– Against India’s occupation of Kashmir, Sikh and Tamil groups to hold public demonstration in Delhi on 26 September

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 16 September 2019. Perturbed over the stubborn attitude of the Indian government with regards to the situation in Kashmir, its unrelenting role of disrespecting human rights in the region where the special status of the people and the state has been unilaterally abrogated, political parties from Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kashmir will hold Justice March and Rally in Delhi on 26 September.

The March and rally will be organized jointly by Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and Dal Khalsa in which representatives of United Akali Dal, Sikh Youth of Punjab will also participate.

Leaders and activists of political party Naam Tamilar Katchi from Tamil Nadu and Committee for Release of Political Prisoners from Delhi will also participate in the public demonstration at Jantar Mantar on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the UN General Assembly, scheduled for 27 September.

While addressing the press conference in Chandigarh on 15 September, leaders of all the parties declared that minorities and nationalities will speak in India’s capital to uphold the right of the Kashmiris to speak.

While Prime Minister of India will present his side of story on Kashmir’s so-called integration into India at the United Nations session, we will speak on behalf of the population, who have been detained at gunpoint and their lives paralyzed since 05 August.

The leaders announced that in India they would hold the demonstration and at international level our aligned group Sikh Youth of America and our own organizational units in US will join with Sikh, Tamil and Kashmiri Diaspora outside UN headquarters to protest against India’s highhandedness against minorities and lockdown in Kashmir.

SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann said with more than 40 days of continued incarceration of an entire population of the valley, concerned political groups, human rights bodies, civil liberties champions and those who love Kashmir as much as they love Kashmiris have decided to converge on Jantar Mantar to express their solidarity with the people of Kashmir and protest against the continued subjugation by the Indian state.

This Justice Rally will serve as a rallying point to unequivocally declare that the problem of Kashmir, the rights of the people of Kashmir is an international issue and not a bilateral one as India, the Security Council or the United Nations think it to be, said Dal Khalsa head Harpal Singh Cheema.

While we are comforted that the United Nations is raising its pitch of consternation against India on the overall situation in Kashmir, there is still a vast room to do more, added party spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh.

UAD president Gurdeep Singh Bhatinda said the whole country is shrouded in fear. Opposition parties, non-governmental groups, individual human rights defenders are all reeling under the stress caused by the Indian state.

A state of numbness, pseudo-nationalistic and ultra-nationalism is sweeping the country, said Paramjit Singh Mand, president of Sikh Youth of Punjab.

Against India’s occupation of Kashmir, Sikh and Tamil groups to hold public demonstration in Delhi on Sep 26 – “This is India, not Hindia,” Tamil Nadu tells Amit Shah

Sikh24 Editors

Chennai – Tamil Nadu – India, 15 September 2019. Despite adopting every cheap tactic, the BJP led Indian government doesn’t appear achieving its goal of fulfilling RSS’ dream of Hindu, Hindi and Hindustan.

The Indian Home Minister Amit Shah has come under fire after giving a call to make Hindi, the unifying language of India, by taking it to every individual and home and using it in every aspect of life.

Amit Shah said this while addressing the ‘Hindi Divas Samaroh’ in New Delhi on September 14.

Going across the party line, the political leaders of Tamil Nadu have slammed Amit Shah for giving this call. Both the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK have been observed on the same page on this issue.

Warning the Centre of another language war, DMK president M K Stalin demanded Amit Shah to take back his statement on Hindi as they were detrimental to national unity and integrity.

“This is India not Hindia. The DMK will not hesitate to unite states which might lose their legitimate rights on account of Hindi hegemony. The party’s high-level policy making body will meet on Monday to decide on the future course of action,” he told the media.

The Education Minister of Tamil Nadu K A Sengottaiyan has asserted that the state is wedded to the teaching of two language formula (Mother tongue Tamil and English) which was being implemented since the days of Anna, the Dravidian stalwart and former Chief Minister C N Annadurai.

“Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had made it clear to the PM and the Home Minister during his interactions that Tamil Nadu would follow only the two language formula,” he said, accompanied by Fisheries Minister K Jayakumar.

Minister for Tamil Development and Culture Mafoi K Pandiarajan said that the Centre shouldn’t impose Hindi at this juncture. “…All the 22 languages should be nourished and people in due course will opt for one among them as the national language,” Pandiarajan said.

Marumalarchi DMK (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko is of the view that imposing Hindi would Balkanise the nation.

“Imposing Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states would lead to the Balkanisation of the country with only the Hindi speaking states remaining in the Indian Union,” Vaiko said.

“Hindi can never be the identity of India on the global arena. Amit Shah is wrong as it contains the seeds of divisiveness,” tweeted PMK president S Ramadoss.

“This is India, not Hindia,” Tamil Nadu tells Amit Shah – Stray cattle problem: Dal Khalsa asks Punjab government to lift ban on cow slaughter

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Punjab – India, 10 September 2019. Stating that the menace of stray cattle has reached an alarming position, the Dal Khalsa has asked the Punjab government to lift ban on cow slaughter strictly for economic reasons and to solve stray cattle problem. “In fact, the organisation is in favor of setting up cow slaughter houses in the state,” reads a press note by Dal Khalsa.

Party leaders Harpal Singh Cheema and spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh said that the issue of cow slaughtering was dear to Hindu hearts. Hence, they would like to clear at the outset that their demand had nothing to do with religion or its beliefs.

They said cow slaughtering was banned in most of parts of India, including Punjab. Since, it is a state subject, we urge Amarinder Singh government to rethink on the issue and lift the ban on it. To drive their point home, they added that already in nine states there was no ban on cow slaughter, while in two other states it was partially imposed.

Giving details of their demand, they said lifting ban on cow slaughter would go a long way in the uplift of farmers, struggling to repay loans. It would also check suicides among farmers. They added that the farmers already had the infrastructure and could keep cows without spending additional money.

“It would fetch good rates. As of now, the farmers were abandoning their cattle at lonely places”, they said. “Moreover, stray cattle were resulting in road accidents taking a heavy toll of human lives”. Every day, there are deaths on roads due to rising number of stray cattle and government utterly failing to control it.

Clarifying that their intention was not to hurt the religious sentiments of any community, the leaders said the move would boost beef export, besides promoting leather and pharmaceutical industry in the region.

They said nowadays only those cows are taken care of who yield milk. Dry cows and calves are poorly fed, abandoned and allowed to die in pitiable conditions.

They slammed the government for imposing cow-cess on people and took exception over the silence of Kisan Unions on this vital issue concerning farmers.

Stray cattle problem: Dal Khalsa asks Punjab government to lift ban on cow slaughter – 1984 Sikh Genocide: SIT to reopen seven cases including one against Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 10 September 2019. Appointed by the Union government of India to crack 1984 Sikh genocide cases, the Special Investigation Team is going to reopen seven Sikh genocide cases which include the one in which Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath is accused of giving shelter to five genocide culprits.

It is learnt that in these seven cases, either the accused were acquitted or the trial was closed and the SIT may consider fresh evidences against the accused in these cases.

These seven cases were registered in 1984 at police stations in Vasant Vihar, Sun Light Colony, Kalyanpuri, Parliament Street, Connaught Place, Patel Nagar and Shahdara.

“A big Victory for @Akali_Dal_ SIT Opens case against @OfficeOfKNath for his alleged involvement in 1984 Sikh genocide,” DSGMC president Manjinder S Sirsa said in a tweet.

“Notification issued by MHA upon my submission last year, Case number 601/84 to reopen & consider fresh Evidence against Kamal Nath,” he added.

Talking to media on the development, Sirsa said that two witnesses were ready to depose against the Congress leader. “We talked to them today, they’ve agreed to depose before SIT whenever they are called. We talked to SIT today, they said they will give us a specific date,” Sirsa said. He also demanded security for two witnesses.

Sirsa urged Congress president Sonia Gandhi to seek the resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath so that Sikhs get justice for the 1984 Sikh genocide committed near Gurdwara Rakab Ganj in the national capital.

“We demand that Congress president should immediately take resignation of Kamal Nath and oust him from his post so that the Sikhs get justice,” Sirsa told media.

1984 Sikh Genocide: SIT to reopen seven cases including one against Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath – Kashmiri student beaten, forced to wear women’s clothes in Rajasthan

Shruti Jain – The Wire

Jaipur – Rajasthan – India, 07 September 2019. A video from Rajasthan’s Alwar showing a student from Kashmir tied to a pole after having been made to wear women’s clothes, has been doing the rounds on social media.

The 23-year-old boy in the video, Mir Faiz, is originally from Kashmir’s Baramullah and is currently in his final year of engineering studies at the School of Aeronautics in Neemrana.

Faiz’s brother, Faizal, who works at Tata Consultancy Services in New Delhi and was informed about the incident on Wednesday night, said the miscreants were unknown to Faiz.

“On Wednesday evening [04 September], Faiz had gone out to withdraw some cash from the ATM where some men abducted him outside his college campus. They took him to an isolated place and took off his clothes.

They made him wear women’s clothes and compelled him to walk into the market, saying that they would kill him otherwise. He walked a little and then to save himself, entered an ATM booth but soon after, about 20 unknown men pulled him out and thrashed him in the open market,” Faizal told The Wire.

“My brother was severely injured but he was not medically examined until today [05 September 5]. He told me he could not even hear with his left ear when the police were questioning him. The police investigated his flat twice and even confiscated his mobile phone. We are not able to understand why we are being treated as culprits here.

Faizal reached Alwar on Wednesday night itself.

“The police let him go at around midnight and asked him to go back Thursday for ‘interrogation’. He did. It has been a whole day, they haven’t let me meet him once today,” he added. At the time of publishing the report, Faiz had been released after interrogation.

However, the police said that a FIR into the matter was registered late on Wednesday night itself. “The boy had complained that about 20 unknown men had beaten him in the market. An FIR is being registered under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntary causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 505 (public mischief) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code,” Laxman Singh, sub-inspector at the Neemrana police station told The Wire.

Faizal said the college administration has not been supportive either. “The director told us that he cannot understand why Faiz was dressed as a woman. We are completely on our own here,” said Faizal.

Faizal has further claimed that the police accessed his Facebook account, emails and other social media engagements to verify whether he’s an ‘anti-national’ or not. “It’s beyond our understanding as to why the police would verify the victim in the first place.

This is such a bad situation. We will not let Faiz continue his studies here. There is a risk of his life here and we cannot leave him on his own,” said Faizal.

The superintendent of police in the district has denied that the student’s Kashmiri identity was the trigger for the attack and seemed to allege that the women’s clothes the men had forced on him were to blame.

Speaking to The Wire, the Bhiwadi SP, Amandeep Singh Kapoor, said, “It wasn’t an identity-based crime. The locals didn’t know he is a Kashmiri. Since he was dressed as a woman, it caught their attention.”

Kashmiri Student Beaten, Forced to Wear Women’s Clothes in Rajasthan – Supreme Court refuses to hear petition seeking justice in extra-judicial killings of more than 8000 youths

Sikh24 Editors

New Delhi – India, 02 September 2019. Quashing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a human rights group named Punjab Documentation and Advocacy Project (PDAP) on behalf of more than eight thousand victim families, the SC bench of Justices Arun Mishra and MR Shah asked the petitioners to approach the Punjab & Haryana High Court.

The PIL pertains to the enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, and mass cremations of over 8,000 persons who were either killed using extra-judicial means or abducted by security forces in Punjab during the period post 1984.

It is pertinent to note here that the PDAP has conducted a decade long investigation to identify victims of extra-judicial killings in 14 districts of Punjab. During this investigation, the PDAP identified 8257 victims who disappeared after being picked up by cops between 1984 and 1995.

PDAP member Advocate Satnam Singh Bains had informed that proper evidences were also enclosed with this PIL moved in the Supreme Court. “Not only Sikhs, but the families of other communities have been also covered who lost their loved ones in fake encounters,” he added.

“For the past three decades, the victim families were struggling for justice and accountability,” he said while adding that the PDAP uncovered compelling evidence of 6,140 illegal cremations by the Punjab police.

It also provided evidence of 1,400 encounter FIRs claiming that the victims were unidentified militants. – Sikh loaders being forced to work without a turban and trim hairs at Amritsar airport

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 02 September 2019. Several Sikh youths, who are working as loaders at Sri Guru Ram Dass International Airport (Amritsar), are being forced to work without a turban. It is learnt that a female official deployed by the Indo-Thai Airport Management Services is forcing the Sikh youths to work without a turban and to trim their hair.

Taking strong notice of the incident, Longowal has said that the female official has hurt religious sentiments of Sikh loaders by forcing them to work without a turban. He has asked the Airport authorities to take action against the female official.

Sikh loaders being forced to work without a turban and trim hairs at Amritsar airport – Kathavachak attacked for asking people to stop dancing over vulgar songs inside Gurdwara Sahib Premises

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 01 September 2019. Bhai Atar Singh, who is serving as a Kathavachak in Gurdwara Jyoti Saroop Sahib (Fatehgarh Sahib), reportedly got attacked by some people in village Jhanjeri on August 31.

It is learnt that the incident occurred when Bhai Atar Singh tried to stop the people dancing on vulgar songs running over DJ inside the premises of Gurdwara Sahib.

Sharing the details of incident, SGPC spokesperson Kulwinder Singh Ramdas informed that Bhai Atar Singh was returning from Mohali to Fatehgarh Sahib last night when he noticed some people dancing over vulgar songs inside the premises of Gurdwara Sahib in village Jhanjeri.

Feeling it his duty to stop the violation of the Sikh code of conduct, Bhai Atar Singh tried to convince the dancing people to stop violating the code of conduct inside Gurdwara Sahib but the concerned people launched attack on him.

During this attack, the sacred Kakaars worn by him got disrespected and his car also got damaged.

Taking strong notice of this unfortunate incident, the SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal has raised questions over the day by day worsening law and order situation in Punjab. He has demanded strong action against all the elements involved in attacking the Kathavachak.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that a FIR has been registered on Police station Majaat which falls in Sohana police constituency.

Kathavachak attacked for asking people to stop dancing over vulgar songs inside Gurdwara Sahib Premises – Demolition of Ravidas Temple: Sikh bodies announce to hold Solidarity March with Ravidasia community in Jalandhar on 03 September.

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 29 August 2019. Taking serious view of the demolition of Bhagat Ravidas Ji temple in Delhi, the Sikh bodies SAD (Amritsar), Dal Khalsa and United Akali Dal today resolved to take out a March in Jalandhar on 03 September to express their solidarity with Ravidasia community and to send message to Delhi government that nothing short of reconstruction of temple would soothe the hurt sentiments of aggrieved community.

Addressing the media today, Kanwar Pal Singh and Prof Mohinder Pal Singh said demolition of temple was as painful and hurtful to Sikhs as it was to Ravidasia community. They said Bhagat Ravidas Ji’s hymns are part of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, hence both the communities have shared bonding.

“Moreover forceful demolition of any holy place irrespective of religion leaves lacks of its disciple and followers in pain and stress. We condemn the government’s move and fully stand by Ravidasia community in this hour of crisis,” they said.

They said their groups will cooperate with Ravidasia community in their future action program to build temple in case government fails to reconstruct the same at original location.

They further said before taking out the solidarity march in Jalandhar, they would hold convention at Gurdwara Guru Teg Bahadur where speakers will share their views and concerns on the matter. They have invited BSP and Bahujan Mukti Morcha representatives to attend the convention.

Replying to a question on CBI’s U-turn in Bargari sacrilege case, the Dal Khalsa leader said it was matter of grave concern that justice eludes Sikhs even after four years of painful event and despite three SIT’s constituted by both past and present governments.

“All probe panels (SIT) and the CBI were working on political lines thus making mockery of justice. Their findings contradict each other leaving us in no doubt that the factionalism within police hierarchy has marred their professionalism and credibility,” he added.

Demolition of Ravidas Temple: Sikh bodies announce to hold Solidarity March with Ravidasia community in Jalandhar on Sep 3 – AAP MLAs take on Subramanian Swamy for his objectionable statement on Kartarpur corridor

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 25 August 2019. Strongly criticizing the Subramanian Swamy’s statement suggesting suspension of Kartarpur corridor’s construction work, the AAP legislators has asked the BJP high command to either ask Swamy to revoke his statement or expel him from the party with immediate effect.

AAP legislators Professor Baljinder Kaur, Rupinder Kaur Ruby, Manjit Singh Bilaspur, Kulwant Singh Pandori and Jai Krishan Singh Rodi have said that Swamy has twitched the hearts of the worldwide Sikh sangat with his objectionable thinking and wording.

They added that the prayers of Sikh community have borne fruits after 70 years, but the politicians like Subramanian Swamy are creating hurdles to stop Kartarpur corridor from getting operational.

They also took on BJP parliamentarian Kiran Kher for comparing Indian PM Narendra Modi with Hindu Lord Sri Krishna. They said that Modi can be very great for Kiran Kher but comparing him to Lord Sri Krishna was totally wrong.

AAP MLAs take on Subramanian Swamy for his objectionable statement on Kartarpur corridor