The Tribune – Writer concerned over ‘trend’ against Panjabi

Patiala – Panjab – India, 10 January 2019. Dr Dalip Kaur Tiwana, eminent Punjabi novelist and short story writer, today raised concern over the “trend” against Panjabi among people. She said it was unfortunate that political powers rose over institutions of intellect.

She presided over a function devoted to sharing of literary and life experiences by litterateurs living in foreign countries during the World Panjabi Literary Conference in Punjabi University today.

The former Dean, Languages, at the university said the new generation of Panjabis living abroad were not learning Panjabi. “They do not read Panjabi in schools abroad. Only those who have emigrated from India take interest in it.

Moreover, a negative trend has started towards the language in Panjab as well. People think those who speak English and eat and wear according to the western lifestyle are superior.”

Dr Dalip Kaur had returned her Padma Shri award over growing attacks on freedom of speech in the country, said political interference in matters of literature and literary institutions was unfortunate.

Many Panjabis do not read at all !
Man in Blue

The Tribune – Security up as two masked men spotted near mandr in Patiala

Turbaned suspects were seen distributing liquor among beggars

Aman Sood, Tribune News Service

Patiala – Panjab – India, 26 November 2018. Security near religious shrines has been beefed up after two turbaned bike-borne men with covered faces were spotted moving suspiciously around Kali Mata Temple here late on Sunday night.

The move follows a written complaint to the Punjab DGP by local Hindu leaders, led by Hindu Takht leader Panchanand Giri, who sought “enhanced security cover in the wake of the recent ISI-backed terror threat” in the state.

“The two men also distributed liquor to some beggars who sleep near the temple. Devotees offer liquor in the temple every Saturday. However, their covered faces raise suspicion,” the complaint to the DGP read.

“We are attaching photographs of the two accused seen suspiciously moving around the temple and we demand a high-level probe into the case,” the complaint added.

A top official said: “Considering the recent ISI-backed terror modules foiled in Patiala and Amritsar, we are not taking chances in case of religious leaders.”

AS Rai, IG, Patiala zone, said the matter had been discussed with the seniors. “We will review the security of religious shrines as per the standard operating procedure,” he said.

The Tribune – Shun rally politics: Dharamvira Gandhi

Patiala – Panjab – India, 07 October 2018. Local MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi on Saturday slammed the SAD and the Congress for playing “rally politics”. He termed it a ploy to put on the backburner the issue of punishing the people responsible for the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib and the Behbal Kalan firing.

“Why is a party running the government holding a rally when it is tasked with taking action against culprits and improving law and order?” the MP said in a statement here on Saturday.

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. – Living martyr Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana questions credibility of ‘Khalistanis’

Sikh24 Editors

Patiala – Panjab – India, 14 August 2018. In a sudden breakthrough today, the death row convict Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana has raised questions over the credibility ‘Khalistani’ leaders presently active for the establishment of a sovereign Sikh state.

He has said that these ‘Khalistani’ leaders have made the entire Sikh struggle impotent by sledgehammering its ground base.

In a letter addressed to the Sikh community, the living martyr Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana has said that these ‘Khalistani’ leaders have nothing to do with an independent sovereign Sikh state and their sole motive is to divide the Sikh vote bank to deliver benefit to the anti-Sikh parties like Congress which they have been doing successfully for the last 34 years.

Raising serious questions over the working of these ‘Khalistanis’ during 1991 & 1992, Bhai Rajoana has said that these so called ‘Khalistanis’ had murdered 28 Akali candidates in the 1991’s Punjab assembly polls (boycotted by Congress and later cancelled by the Indian government) but didn’t kill even a single Congress candidate during 1992’s assembly polls instead paved a way for the Congress leaders to gain power in Punjab by boycotting the elections.

Making a sarcastic remark over these ‘Khalistanis’, Bhai Rajoana said that they had supported and funded the election campaign of the Aam Admi Party during the Punjab assembly polls in 2017. He added that these ‘Khalistanis’ regard AAP as their political wing and Kejriwal as their president.

Questioning the embedment of these ‘Khalistanis’ with the Congress, Bhai Rajoana said that these ‘Khalistanis’ start talking about state’s atrocities on Sikhs when Congress lose power and sit silently when it comes to power. He added that with the formation of Congress government in Punjab, the ‘Khalistan’ of these ‘Khalistanis’ comes into existence.

Making a shocking revelation about an unsuccessful attempt by these ‘Khalistanis’ to purchase him, Bhai Rajoana has said that a ‘self-styled’ intellectual Professor Prabhsharndeep Singh had tried to bribe his sister with claims of providing large ransoms of money in 2012 and had asked him to make statements against the then ruling Shiromani Akali Dal.

“But when I gave them a befitted reply by appealing the Akal Takht Jathedar to issue an edict against the Congress, then these ‘Khalistanis’ had resorted to cheap kind of preachment against me over social media” he added.

Appealing the Sikh youths to remain aware of these ‘Khalistanis’, Bhai Rajoana has said that these ‘Khalistani’ are cooking their bread on the funeral pyres of innocent Sikh youths.

I think he is talking about Panjab based Khalistanis, but it would be good if he could be more specific.
Man in Blue

The Tribune – Death row convict Balwant Singh Rajoana ends hunger strike after meeting with SGPC chief

Patiala – Panjab – India, 20 July 2018. Balwant Singh Rajoana, the death row convict in the then Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh assassination case, on Friday ended his hunger strike in the Patiala central jail following a meeting with the SGPC chief.

Rajoana had recently written to the Patiala jail superintendent that the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) had moved a mercy petition seeking commutation of his death penalty into life imprisonment in 2012 before the then President Pratibha Patil without taking his consent.

According to media reports, Rajoana had accused the SPGC of failing to pursue his mercy petition.

He had claimed that until the SGPC does not withdraw the mercy petition, if they do not get any results, or the Union Home Ministry does not conclude on it he would remain on hunger strike.

The SGPC, in a statement today, said that its chief Gobind Singh Longowal met Rajoana in the Patiala central jail here, following which he ended his hunger strike.

Jail Superintendent Rajan Kapoor confirmed that Rajoana has ended his hunger strike.

Rajoana, who began his fast unto death from Monday, had earlier turned down the SGPC’s request to end it.

Longowal, along with Akali Dal MPs, had recently met Union Minister Rajnath Singh regarding Rajoana’s mercy petition.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court had in July 2007 awarded the death sentence to Rajoana, along with another terrorist Jagtar Singh Hawara, in the Beant Singh assassination case.

Rajoana was scheduled to be hanged on 31 March 2012.

However, the execution was stayed on 28 March 2012, by Patil after the SPGC filed the mercy petition.

The President had forwarded the application to the Home Ministry but the later is yet to take any decision on it.

Rajoana is currently lodged in execution cell of the Patiala central jail.

Former Chief Minister Beant Singh, who was largely credited with wiping out terrorism from Punjab, was assassinated by Dilawar Singh, a human bomb, at the high security Punjab Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh on 31 August 1995.

While Hawara was the mastermind of the assassination, Rajoana was the second human bomb to be used in case the first assassin failed. Rajoana, during the trial, had admitted that he alone was responsible for the killing.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had in October 2010 upheld the death sentence for Rajoana, but changed the capital punishment given to Hawara to life imprisonment.

Rajoana had refused to challenge the death sentence awarded to him.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in 2012 had said it would go to any extent to save Rajoana and asked the SGPC “to take all possible legal and other steps” to secure clemency for him. (PTI)

The Tribune – Akali Dal, SGPC to take up Rajoana’s case with Centre

Death row convict firm on starting indefinite fast today

Aman Sood, Tribune News Service

Patiala – Panjab – India, 15 July 2018. A day before the start of the indefinite fast announced by Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict on death row for the assassination of then Chief Minister Beant Singh, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) assured him that they would take up his case with Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

However, Rajoana, who is lodged in the Central Jail here, is adamant on going ahead with the fast.

“I appeal to Rajoana not to sit on a hunger strike as we will meet Rajnath Singh on July 18 and take up his mercy petition,” said SAD MP Prem Singh Chandumajra. “We will appeal to the Home Minister to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment,” he added.

On Saturday, Rajoana had flayed the SGPC and the SAD for not following up on the mercy petition moved on his behalf before the President in 2012.

As per sources, Rajoana said he could not trust the SGPC and the SAD as they had promised to take up his case with the Home Minister two years ago, but had later forgotten about the matter.

Talking to The Tribune, SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal said he had spoken to Rajoana and assured him that the Sikh body would leave no stone unturned to highlight his case before the Centre.

In 2012, the Centre had stayed his hanging two days before the schedule date of March 31 after the President referred the matter to the Union Home Ministry following an Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee petition. Rajoana had refused to file a mercy petition himself.

Talking tough

On Saturday, Rajoana had flayed the SGPC and the SAD for not following up on the mercy petition moved on his behalf before the President in 2012. As per sources, Rajoana said he could not trust the SGPC and the SAD as they had promised to take up his case with the Home Minister two years ago, but had later forgotten about the matter.

The Tribune – Act against those issuing threats: Dhadrianwale

Patiala – Panjab – India, 27 May 2018. A few days after receiving “death threats”, Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale on Sunday alleged that the previous SAD-BJP government had failed to act after the “planned” attack on him two years ago.

He said though he was satisfied with the way the Congress government had reacted to the threats issued to him, it “has not shown much keenness to act against the ones issuing threats”.

“I have not approached either the police or the government after the recent threats issued to me by chief spokesperson for the Damdami Taksal Charanjit Singh Jassowal,” he said.

“However, I hope that the Congress government curbs religious hooliganism and expose those issuing threats in the name of religion,” he said.

Talking at his Gurdwara Parmeshar Dwar Sahib on the Patiala-Sangrur highway, Dhadrianwale claimed that he had no plan to join active politics.

“I oppose their (SGPC) system of running the Sikh affairs and therefore I cannot be part of such an electoral process. My fight is with the system involving our religion and it will continue till my last breath,” he said. (TNS) – Rulda “Singh” Murder Case: Bhai Tara and Bhai Goldy appear before Patiala Court

Sikh24 Editors

Patiala – Panjab – India, 25 May 2018. In a case pertaining to the murder of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat (RSS) state chief Rulda “Singh”, political Sikh prisoners Bhai Jagtar Singh Tara and Bhai Ramandeep Singh Goldy were produced before the session court of Patiala on May 24 amid tight security.

Statement of Bhai Jagtar Singh Tara was recorded by the Court during this hearing. On being asked about his legal counsel by the Judge, Bhai Tara said that he will represent himself in the Court and Advocate Barjinder Singh Sodhi will serve as his assistant.

Sources have informed that only one out of three witnesses of the case appeared before the Court on May 24 but the statement of present witness couldn’t be recorded due to his ill physique. It is learnt that the Court has bound the present witness to appear on 5 July while issuing warrants against the rest two absent witnesses.

Rulda “Singh” was the state chief of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat (RSS) in Punjab. He was shot at outside his home on July 28, 2009 immediately after his return from England. He was rushed to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER) where he succumbed on August 18, 2009.

The Times of India – SGPC panel for ban on PSEB history books

Bharat Khanna

Patiala – Panjab – India, 03 May 2018. The SGPC sub-committee, which was set up to look into the alleged removal of chapters on Sikhs from the history textbook of Class XII of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), has sought a ban on the books.

The panel submitted its report to SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal and claimed that the history book with changed content had distorted facts.

The panel members, principal Surinder Singh from Anandpur Sahib, SGPC member Harjinder Kaur from Chandigarh, SGPC director for education Jatinder Singh Sidhu, SGPC education secretary Avtar Singh Saimpla, principal of Guru Nanak Girls College Muktsar Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal and SGPC additional secretary for dharam parchar committee Simarjit Singh, held a meeting here on Wednesday and claimed that they were not taken into the loop.

The panel claimed that Professor Paramvir Singh, who is member of SGPC’s Sikh history research board, was also not shown the matter drafted for the book and hence the errors were committed.

Professor Singh from the department of encyclopaedia of Sikhism at Punjabi University, Patiala, claimed that he was hired by the state government to look into the matter but was not shown the drafted matter before uploading the book on the internet. The SGPC probe panel also quizzed him on Wednesday during its meeting over the history textbook.

The members claimed that three baptized Sikhs were shown with Banda Singh Bahadur in the book instead of five. Similarly, word ‘appointment’ has been used for the anointment of Guru Angad Dev.

Panel member Harjinder said, “It’s a conspiracy to present distorted facts of Sikh history, and for this reason the content was changed by the government. It has been wrongly mentioned Guru Angad Dev was ‘appointed’ as the second Guru whereas the word ‘given or endowed’ should have been used instead of appointment.

The focus has been made on ‘Ram Bhakti’ and it seems some agency is working behind this.” She further said, “We still ask the government to provide Sikh scholars of the SGPC the text in future so that such blunders are not committed.

We appreciate the effort of adding the history of the four Sahibzaadas. But removing the history of 10 Gurus cannot be justified at all. Providing this history in Classes of IX, X and XI instead of class XII is irrelevant.”

Coordinator of the PSEB for history syllabus Seema Chawla refused to comment on allegations of not taking the SGPC into the loop. She further said, “We have honestly made efforts for students and not for any politics. Students have read only guides for the last many years but we made an honest approach in this academic work.”