– Dal Khalsa admonishes Indian Army Chief for beating drum of law & order problem in Panjab

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 16 November 2018. Joining issue with Indian army chief Bipin Rawat regarding his statement on “attempts” to revive insurgency in Punjab through “external linkages”, the Dal Khalsa said the army chief has overlooked Maur Bomb Blast terror case that has internal linkages having roots in Sirsa cult.

Dal Khalsa’s spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh in an interview to a news agency said the people of Punjab are sure that the footprints of Maur blast will reach to Delhi via Sirsa. “Police under Sukhbir Badal, the then Home Minister, blamed militants for the terror act, which turned out to be a farce”.

Contesting Indian army chief’s statement that “it would be too late” if India does not act soon to stop the attempts to revive terrorism in Punjab, the pro-freedom group leader categorically stated that there’s no terrorism in Punjab.

New Delhi has always wrongly portrayed Punjab problem as a law and order where as its political conflict between Punjab and India that requires peaceful political resolution.

“The only attempts that are being made in Punjab is to secure and protect basic fundamental rights of the peoples including the right to self determination upheld and safeguarded as per the UN charter to which India is a signatory”, said he and added that other than that it’s the figment of imagination of the security establishment, who always thrive on upping the ante for their own legitimacy and survival.

Which law of India allows the army chief to issue threats to the peace-loving people of Punjab? Why should the people of Punjab be made scapegoats of India’s war mongering with Pakistan?

Exposing the double standards of the Indian government, he said when the Pakistan army chief speaks on political and foreign policy matters, India cries foul, but on the other side, the present dispensation under Narendra Modi is allowing its own army chief to issue political statements whether it relates to Punjab, Kashmir or Assam.

On army chief blaming Sikhs For Justice for trying to destabilize the peace in the region, he said this is a loaded question, straight from the archives of the government.

We don’t hold any brief for Sikhs for Justice. However, we strongly condemn the illegal arrest of the activists who were peacefully putting up posters for referendum.

The Indian court’s judgement allowing peaceful propagation of any political movement upholds the right to speak and put up posters for self determination and even for a separate Sikh state.

While we disagree with their methodology and daily utterances, yet the SFJ has a democratic right to talk about a referendum. Talking about a referendum in a democratic manner is not an anti-India move but a pro-people and pro-rights movement.

We reiterate that SFJ’s referendum is a democratic exercise to know the will of people of Punjab whether they aspire to become independent from India, whereas, the real referendum would be held in Punjab either under the aegis of UN or with the consent of New Delhi.

So we take exception that under the garb of referendum issue, Indian army chief has issued veiled threat to Sikhs.

Advertisements – Pakistani Sikhs demand PSGPC elections

Sikh24 Editors

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 13 November 2018. The Pakistani Sikhs have started demanding elections of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee as the tenure of serving members had matured two years ago.

Mismanagement on the behalf serving PSGPC members have resulted in the emergence demand among common Pakistani for elections of the apex Pakistani Sikh body.

Speaking to Sikh24, Nankana Sahib resident Pritam Singh informed that the interference of Evacuee Trust Property Board in Sikh affairs is rising day by day in Pakistan.

He alleged that the priests [granthis] and servants [sevadars] recruited by the ETPB in Sikh shrines were being given two times more wages than the ones appointed by the PSGPC.

“There is no appointment of any servant [sevadar] for the day to day petty services in Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Sri Nankana Sahib due to which the Sikh sangat has been doing the volunteer service from a long time” he added.

Lahore resident Jagteshwar Singh said that the problems being endured by Sikh and Hindu minorities residing in Pakistan for managing their historic shrines can’t be tackled with appointment of a Muslim for the Chairmanship of ETPB.

Earlier, the Chief Justice of Pakistan had also passed a same remark on the appointment of a Muslim to head the Evacuee Trust Property Board.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the ETPB’s interference in PSGPC has risen to such an extent that the selection of PSGPC members is being done in an undemocratic manner under the garb of unanimity.

Presently, the PSGPC doesn’t even have sufficient number of members mandatory in the PSGPC. As per the constitution of PSGPC, minimum ten members are must but the two positions are lying vacant in the PSGPC after the death of members Dr. Suran Singh and Baba Sham Singh. – UK MP to rally on parliament in support of Scottish Sikh detained in India

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP’s Communications Officer

Dunbarton – Dunbartonshire – Scotland, 14 November 2018. Martin Docherty-Hughes, MP for West Dunbartonshire, has called on the UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to ‘get serious’ as campaigners prepare to march on parliament in support of a Scot imprisoned in India for the past twelve months.

Jagtar Singh Johal, a 31 year old from Dumbarton, had been married for just two weeks when he was seized by Indian police in Jalandhar City, Punjab in November 2017, an arrest which led to allegations of physical and mental torture in the days that followed.

Since then, his family along with other members of the wider Sikh and Scottish community, have campaigned tirelessly for these allegations to be properly addressed.

Thanks to the campaign, supported Martin Docherty-Hughes and a cross-party group of MPs, the case was raised in a bilateral meeting between the Prime Minister and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in April.

Despite this pressure, the allegations of torture, detailed by the human rights charity REDRESS in a submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, have yet to be addressed.

The family’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes will host an event in the House of Commons on Wednesday 14 November where supporters of the #FreeJaggiNow campaign will gather in a mass lobby of MPs marking the one year anniversary of Jagtar’s alleged torture.

SNP MP Docherty-Hughes will speak at the rally alongside Jagtar’s family and representatives of REDRESS to call for the UK government to step up its efforts to secure ‘justice for Jaggi’.

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“Regardless of the accusations against Jagtar his rights to an open and fair judicial process must be protected. But after months of delays and more than 60 pre-trial appearances there has yet to be a single shred of evidence presented against him.

“When I raised my constituent’s case in parliament last year, I was assured by Ministers that the UK government would take ‘extreme action’ in response to the torture and mistreatment of a British citizen.

“Despite these assurances, my constituent and his family have been left frustrated by a lack of interest in Jagtar’s welfare by the UK government and in particular the Foreign Secretary.

“I’m grateful for the broad cross-party support the campaign has received from MPs across the country. It’s now time for the Foreign Secretary to listen and show that the UK government is serious about protecting the rights of its citizens abroad.”

Rupert Skilbeck, Director of Redress, said:

“As time goes on it is increasingly vital that these serious torture allegations are investigated without further delay, and the Indian authorities must ensure that any evidence obtained by torture is not used against Jagtar.”

Gurpreet Singh Johal, Jagtar’s brother, said:

“Whilst the physical torture stopped, the mental torture continues to date. The UK government have also failed Jagtar, although they ‘promised extreme action’ if found that a British citizen had been subject to torture and mistreatment.

The Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has failed to meet the family. It’s becoming more and more evident that it is ‘trade over human rights’.” – UK: Mass Sikh Lobby on November 14 to raise important issues

Sikh24 Editors

London – UK, 12 November 2018. The UK Sikhs are lobbying their MPs to put forward several important issues facing the Sikh community to Prime Minister Theresa May on November 14. Five important key issues have been identified, see the above image.

The Sikh Federation UK is urging Sikhs to inform their MPs and ask them to raise the above issues during November 14 Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs). PMQs is a constitutional convention in the United Kingdom, currently held as a single session every Wednesday at noon when the House of Commons is sitting, during which the Prime Minister spends half an hour answering questions from Members of Parliament.

“There will be a Prime Minister’s Question event at the House of Parliament in Westminster.

We ask all Sikhs to contact parliament switchboard ‭020 7219 3000‬ to inform their MPs and ask them to be present at The Parliamentary Lobby which will take place between 12.00 – 15.00,” Sikh Federation UK states in a press statement.

“During the Parliamentary Lobby, there will be an opportunity where MPs will be questioned on what they have done in regards to Jagtar Singh Johal’s detainment in India and also question the involvement of the Indian government in regards to the raids which took place by West Midlands police at the house of 5 activists involved with the #FreeJaggiNow campaign,” said Jas Singh.

“From 13.00 – 15.00 there will be an event to mark the 1-year detainment of Jaggi taking place in Committee Room 16. During this time there will be speeches from Redress and Martin Docherty Hughes. This will also provide you with an opportunity to ask your MP to join in and show their support for the #FreeJaggiNow campaign,” he added. – United Akali Dal stages protest outside Sangrur Jail seeking release of Sikh youths who hurled shoe on Sukhbir Badal

Sikh24 Editors

Sangrur – Panjab – India, 09 November 2018. The United Akali Dal leaders headed by general secretary S. Gurdeep Singh Bathinda staged a 24 hour demonstration before the Sangrur jail against illegal detention of six Sikh youths who had hurled a shoe on Sukhir Badal’s cavalcade last month.

The Sikh protesters had staged protest against Sukhbir Badal when he was going to convene a party meeting at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib along with his cavalcade.

Taking on the Police administration for imposing attempt to murder charges on the protesting Sikh youths, the UAD general secretary Gurdeep Singh Bathinda said that no one can murder his rival by hurling a shoe at him. He added that if the arrested Sikh youths will not be released by November 15 then they will intensify agitation.

Meanwhile, the SSP Sangrur Sandeep Garg has said that a special investigation team has been constituted to thoroughly probe the case. “We will take further action as per the findings of the SIT,” he added.

It may be recalled here that an FIR in this concern was registered against around 35-36 protesters including Baba Bachittar Singh and Baba Amarjit Singh by the Sangrur police under different sections on the complaint of SAD (Badal) spokesperson Vinarjit Goldy.

Later, the Police had arrested six protesters including Baba Bachittar Singh, Davinder Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, Manjit Singh, Gurjit Singh and were falsely indicted under section 307 (attempt to murder). – Giani Harpreet Singh faces sharp protest by Sikh masses on Bandi Chhor Diwas

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Punjab – India, 08 November 2018. The newly appointed acting Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh come across a major embarrassment on the pious eve of Bandi Chhor Diwas as soon as he started reading a pre-drafted message.

The Sikh masses strongly reacted to Giani Harpreet Singh by showing black cloths to him and shouting slogans against him as soon as he positioned before the mike to deliver a customary speech.

The wording of the slogans shouted by the Sikh devotees made it clear that there is a widespread anger among the Sikh community about the appointment of marionettes of political bosses on the temporal Sikh post.

It is noteworthy here that the SGPC appointed Jathedar of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib Giani Harpreet Singh was given the additional charge of Sri Akal Takht Sahib by the SGPC on October 22 after relieving Giani Gurbachan Singh.

Giani Harpreet Singh was officially given the charge to head the supreme Sikh institution in a religious ceremony on October 30.

The Shiromani Akali Dal leadership had brought forward Giani Harpreet Singh to calm down the outrage among Sikh masses against the party due to the exoneration of Gurmeet Ram Rahim in 2015 by the former Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh but it seems like all their efforts are going in vain. – Jagmeet Singh hopes Canada will recognize inhuman carnage of Sikhs as genocide

Sikh24 Editors

Ottawa – Ontario – Canada, 03 November 2018. Jagmeet Singh, who heads the National Democratic Party in Canadian Parliament, has released a statement on the 34th anniversary of the 1984 Sikh genocide.

In his statement, Jagmeet Singh has expressed hope that the House of Commons in Canada and the Canadians will soon recognize the inhuman carnage carried out by the fanatic Hindu mobs in November-1984 as genocide.

Wording of his statement is as follows:

“From November 1st to 4th, Canadians and Human Rights Advocates will mark the 34th anniversary of the 1984 Sikh Genocide.

Sikh men were burned alive. Women were subject to unthinkable sexual violence and children were murdered in gruesome fashion.

Many, including, former Indian Supreme Court Justice, G T Nanavati have pointed out that state resources were instrumental in these premeditated killings.

That is why I join and express my solidarity with the thousands of Canadians that live with this pain as survivors and bearers of inter-generational trauma.

It is also why efforts for healing and reconciliation must be prioritized.

Unfortunately, the statement from a member of the Liberal government to mark today’s solemn anniversary did not do this.

By referring to the tragedy as “riots” the Liberal Government contradicted and undermined the spirit of reconciliation.

Truth-telling is a prerequisite to justice and the naming of these crimes is instrumental to the healing and reconciliation process for those impacted.

In this spirit, India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh and as well as the Delhi Assembly and the Ontario Legislature have recognized these atrocities as genocide.

It is my hope that the House of Commons in Canada and this government will do the same.

The path to reconciliation will not be easy, but for the victims and survivors, today we remember”. – Sewa Singh Sekhwan resigns from all party positions; Sukhbir Badal expels him from party

Sikh24 Editors

Gurdaspur / Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 03 November 2018. Finally concluding his rebellious tone against Sukhbir Badal’s presidency, the veteran Akali leader Sewa Singh Sekhwan today resigned from all the party positions.

Sewa Singh Sekhwan today made this announcement in a press conference in Gurdaspur in the presence of two other Majha based veteran Akali leaders Ranjit Singh Brahmpura and Ratan Singh Ajnala.

Addressing the media, Sewa Singh Sekhwan said that Sukhbir Badal was responsible for bringing the Shiromani Akali Dal to a worse position. He also held Sukhbir Badal responsible for undermining the supremacy of prominent Sikh institutions.

Holding Bikram Majithia responsible for ending SAD’s base in Majha, Sekhwan said that the only quality Majithia possesses is that he is a brother-in-law of Sukhbir Badal.

Interestingly, Sukhbir Badal reacted to Sekhwan’s verbal announcement of resigning from all party positions by immediately scrapping Sekhwan’s basic party membership.

Sharing the development with an upset face before media, SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said that Sekhwan has been expelled for backstabbing the party by indulging in anti-party activities.

“He has shown this ungratefulness despite the immense responsibilities entrusted to him by the party. Sekhwan’s expulsion is applicable with immediate effect,” he added. – 1984 Sikh Genocide: Rights and Justice March to be taken out in Amritsar Sahib on November 3

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 01 November 2018. Blaming the Indian political establishment and justice system for failing the Sikhs from November 1984 massacre to Bargarhi-Behbal Kalan incidents, the Dal Khalsa will organize a ‘Rights & Justice March’ in the city on 03 November.

Addressing the media spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh and general secretary Paramjit Singh Tanda said the march would highlight the violence unleashed on Sikhs, denial of justice to aggrieved community and failure of international community in holding the Indian state accountable for the massacre of Sikhs.

“Even the tainted cops responsible for Behbal Kalan firing incident is enjoying impunity under full political patronage”.

Calling November 1984 a big blot on the image of so-called largest democracy of world, they said it was a state sponsored pogrom that had left deep scars on the psyche of Sikhs. They said lumpen elements in Congress and BJP played tandav with full impunity.

They said the failure of Indian justice system to deliver justice to victims of Delhi massacre in 84 paved the way for Mumbai killings in 92-93, Gujarat pogrom in 2002 and Orissa in 2008.

They made it clear that their community has lost all hopes to get justice from the (Indian) state. Hence, they would knock the doors of the United Nations to nail the perpetrators.

They said the march will begin from Bhandari bridge and culminate at Darbar Sahib where candles will be lit in memory of those who perished in the violence perpetuated by high and mighty of the Congress governing the country at that time.

They rubbished the Rahul Gandhi’s theory that his family and Congress party has nothing to do with the massacre of Sikhs.

Kanwar Pal said ironically India and its politicians want to mute the world. That is not possible. The tide has started to flow in the other direction. He referred the passing of a motion in the Canada’s Ontario state assembly and Pennsylvania in USA calling the mass killings of Sikhs in 1984 as ‘genocide’. – East Coast Sikhs join candlelight vigil in support of the Jewish Community

Sikh24 Editors

New York – State of New York – USA, 31 October 2018. Sikhs joined the Queens’ community in New York to honor the victims of the shootings that took place on October 27 at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg, PA.

The candlelight event was dubbed “Queens Against Hate: Candlelight Vigil” and was attended by members of various faiths to honor the victims and express solidarity with the Jewish community.

“Members of the Sikh community are here today to express their solidarity with the Jewish community. What happened in Pittsburg was awful and we want to let the Jewish community know that we are all here to support them in any way possible,” said Gurpreet Singh from New Jersey who traveled here to attend the vigil.

“In times of such darkness, may our unity light the way,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz in a statement as she called upon all faiths and backgrounds to stand together in solidarity.

Representing the Sikh community, members of the World Sikh Parliament, Sikh Cultural Society Richmondhill NY, Sikh Coordination Committee East Coast (SCCEC) and The Sikh Center of New York attended the candlelight vigil.

“Six years ago a similar hate crime occurred at a Sikh place of Worship in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sikhs condemn such hate crimes and will always stand with the victims,” said Himmat Singh of SCCEC.

Expressing solidarity with the Jewish community, United Sikhs, a humanitarian organization, shared the following statement:

“We strongly feel that we, as a society and a nation, have the responsibility to make sure that no community in this country should feel unsafe. No child should have to go through the trauma of seeing their own community members mowed down in hate.

This is extremely hurtful for all of us. All churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and gurdwaras should be a safe place for all faith communities. The political rhetoric in this country lately is not helpful and the leadership of this country ought to send signals which give solace to all communities.”