– Five member panel constituted for appointing new jathedar of Takht Sri Patna Sahib

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 09 March 2019. In a meeting of Five Singh Sahibans held at Sri Akal Takht Sahib today, the SGPC appointed acting Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh has constituted a five member panel for the appointment of Jathedar of Takht Sri Patna Sahib. Details of the members nominated in this panel by the Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh are as follow:

President of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee
President of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee
President of Chief Khalsa Diwan
President of Takht Sri Patna Sahib Management Board
Any member of Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib Management Board

This five member committee will endorse two names to the Singh Sahibans following which the new Jathedar of Takht Sri Patna Sahib will be appointed.

It may be recalled here that on the directions of Giani Harpreet Singh, the Management Board of Takht Sri Patna Sahib had removed Giani Iqbal Singh as Jathedar of Takht Sri Patna Sahib on 05 March. Takht Sri Patna Sahib’s granthi Giani Rajinder Singh was temporarily appointed in place of Giani Iqbal Singh. – Finally, polygamous “Jathedar” sent home by Takht Sri Patna Sahib Management Board

Sikh24 Editors

Patna – Bihar – India, 05 March 2019. Following the directions of SGPC appointed acting Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, the Management Board of Takht Sri Patna Sahib today removed Giani Iqbal Singh as “Jathedar” of Takht Sri Patna Sahib.

Notably, there was a sharp wrath among the Sikh community against Giani Iqbal Singh after his second wife had lodged complaint of homicidal violence against him.

This decision was taken during the crucial meeting held today by the board members Gobind Singh Longowal, Inderjeet Singh, Surinder Singh, Raja Singh, Kumikkar Singh, Lakhbir Singh, Tarlochan Singh, Harbans Singh and Jagjit Singh Sohi under the aegis of president Avtar Singh Hit.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Takht Sri Patna Sahib’s granthi Giani Rajinder Singh has been temporarily appointed in place of Giani Iqbal Singh.

It may be recalled here that Giani Iqbal Singh had revoked his resignation a few hours after submitting it on March 3. He had succeeded in making the Management Committee of Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib (Patna) bow before him with the help of his supporters in the form of “Sikh Sangat”.

The Statesman – It is time for renaissance for Muslim community in India, says former AMU V-C

He said modern secular school education for the community is a must for its development.

Patna – Bihar – India, 21 December 2018. It is time for renaissance for the country’s Muslim community to develop itself and the nation, said Lt General (retd) Zameer Uddin Shah, who was also Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, on Wednesday at a discussion on empowering young Muslims.

“I have been repeatedly requesting all to join us for the renaissance in the Muslim community,” said Shah in his keynote address at a day-long workshop on ‘Strategies and Approaches for Empowering Young Muslims, building Resilience, strengthening nation’ in Patna.

He said children belonging to the community must be given best school education and for this, the community should build schools with modern outlook with Islamic ethos on the lines of Christian missionaries-run institutions.

“We have set up a modern school in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. It is named Sir Syed National School. AMU students have donated Rs 51 lakh to build this school,” he said. “We hope to set up another similar school in Saharanpur”.

He said he was surprised when 40 Muslim families in Uttar Pradesh came forward to offer 2 acre each for setting up such schools in the state. “Government funds and other forms of assistance may come, but Muslims have to set up world-class schools for children. Other communities have done so,” he said.

Shah said the condition of the Muslim community today is similar to what it was in 1857. “The community is marginalised, impoverished, victimised and at the bottom of development indicators,” he said.

“But fault for this pathetic situation of the community lies with us. We have neglected the importance of education, particularly modern education.”

Others prominent people who addressed the workshop included Venkatesh Srinivasan of UNFP, Sadur Rahman of UNICEF, Amir Subhani, principal secretary Minority Welfare, Bihar, and Dr A S Nakdar, founder of American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin. – DSGMC member Avtar Singh Hit elected to head Patna Sahib management board

Sikh24 Editors

Patna – Bihar – India, 15 October 2018. The SAD(Badal) affiliated DSGMC member Avtar Singh Hit was elected to head the Takht Sri Patna Sahib Management Board on October 14. He has replaced the former SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar who was elected as president of the committee about two and half years ago.

Sources have informed that the DSGMC general secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa played a key role in the election of Avtar Singh Hit as the president of the Takht Sri Patna Sahib Management Board. Avtar Singh Hit ran unopposed in the election as no candidate appeared to challenge his election as president of the management board.

Sikh24 has learnt that the other office bearers of the management committee are also affiliated to SAD (Badal). Dr Gurmeet Singh has been elected as the senior vice president while Inderjeet Singh got elected as a junior vice president. Similarly, M S Dhillon and M S Chhabra have been elected as general secretary and secretary of the management board respectively.

The Hindu – Yashwant Sinha quits BJP

Not going to join any other political party, the former Union Minister said.

Amarnath Tewary

Patna – Bihar – India, 21 April 2018. Former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha broke all ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday. He announced, “I’m breaking all my relations with BJP now and I’ll not take any position in the future.”

“I’m not going to join any other political party. I’ll set off a strong movement with all my friends and like-minded people in the country to save democracy. Media too is being suppressed, under pressure, managed from above. How will the country run in such a situation? My heart beats for the country,” he said.

Mr Sinha also slammed the present government for influencing the election commission and investigative agencies in the country, at the first convention of his newly floated Rashtriya Manch (National Forum).

Democracy in the country is in danger, he said, while addressing the gathering. He added that his “heart beats for the country.”

Disgruntled BJP leader and party MP from Patna Sahib, Shatrughan Sinha, AAP leaders Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh, RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav, RLD leader Jayant Chaudhury and others were also present at the convention.

The convention of Rashtriya Manch was held at Sri Krishna Memorial Hall at Patna. Rashtriya Manch is not a political platform, clarified Mr Sinha.

The Hindu – Five-year jail term for Lalu in third fodder scam case

Forty-eight other accused persons in the case were awarded jail terms and fines of varying amounts

Amarnath Tewary

Patna-Bihar-India, 24 January 2018. A special CBI court in Ranchi on Wednesday awarded five years in jail and a fine of Rs 10 lakh to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in a third fodder scam case.

Earlier, a total of 50 accused persons, including Mr Prasad and former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra, were convicted in the case while, six others were acquitted.

The special CBI court of judge S S Prasad convicted Mr Lalu Prasad, Mr Jagannath Mishra and 48 others in the RC 68 (A) / 96 fodder scam case which pertained to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 33.67 crore from Chaibasa (now in Jharkhand) district treasury during the period of 1992-93. Altogether 56 persons were facing trial in the case.

“Under different Sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act, Lalu Prasad has been sentenced,” CBI counsel B M P Singh told journalists in Ranchi.

Fourteen died during trial

Out of the total 76 accused in this third case of fodder scam, Fourteen had died during the trial, three became approvers, two pleaded guilty while, one has been absconding.

Of the remaining 56 facing trial, 50, including Mr Lalu Prasad and Mr Jagannath Mishra, were convicted and sentenced to jail terms and fines.

Six of them were politicians, three former IAS officers, six Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) officials, one a treasury official and 40 were suppliers to the AHD.

Mr Jagannath Mishra who, earlier, was acquitted in the second fodder scam case on December 23, 2016 along with five others, was not present in the court as his wife had passed away recently.

Refuses to talk to media

Before the quantum of sentence was pronounced, Mr Lalu Prasad came out of the courtroom to have tea at the canteen on the court premises. He refused to speak to the media.

Mr Prasad is currently lodged in the Birsa Munda Central Jail of Ranchi after being convicted for 3.5 years in the RC 64(A)/96 fodder scam case on December 23, 2017.

The case pertained to the Deoghar treasury withdrawal in which the quantum of sentence was pronounced on January 6, 2018 by the CBI special judge Shiv Pal Singh. Mr Prasad has appealed in the Ranchi High Court against his conviction in the case.

He was first convicted in a fodder scam case, RC 20(A)/96 on September 30, 2013 for five years and was barred from contesting elections for a period of six years. Later, he had got bail in the case.

Mr Prasad has now been convicted in three fodder scam cases out of a total of six in which he has been facing trial.

In two other fodder scam cases related to illegal withdrawal of money from Dumka and Doranda district (both in Jharkhand) treasuries, verdicts are likely to be pronounced in the coming months.

Conspiracy: Tejaswi

Reacting to the third conviction in the fodder scam case, Mr Lalu Prasad’s younger son and Leader of Opposition Tejaswi Yadav said, “Options are not closed for us as like in other cases, we’ll appeal in the higher courts”.

He accused Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the BJP of “conspiring” against Mr Prasad to keep him in jail.

The Hindu – Fodder scam case: CBI court to sentence Lalu today

Amarnath Tewary

Patna-Bihar-India, 3 January 2018. Hours ahead of the announcement of quantum of sentence to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad on Wednesday, party leaders and workers are hoping that he receives a lenient sentence.

In a few hours from now, the special CBI court of judge Shivpal Singh will be pronouncing the quantum of sentence in the fodder scam case. Mr Prasad, along 15 others, was convicted on December 23 and sent to jail in Ranchi. The trial in the case was completed on December 13.

The case pertaining to the alleged fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 84.5 lakh from Deoghar district (now in Jharkhand) treasury between 1994 and 1996 when Mr Prasad was the Chief Minister of Bihar.

The special CBI court of Justice Shivpal Singh had completed the hearing in the fodder scam case RC 64(A) / 1996 on December 13.

Six others, including former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra, were acquitted in the case related with the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 84.5 lakh from the Deoghar treasury during 1991-1994.

“The judge has held the accused persons convicted under sections 120(B) and 420 of the IPC and sections 13(1)(d) of the Prevention and Corruption Act under which quantum of sentence could be minimum of six months to a maximum of seven years in prison”, said Lalu Prasad’s lawyer Prabhat Kumar.

Mr Kumar will be present in the court to decide on the future course of action like moving bail applications after sentencing.

“We hope and pray for a minimum sentence to our leader Lalu Prasad to move immediately to the lower court for bail, otherwise we have to move to the Ranchi High Court”, said Bhola Yadav, RJD MLA and long-time close aide of Mr Prasad.

“We have full faith in the judiciary and almighty…let’s see what happens today,” Rabri Devi, party leader and wife of Mr Prasad told media persons while her younger son Tejaswi Yadav said “whatever the court decides, we will abide by it, respect it…Laluji lives in every party workers and leaders heart”.

“Even God wills that Laluji should come out of jail soon”, added his elder son Tej Pratap Yadav.

Ever since Mr Prasad has been lodged in the divisional ward of Birsa Munda Central jail, Ranchi, his party leaders, workers and supporters have been thronging the prison complex.

However, the jail authorities have allowed only three persons, decided by Mr. Prasad himself, to meet him in a week. The State government had earlier rejected the demand of RJD leaders to relax the jail manual for Mr Prasad as he is a “mass leader”.

However, jail sources said that Mr Prasad has been keeping to himself inside the ward, watching news on Doordarshan channel and reading some vernacular newspapers.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed…let us see what decision the court takes today. But for us, Lalu Prasad will always be our God on earth,” said a group of RJD workers gathered outside the jail gate on Wednesday morning.

Party sources told The Hindu that none of Lalu Prasad’s family members would be in Ranchi on Wednesday and they would stay put in Patna to wait for the court’s decision. Party MLA and close aide Bhola Yadav would be monitoring the developments in Ranchi.

Meanwhile, political observers of the State said if Lalu Prasad got a jail sentence of over three years, “it would have a major impact on the party’s rank and file”.

“It will throw up a new challenge to Lalu Prasad’s family and his party as well…Lalu’s heir apparent Tejaswi Yadav and his elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav both have to work hard to steer the party ahead and face the challenges posed by ruling alliance of JD(U) and BJP,” said political analyst Ajay Kumar.

RJD, meanwhile, has called a meeting of all party leaders, MLAs, MPs and district presidents on January 6 at Patna to chalk out their future strategy. Party insiders told The Hindu that Tejaswi Yadav is also likely to read a one-and-half page letter written by Mr Prasad, before going to jail, to party leaders and workers on that day.

A State-wide agitation after January 15 too is on anvil in an apparent bid to boost the morale of the party rank and file in absence of the RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

After Lalu Prasad’s conviction, Rabri Devi, Tejaswi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav have been convening meetings with party leaders and legislators at regular intervals. “Every party leader and worker will become Lalu Prasad in his absence,” said State party chief Ram Chandra Purve”.

The Asian Age – Lalu Yadav jail yatra may spell doom for RJD

Several senior RJD members may not agree to follow the orders of Lalu’s 26-year-old son Tejashwi Yadav, who has been asked to lead the party.

Nayear Azad

Patna-Bihar-India, 30 December 2017. The court verdict in the Deoghar fodder scam case has come as a major blow to RJD chief Lalu Yadav and his party.

According to JD-U sources, the conviction might end RJD supremo Lalu Yadav’s four-decade-long political innings, which had already got a body blow in 2013 after a six-year ban was imposed on his contesting elections due to his first conviction in the fodder scam case at Chaibasa.

Some leaders even predict that his latest jail stint, whose tenure will be decided by court on January 3, will not only break his party but also force a split in the grand secular alliance.

This was his second conviction in the fodder scam and was linked to swindling of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar treasury between 1991 and 1994. The 2013 conviction dealt with fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.5 crores from Chaibasa treasury.

The Deoghar case verdict against Lalu Yadav has come at a time when he was preparing to stitch together a larger alliance at the national level to gain support from secular parties against the BJP.

Observers say that a lot will depend on whether the Congress will remain in an alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) after Lalu Yadav’s conviction in the fodder scam case.

According to a report, a section of Bihar Congress leaders, opposed to continuing ties with tainted Lalu Yadav, are exploring the possibilities of contesting elections on their own.

After the dramatic collapse of the grand secular alliance in July, Lalu Yadav had managed to stay afloat with the Congress in Bihar despite opposition from several party leaders who wanted to end ties with RJD on grounds that the RJD chieftain and his sons were facing a string of corruption charges.

Party insiders claim that he had also managed to maintain unity within the party, despite reports that a large number of MLAs were planning to join hands with JD-U after Nitish Kumar formed a government with NDA in July.

However, party leaders fear the scenario may soon change as several senior RJD members, who had supported Lalu Yadav in his hard times, may not agree to follow the orders of his 26-year-old son Tejashwi Yadav who has been asked to lead the party.