The Hindu – Panjab CM condemns killing of Indian-American Sikh police officer in USA.

Sandeep Dhaliwal was the first police officer in Texas to serve while keeping his Sikh articles of faith.

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 28 September 2019. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday condemned the killing of an Indian-American-Sikh police officer in the USA State of Texas.

Sikh police officer who got permission to wear turban shot dead in Texas.

Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, who made headlines in the USA when he was allowed to grow a beard and wear a turban on the job, was shot and killed in an “ambush-style” attack in a “ruthless, cold-blooded way”, a senior official of Harris County said on Saturday.

“Deeply anguished to learn the ruthless killing of Deputy Sheriff of Harris County, Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal. He represented the Sikh community with pride and was the first turbaned police officer of America. My condolences to his family. RIP,” the Chief Minister tweeted.

Dhaliwal, who was in his early 40s, was the first police officer in Texas to serve while keeping his Sikh articles of faith, including a turban and beard.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Dhaliwal, a 10-year veteran of the department, stopped a vehicle with a man and woman inside and one of them got out and shot him “ambush-style” at least twice in a “ruthless, cold-blooded way” on Friday.

The gunman and the woman were taken into custody, officials said.

Dhaliwal was married and a father of three children.

Since 2015, Dhaliwal was the “history-making” police officer in Texas to serve while keeping his Sikh articles of faith. He was allowed to wear the turban and beard while patrolling the streets in order to bolster cultural diversity.

With this policy, one of the largest sheriff’s offices in the USA had affirmed that a person does not have to choose between their faith and a career of service.

The Hindu – Bargari case: Punjab has no faith in CBI, says Amarinder Singh

The CBI is acting under pressure from Centre at the behest of the Badals, he says

Special Correspondent

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 27 September 2019. A day after the CBI transferred the probe relating to the Bargari sacrilege cases of 2015 to its special investigation team, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said the State had no faith in the agency as it was acting under pressure from the Central government.

While the State government formally contested, in the special court at Mohali, the CBI’s decision to hand over the investigation to SIT, the Chief Minister said the CBI, clearly acting under pressure from the Central government at the behest of the ‘Badals’ of the Shiromani Akali Dal, was quite obviously trying to stop the probe from going forward.

“The decision to hand over the case to a new SIT three months after the CBI had filed a closure report in court was a clear ploy to delay the probe and stop the State government from taking over,” he said.

He said the State government would continue to oppose the CBI in the court and would also fight, at all levels, for getting the case back to the State. “We will not let anyone get away with cheating the people of Punjab of their due justice.”

The CBI had exposed itself to be totally partisan and unfair in the entire affair, said Captain Amarinder, pointing out that despite repeated pleas and efforts from the State government in the wake of the closure report, the national agency had failed to return the case files to the Punjab police.

The failure was clearly deliberate and mischievous, so that the agency could buy time to divert the case to the new SIT, for its eventual burial, he added.

“The CBI has been acting entirely under the influence of the Badals, which negates any possibility of a fair and thorough probe into the case,” said the Chief Minister, adding that justice could be meted out only if the State police investigated the matter.

“For three years, they [CBI] failed to make any headway despite all the powers and means at their disposal, and then filed a closure report without completing the investigation.

And when we decided to duly take the case back from them, as per the decision of the Vidhan Sabha, they have done a complete U-turn again by reopening the case and handing it over to their own SIT,” said the Chief Minister.

Chandigarh – Panjab – India

Special Correspondent

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 13 June 2019. In a bid to alleviate the woes of the State’s distressed farmers, the Punjab government has sought a hike in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) on various crops for Rabi 2019-20, from the Central government.

The Punjab Agriculture Department has come out with a detailed proposal for a hike in the MSP of wheat crop from Rs 1,840 per quintal in 2018-19 to Rs 2,710 in 2019-20, and barley from Rs 1,440 to Rs 1,974 per quintal.

“The proposal, submitted to the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP), also seeks hike in the MSP of gram from the earlier Rs 4,620 to Rs 5,631 per quintal, and of rapeseed and mustard from Rs 4,200 to Rs 5,384 per quintal,” an official statement said on Wednesday.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, said the hike was necessary for promoting crops like barley, gram, rapeseed and mustard in the State, to give a much needed push for crop diversification that would help arrest the depleting groundwater table in Punjab.

“While the State government had taken all possible steps to ease the problems of the farmers, including farm debt waiver, the Centre’s intervention was needed to support these measures, especially in the matter of MSP which was under its control,” he said.

The Chief Minister also reiterated his demand for in toto implementation of the M S Swaminathan Commission report, to ensure the much-needed improvement in the agriculture system and better remuneration for the farmers.

The Statesman – Drugs still sell ‘like potatoes’: Punjab MLA buys heroin on Facebook Live

Ludhiana legislator Simarjeet Singh Bains hands over half of the purchased drugs to Police Commissioner Sukhchain Singh Gill for laboratory tests, says he will get the remaining chitta examined in a private lab.

Chandigarh, 12 March 2019. To make a point that drugs are still easily available in Punjab, Lok Insaf Party (LIP) leader and Ludhiana MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains bought heroin on Facebook Live on Monday.

Streaming the clip of the buying process live on social media, Bains told viewers that white heroin was being sold “like potatoes” in Ludhiana and alleged that the police administration was hand-in-glove with the drug mafia. The MLA asked how the station house officers (SHOs) were unaware while banned substances were being sold openly in the city.

The Facebook Live video continued till Bains approached Ludhiana Police Commissioner Sukhchain Singh Gill, handing him over half of the purchased drugs for laboratory tests.

The other half, the MLA said, was not given by him to the police fearing they could manipulate the chemical test report. He claimed that he would get the remaining of chitta examined in a private lab.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had on Thursday claimed that his government broke “the back of drug mafia in the state within four weeks of forming government”.

But the demand for catching “big fish” in the drug cases was heard in the Punjab Assembly recently despite the CM challenging all those who had been pointing fingers at the government for not acting against influential drug dealers.

Citing figures of the arrests and seizures in the drug cases, Amarinder had said: “We know one-two people who are out of the country, and we will also catch them,” said Captain Amarinder while vowing to continue “to fight the battle against drugs from the front, not resting till it is completely eliminated from the State”.

LIP MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains had asked why no action had been taken against the persons whose names had been mentioned in the report submitted by the Special Task Force (STF) on drugs, then headed by Harpreet Sidhu.

“The names were mentioned in the STF report…your own cabinet minister had read the entire report before the media. Why no action has been taken against that? Every day, youngsters are dying due to overdose,” he had asked.

Bains urged the government to prepare the cases of the “big fish” and sent them to the courts “so that they should know what wrong they have done to the Punjabi youth”.

Congress MLA Fateh Jung Bajwa also demanded to act against the persons named in the STF report.

The Statesman – Military Literature Festival 2018 begins with tribute to Indian soldiers of WWI

Open for all, the three-day MLF is being attended by military historians from India and abroad, authors, and serving as well as retired military personnel.

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 07 December 2018. The second edition of Military Literature Festival kicked started on Friday with sessions by noted military historians, experts, and defence strategists during various panel discussions on topical subjects related to military history and literature.

Open for all, the three-day MLF is being attended by military historians from India and abroad, authors, and serving as well as retired military personnel.

The Festival is a joint initiative of distinguished military historian and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore, with full support extended by the Western Command, Indian Army.

Besides panel discussions and shows related to various wars and military, the MLF will also include martial dances, weapons display, medallion gallery, artists’ corner, cultural activities and exhibitions, food and cuisine, book fair, children’s Saragarhi Samvadh.

Inaugurating the MLF at the Lake Club Chandigarh, Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore dedicated it to the valour of the over 74,000 Indians who had laid their lives in the First World War.

He termed the MLF as a befitting tribute to the unknown martyrs, to mark centenary year of the Great War.

Recalling the unparalleled sacrifice of the Indian soldiers in the two World Wars, the Governor said, “This year also marks the centenary of the Great War of 1914-1918, a time for remembrance of the 74,000 Indians who fell and 67, 000 others who were severely wounded, many of whom never recovered, and they lie in, or their ashes are interred in foreign fields”.

Badnore said that it was a matter of great pride for the country that sent 1.3 million soldiers in these expeditions. The Indian soldiers proved their mettle in these missions by winning 11 Victoria Crosses and significantly six more were won by British officers leading Indian troops, he added.

The Governor expressed satisfaction that during the festival, many important speakers would also focus on the known and unknown facets of these wars to make the younger generation aware of the unique role of Indian soldiers in these expeditions.

He appreciated the fact that the MLF was not confined to the World Wars but will also focus on the heroism and unparalleled courage of the great Maharana Pratap, Shivaji, and many other such warriors who have always been a great source of inspiration.

The MLF is also going to have deliberations on Mahabharata, the world’s longest epic, which was set in this very region, he noted.

Describing Punjab as the Sword Arm of the nation and the Tricity of Chandigarh as the retirement hub of military stalwarts, the Governor said that on assuming charge of Administrator UT, he found that approximately 90 Lieutenant Generals and 133 Major Generals were living in the City Beautiful after retirement.

“I found that no other city that I know of can boast of so many senior and distinguished retired and serving officers staying in one city,” he said.

The Statesman – Amid threat from radicals, Punjab on high alert for Diwali

The Chief Minister reviewed the security situation at a high-level meeting attended by senior officers, including Director General of Police (DGP) Suresh Arora.

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 05 November 2018. The Punjab Police have been put on high alert for the Diwali festival following intelligence inputs that Sikh hardliners were out to foment trouble in the border state.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday directed the police to remain on high alert following recent attempts by hardliners, backed by separatist forces in Punjab and other countries, to create trouble in the state.

The Chief Minister reviewed the security situation at a high-level meeting attended by senior officers, including Director General of Police (DGP) Suresh Arora.

The DGP shared details of the inputs and developments concerning the state, received from various sources. He also briefed the Chief Minister about the busting of a terrorist module of the Ansar Ghazwat Ul Hind (AGH) by the state police on 03 November.

The Chief Minister directed the officials to ensure fool-proof security at all vital installations and other key places, such as crowded markets and religious shrines.

“He asked the DGP to pull out all men for maintaining the highest level of security during the celebrations,” a spokesperson for the chief minister said.

“The Chief Minister further ordered the DGP to crack down on, and to take immediate action against, anyone found trying to create trouble in any way,” the spokesperson added.

The Gulf Today – Apologise to Sikh community, Amarinder Singh told

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 01 November 2018. Former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday asked Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to “express remorse and apologise to the Khalsa Panth for the incalculable hurt caused to it by denigrating the great Gurus” in the newly brought out Class 12th history book of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB).

In a statement, the five-time chief minister said: “It is condemnable that the chief minister has abrogated his responsibility as head of state and refused to register criminal cases against those responsible for preparation and distribution of sacrilegious material which had assaulted the senses of Sikhs worldwide.”

“The mere withdrawal of the history book which launches a brazen assault on the sacred image of the great Sikh Guru Sahiban, especially Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Hargobind, Guru Tegh Bahadur and the 10th Guru, Gobind Singh, is not enough. The chief minister should own responsibility for this grave sin and apologise to the Khalsa Panth and seek its forgiveness immediately,” Badal said.

He said that the Congress government’s refusal to bring the perpetrators, including the chairman of the Punjab School Education Board, to book indicated that “there was a deep-rooted conspiracy to distort Sikh history and through it, strike at the very core of the Sikh religion.”

Badal said no Sikh could tolerate the claim as written in the new book that Guru Gobind Singh fled from Chamkaur Sahib without informing anyone and that the Mughals did not order the martyrdom of the fifth Guru, Arjan Dev, but had merely “fined” him.

DNA India – Why Punjab CM Amarinder Singh asked for detailed ‘socio-economic profiles’ of Amritsar train victims

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 21 October 2018. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Sunday directed the Amritsar administration to make detailed socio-economic profiles of victims of the train accident which claimed 59 lives.

At least 59 people were killed and 72 injured Friday evening after a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled onto railway tracks while watching burning of Ravana effigy was run over by a train near Joda Phatak in Amritsar.

The chief minister, who met some of the survivors in the hospital Saturday, was particularly moved by tales of two young women who lost their entire family including children and husbands, and in one case even her in-laws, an official release said.

Anguished at the plight of such survivors, Singh told Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar that the government needed to do more than just giving Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia, especially in cases where victims were poor.

The senior Congress leader announced that a proper system would be worked out to ensure that such survivors were rehabilitated by the state at the earliest.

On Sunday, while reviewing the situation in the aftermath of the train tragedy, the Punjab chief minister directed the district officials to prepare detailed socio-economic profiles of the victims.

He also directed that ration, clothing, medicines etc be provided to the families of the victims as most were from the economically weaker sections of the society.

Singh reviewed the relief and rehabilitation work with the Crisis Management Group of ministers headed by state Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, and directed them to take immediate steps for early disbursement of the compensation.

All steps should be taken for the effective rehabilitation of the survivors and families of the victims, he added.The Crisis Management Group was set up by the state government on Friday, immediately after the disaster struck.