify Dera Baba Nanak area

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 04 December 2018. Highly hailing the initiative of India and Pakistan on Kartarpur corridor, the Punjab government has termed the move as a historic step.

A resolution in this concern was passed by the Punjab cabinet on December 3 announcing constitution of a Dera Baba Nanak Development Authority for the development and beautification of the area in and around Dera Baba Nanak ahead of the 550th birthday celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

It is noteworthy here that the Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has already announced a slew of development projects for upgrading the infrastructure and facilities for the millions of pilgrims expected to visit the area during the historic occasion, for which the year-long celebrations were kicked off by the state government on November 23 this year.

“The cabinet, at its meeting here, said with the laying of the foundation stone for the corridor, a long-pending demand of the Sikhs had been fulfilled, thus paving the way for opening the way for devotees to visit the historic Kartarpur Gurdwara, close to the Line of Control” reads a press release from the Chief Minister’s Office.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has sanctioned Rupees 1.59 billion for the beautification of Dera Baba Nanak town.

Sikh24 has learnt that these funds will be used for developing the road running through the main market of Dera Baba Nanak on the lines of the Amritsar heritage street. The project work is expected to begin later this week.

“A sum of Rupees 90 million has been earmarked for improving facilities, including the installation of street lights, within the Municipal Committee limits of the town” informed the local legislator Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.

He added that Rupees 610 million have been reserved for implementing a project to draw water from the Uppar Bari Doab Canal for supplying the water to 40 villages of the constituency facing water scarcity.

https://www.sikh24.com/2018/12/04/punjab-government-approves-rupees-1-59-billion-to-develop-and-beautify-dera-baba-nanak-area/#.XAvf9eJ7nIU

Sikh24.com – Punjab Police arrests Dhariwal resident Sikh youth in Amritsar bomb blast case; villagers refute police’s claims

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 21 November 2018. Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh today claimed of solving the Amritsar bomb blast case while announcing the involvement of two Sikh youths in it by holding a press conference in Chandigarh.

He claimed that the duo Sikh youths hurled a Pakistan made hand-grenade on an outlet of Nirankari cult in Amritsar at the behest of Pakistan resident ISI’s hand-tool Harmeet Singh PhD alias Happy.

Captain Amarinder Singh said that the Punjab police have arrested one assailant Bikramjit Singh alias Bikram (26) from village Loharka. Bikram is learnt to be a resident of village Dhariwal situated near the spot of incident.

Captain Amarinder Singh claimed that Bikram was driving the motor-cycle during the attack and facilitated smooth entry for his accomplice into the Niranakari cult’s outlet by pointing pistol on the security guard at entrance.

“Another assailant Avtar Singh Khalsa (32), who hails from village Chak Mishri Khan of Lopoke constituency, hurled a grenade on the gathering from a distance of about 60 feet and ran away” he added.

DGP Suresh Arora, who was accompanying the Punjab CM during this press conference, claimed that the Punjab police succeeded in cracking the case as the number plate of Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle (PB02-BF-9488) used in the crime got recorded in CCTV cameras.

He added that Bikram was riding a TVS motorbike with plate number (PB18-M-7032) at the time of his arrest.

However, the residents of village Dhariwal have ruled out the possibility of Bikramjit Singh’s involvement in the bomb blast. The villagers have asserted that Bikram was continuously busy in sowing wheat after Diwali and was present in the village when this bomb blast occurred.

Torpedoing Police’s claims of arresting Bikram from village Loharka, an old age neighbor of Bikram told the media that the Police arrested Bikram from his home during the midnight hours of November 20 and November 21. He bluntly ruled out any possibility of Bikram’s involvement in this bomb blast.

“All the villagers are ready to witness for the innocence of Bikram and we won’t let the Police succeed in its ill motives” said Bikram’s paternal uncle.

https://www.sikh24.com/2018/11/21/punjab-police-arrests-dhariwal-resident-sikh-youth-in-amritsar-bomb-blast-case-villagers-refute-polices-claims/#.W_ajPeJRfIU

India Today – Badals rake up Blue Star operation, anti-Sikh riots after they are cornered in sacrilege cases

While addressing a rally, former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said Congress was hell bent on capturing Sikh shrines.

Patiala – Panjab – India, 07 October 2018. The miffed Badals on Sunday raised the bogey of Blue Star operation, anti-Sikh operation and anti-Sikh rights issue during a rally in Patiala, the home turf of CM captain Amarinder Singh. This comes after the Ranjit Singh panel report hinted at the then government’s failure to handle the sacrilege cases.

While addressing the gathering, former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said Congress was hell bent on capturing Sikh shrines as well as the SGPC, the committee which manages the Sikh shrines.

“Captain is a traitor and Sidhu is a ‘Piddu’. They have murdered democracy in the recent zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections. The next target is gurdwaras. They want to put Congress mahants (priests) in Gurdwaras,” Badal said.

Earlier Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal said that after attacking the Golden Temple, Congress was now trying to cover its anti-Sikh face in the garb of religion.

“How can Captain Amarinder Singh talk about the Sikh religion when he did not pay a single visit to the golden Temple after becoming the chief minister. Forces are now out to break Shiromani Akali Dal.

No political party can match SAD. Can Congress become a religious party after attacking the Golden temple complex and killing thousands of innocent Sikhs?” Sukhbir Badal said.

Sukhbir also attacked Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar and Aam Aadmi Party. He accused AAP of sourcing funds from hardline khalistani groups.

The ruling Congress organised a political rally to counter the Badals in their home turf of Lambi, Muktsar and tried to expose them.

Its leaders told people that the previous Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP government failed to solve the sacrilege cases and take action against the police officers who fired at protesters at Behbal Kalan on October 14, 2015 in which two people were killed.

Launching a scathing attack against the Badals, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh while addressing a rally in Lambi said action against them will be taken if found guilty.

“People are putting pressure on the Congress government to punish those who were responsible Nobody will be spared if others are found guilty,” Captain Amarinder Singh said.

Captain Amarinder Singh said Akali Dal has lost its political ground and whatever the Akali leaders were saying was because they were frustrated that people have rendered them irrelevant.

Meanwhile thousands joined a protest organised by senior AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khera in Bargari.

While only a few AAP leaders joined the protest march, a sizable chunk of hardliner Khalistan group members were also seen in the protest march.

Not only did protesters openly raise pro-Khalistani slogans but also raised their voices against former chief minister Prakash Singh Badal.

Slamming both the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal, AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira questioned the importance of political rallies organised by Shiromani Akali Dal and Congress.

“Congress and Akali Dal are playing a friendly match to prolong the action in cases of sacrilege. When the justice Ranjit Singh Commission report has made things clear why is the Congress shying away from taking action against the cops and instead only organising a political rally?” Sukhpal Khaira said.

https://www.indiatoday.in/politics/story/badals-rake-up-blue-star-operation-anti-sikh-riots-after-they-are-cornered-in-sacrilege-cases-1358087-2018-10-07

Sikh24.com – Resolution seeking corridor to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib unanimously passed in Punjab Assembly

Sikh24 Editors
August 28, 2018

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 28 August 2018. A resolution seeking opening of the corridor to Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib for the Sikh masses during 550th birthday celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev Ji was unanimously passed in the Punjab assembly on August 27.

Sikh24 has learnt that all the legislators tendered their votes for this resolution moved by the Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh to build up pressure on the Union government of India to take up the matter with the Pakistani government.

While reading the resolution in House, Captain Amarinder Singh said that it was an esteemed dream of every Sikh residing in India to pay obeisance at Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib. “The Punjab government had been urging the Government of India, time and again, to take up the matter with Islamabad” he added.

All members of the House, cutting across party lines, were unanimously of the view that the opening of the corridor would enable millions of Sikh devotees residing in India to pay obeisance at the historic Sikh shrine where Guru Nanak Dev Ji spent last 18 years of his life.

https://www.sikh24.com/2018/08/28/resolution-seeking-corridor-to-gurdwara-kartarpur-sahib-unanimously-passed-in-punjab-assembly/#.W4ajzLh9jIU

Sikh24.com – Giani Gurbachan Singh speaks up against Punjab Police for false indictment of Sikh youths

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 28 May 2018. In a surprising move on May 26, the SGPC appointed Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh issued a statement against false indictment of NRI Sikh youths in various cases by the Punjab police.

He has sought a neutral and independent probe into the claims of Punjab police about involvement of NRI Sikh youths in various murders of Hindu leaders.

Citing the example of Gurjant Singh, a resident of Ludhiana, Giani Gurbachan Singh said that he was implicated in a false case by the NIA and Punjab Police.

“Under the tutelage of the International Sikh Federation, Gurjant had objected to indecent songs in Punjabi and exposed elements targeting Gurmat ideology on social media but the NIA and Punjab police have falsely indicted him in five targeted killings in the state” he said.

He has asked Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh to get his case investigated by a neutral agency.

Giani Gurbachan Singh has directed the apex Sikh body SGPC, Sikh organisations and Sikh masses to come forward to provide justice to these Sikh youths.

http://www.sikh24.com/2018/05/28/giani-gurbachan-singh-speaks-up-against-punjab-police-for-false-indictment-of-sikh-youths/#.Ww2HAiC-nIU

The Hindu – BJP on the way out, says Punjab CM

Special Correspondent

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 27 May 2018. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday said that a united Opposition would oust the BJP-led government at the Centre in the Lok Sabha elections due in 2019.

Captain Singh was talking to press persons in Shahkot during a roadshow ahead of the Assembly byelection in the constituency on Monday. He said that anti-BJP forces were coming together and would throw the BJP-led Central government out as the people were completely fed up with it.

“People want a change, they want a future, they want a government that delivers,” he said, adding that the BJP-led government would face the consequences of its ill-conceived policies.

“The economy has been destroyed, industry is fleeing, law and order has collapsed,” he said.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/bjp-on-the-way-out-says-punjab-cm/article24003661.ece