Sikh24.com – Bomb Attack on Gurdwara: Three Teenagers Sentenced in Germany

Sikh24 Editors

Essen-Germany (BRD), 22 March 2017. A German Court of Essen has sentenced three German born minors for upto seven years at a juvenile detention center for carrying out a bomb blast in the Gurdwara Sahib of Essen.

The bomb blast carried out by these minors on 16 April 2016 had left the Granthi (Priest)* injured with serious burns, along with two others suffering injuries from shards of glass.

The court charged two of the group with attempted murder, while the third minor was held guilty of being a part of a criminal conspiracy as he was not present in carrying out the bomb blast. The judge ruled that the teens should serve sentences of seven years, six years & nine months, with six years in a juvenile detention center.

The culprits Yusuf, Mohammad and Tolga (last names omitted) were aged 16 years when they had detonated a homemade explosive device outside the temple [Gurdwara]. The bomb which was crafted from a fire extinguisher packed with explosive chemicals had destroyed the entrance to the temple.

The prosecutors said that the three offenders carried out the bomb attack because they mistook Sikhs as ‘non-believers of God’. They also targeted the Gurdwara Sahib over an alleged mistreatment of Muslims by Sikhs in northern India. The prosecutors further said that the teens were radicalised via social media in 2015.

Situated in western part of North Rhine-Westphalia state of Germany, the Essen town has around 200 Sikhs living in it.

*A granthi is not a priest, he is more like a protestant minister.

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/03/22/bomb-attack-on-gurdwara-three-teenagers-sentenced-in-germany/#.WNU-vqK1vIU

Sikh24.com – Sikhs Extra Vigilant in London After Terror Attack

Sikh24 Editors

London-UK, 23 March 2017. After the terror attack outside the House of Westminster, in London, Sikhs throughout the area are stepping up their vigilance as the alarm of the attack reaches evening commuters.

The attack today transpired after a terrorist driving his vehicle into members of the public. He subsequently stabbed a policeman on guard duty, before being shot dead by armed police. Four deaths have resulted.

Sikhs have borne the brunt of knee-jerk reprisals in the past as hate crimes usually and as such Gurdwara Sahibs often been a target, so local Sikh communities are on alert to be safe from any such unfounded responses.

The Met Police have cordoned off many areas of central London and asked members of the public to volunteer any images or footage that they may have captured on personal devices.

“I would like to ask the public to remain vigilant and let us know if they see anything suspicious that causes them concern and dial 999 immediately”, said Commander B J Harrington, of New Scotland Yard.

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/03/23/sikhs-extra-vigilant-in-london-after-terror-attack/#.WNNw06K1vIU

Sikh24.com – American state to mark April as ‘Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month’

Sikh24 Editors

Dover-Delaware-USA, 20 March 2017. Amidst rising hate crime incidents against Sikhs in the USA, the state assembly of Delaware, a state south of New Jersey, has resolved to mark the month of April as ‘Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month’.

A resolution regarding this was unanimously passed by the Senate as well as Representative House of Delaware state assembly.

“Delaware stands with the Sikh community in denouncing hate crimes directed towards any individual on account of their religious beliefs”, reads the resolution announced by senator Brown Townsend in the state assembly.

“Since September 11, 2001, the Sikhs are often mistaken for Taliban or followers of Al Qaida, owing to the commonality of their beards and turbans, and subjected to a disproportionately high rate of hate crimes, and Sikh boys suffer bullying at least twice the national bullying rate for other boys”, it said.

The move was welcomed by the State Governor, John Carney, who in a meeting with the Sikh community assured all kind of help to the community, which he said of late has been experiencing a spate of hate crimes in the US. He further said that such kind of racial attacks were totally unacceptable.

“We have fear mongering going on at a national level, and stereotyping and all of that. It is an embarrassment for America as a country,” Carney told a delegation of Indian-Americans led by local businessman and community leader Charanjeet Singh Minhas.

Meanwhile, Charanjit Singh has welcomed the Delaware’s move in taking a lead in displaying it’s solidarity with the Sikh community, despite having only a small Sikh population, compared to the other states like California, New York and New Jersey.

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/03/20/american-state-to-mark-april-as-sikh-awareness-and-appreciation-month/#.WNCBB6K1vIU

Sikh24.com – Major challenges before Captain Amarinder Singh

India Today

Chandigarh, 16 March 2017. With Captain Amarinder Singh taking oath as the Chief Minister of Punjab, Congress has regained its lost ground in the state after 10 years. It is also being cited within the Congress as an example as to how to challenge the resurgent BJP, which is ousting the party in one after another state across the country.

Given the anti-incumbency against the Akali-BJP alliance over ten years, winning the Punjab Assembly election was not as difficult for Captain Amarinder Singh, whose real challenge will be to deal with the problems that are plaguing the state.

The major challenges that the newly appointed Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh will have to face are dealt with in the following paragraphs.

Economic slowdown

Punjab is known for its robust agriculture and agri-based industries, which have attracted workers from across the country over the years. But, of 10 years under the Akali-BJP rule in Punjab, the rate of agriculture growth has declined in the last nine years.

The agriculture growth was 0.95 per cent in 2004-05, which according to the Punjab government figures went into negative, -3.4 per cent in 204-15. Nearly 65 lakh people engaged in agriculture have been adversely affected by this decline.

However, the latest government figures suggest that the agriculture growth rate could be higher than the national average for 2015-16.

Between 2005-06 and 2015-16, the net GDP growth rate slowed down to almost half the pace. It was 10.18 per cent in 2005-06 and according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the net GDP growth rate of Punjab has come down to 5.96 per cent for 2015-2016. In a decade’s time it has fallen far below the national average.

Farmers’ suicide in Punjab

Even though, the per capita income has registered an increase of about five per cent from Rs 96,638 in 2014-15 to Rs 101,498 in 2015-16, it does not reflect the real picture of farm crisis in Punjab.

According to the last Agriculture Census data, the average farm sizes have reduced from 3.9 hectares in 2005-06 to 3.7 hectares in the 2010-11. The deteriorating farm crisis is reflected in the rising number of suicides in Punjab, where such a thing was almost unheard of earlier.

The last Akali-BJP government commissioned three universities to study the instances of farmers’ suicide between 2010 and 2013. The report has not been made public with many accusing the ousted government of holding back the data due to Assembly election.

The same universities had studied farmers’ suicide cases between 2000 and 2010 and put the number of farmers and farm labourers committing suicide during the period at 6,926. More than half of the victims were farmers, 3,954 ended their lives. The average number of farmers committing suicide per year was 692.

Many believe the situation has worsened in recent years. In 2015, cotton crop failure in Malwa belt resulted in a spate of suicide by farmers. The NCRB data put the figure at 124 while the Centre told the Lok Sabha last year that 449 farmers and farm labourers committed suicide in Punjab in 2015.

Rising unemployment

Rising unemployment is another big challenge before Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. The unemployment rate in Punjab stands at 16.6 per cent for young workforce aged between 18 and 29 as against the national average of 10.2 per cent.

Punjab is also among the states having highest rural youth unemployment rate.

According a government report, 18,770 factories were shut down between 2007 and 2014 under the Akali-BJP rule leading to huge loss of employment opportunities. The Congress manifesto in Punjab promised an unemployment allowance of Rs 2,500 per month. But, CM Amarinder Singh will have to find a more feasible solution to the problem of unemployment.

Drugs

The scale of drug addiction in Punjab can be gauged by the fact that Aam Aadmi Party based its election campaign in Assembly election.

According to the Punjab Opiod Dependence Survey for 2015, there are nearly 2.30 lakh opioid dependent and 8.60 opioid users in the state.

The report says that about 80 per cent of the drug addicts tried to quit but only about 35 per cent of the willing users received professional help from the state government.

The Punjab Opiod Dependence Survey estimated that approximately Rs 7,575 crore is spent on drugs in Punjab every year. The survey also linked the drug use to poverty and unemployment.

Obesity and anaemia

Healthcare infrastructure in Punjab is in shambles. According to a 2014 Princeton University study, unfilled vacancies and absenteeism are the basic problems of Punjab’s public-health facilities.

It found that Punjab has highest average medical expenditure per episode of hospital admission in India. About 83 per cent outdoor and 66 per cent patients are dependent on private healthcare infrastructure.

Besides, Punjab is grappling with a unique problem. It faces the challenges of obesity and anaemia at the same time. Obesity among men is pegged at 27.8 per cent and among women at 31.3 per cent.

Simultaneously, percentage of anaemic men has doubled between 2005 and 2015 from 13.6 per cent to about 26 per cent. In 2005, 38 per cent women were anaemic. Their proportion increased to 53.5 in 2015.

The health ministry data shows that one of four children are having stunted growth in Punjab. The number of underweight children has increased from 9.2 per cent in 2005 to 15.6 in 2015.

Crumbling school infrastructure

Punjab is facing an acute problem of school rising drop-out rate. The average annual drop-out rate at the primary school level has increased 1.3 per cent in 2014-15 to 3.1 per cent in 2015-16.

According to District Information for System Education (DISE) data, 84 per cent of primary-age students were enrolled in primary school in 2015-16.

But, only 51.6 per cent of secondary-age school students were enrolled in secondary school. Over 32 per cent students dropped out at the primary school level.

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/03/16/major-challenges-before-captain-amarinder-singh/#.WM4ZKqK1vIU

Sikh24.com – Captain Amarinder Singh sworn in as Chief Minister of Punjab; Phoolka to be Leader of Opposition

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh-Punjab, 16 March 2017. Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee head Captain Amarinder Singh today took oath as a Chief Minister of Punjab after recording an emphatic win in the state assembly polls. The swearing-in ceremony was held in the presence of Punjab governor V P Singh Badnore at Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh.

7 Cabinet minister and 2 state ministers also took oath along with Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on this occasion. Cricketer turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was being expected to become Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, also took oath as Cabinet minister.

It is learnt that a faction of veteran Congressmen was against the appointment of Navjot Singh Sidhu on the second highest post of Punjab government due to his new entry in Congress.

The swearing-in ceremony was also attended by the former Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh, Vice-President of Congress Sri Rahul Gandhi, Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh, Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibbal, Rajinder Gupta, Naveen Jindal, Sachin Pilot, Rajiv Shukla, Raj Babbar etc.

Detail of the new Punjab cabinet is as below:

1 Captain Amarinder Singh; Home, Personnel, Excise & Taxation and Housing

2 Brahm Mohindra; Health & Family Welfare

3 Navjot Sidhu; Local Bodies

4 Manpreet Badal; Finance

5 Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa; Panchayats & Rural Development

6 Rana Gurjit Singh; Irrigation & Power

7 Sadhu Singh Dharamkot; Social Welfare

8 Charanjit Channi; Technical Education

9 Aruna Chaudhary; Education

10 Razia Sultana; Public Work Department

H S Phoolka to be leader of Official Opposition

After securing 20 seats in the concluded assembly polls of Punjab, the rookie Aam Aadmi Party has chosen former Supreme Court lawyer Advocate H S Phoolka as opposition leader for the 15th assembly of Punjab.

Although the names of Bholath legislator Sukhpal Khaira and Kharar legislator Kanwar Sandhu also come to fore for this significant post but the seniority of H S Phoolka in AAP helped him in gaining the position. Notably, HS Phoolka has cracked the assembly seat of Dakha defeating the Akali legislator by a margin of 4169 votes.

Sikh24 has learnt that the name of Phoolka was proposed by Talwandi Sabo MLA Professor Baljinder Kaur and the Mansa MLA Nazar Singh Manshahiya and Sunam MLA Aman Arora also gave consent to Phoolka’s name. No other name was proposed in the meeting. Later, Khaira’s name was proposed for chief whip by Phoolka.

The names were accepted without any objection and discussion.

AAP’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal confirmed the development. He informed that the newly elected legislator of Bholath Sukhpal Khaira will be the AAP’s chief whip in the state.

It is pertinent to note here that the sexagenarian former Supreme Court advocate, HS Phoolka is known for his fight for justice for victims of the 1984 Sikh genocide.

Among the three contenders for the position of opposition leader (besides Khaira and Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu), Phoolka was associated with the AAP the longest and enjoys Kejriwal’s complete confidence. He had contested the Parliament polls in 2014 on AAP’s ticket from Ludhiana.

He was instrumental in extracting AAP supremao Arvind Kejriwal and his team from political damage following the manifesto controversy.

He was the first to offer that Kejriwal and he will go and apologise at the Golden Temple for the inadvertent mistake of superimposing the image of the party’s symbol ‘broom’ on the picture of the sanctum sanctorum Sri Harmandir Sahib on the manifesto cover.

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/03/16/captain-amarinder-singh-sworn-in-as-chief-minister-of-punjab-phoolka-to-be-leader-of-opposition/#.WMt1X6LavIU

Sikh24.com – Connecticut Sikhs ask officials to increase awareness programs to end hate crimes

Sikh24 Editors

Hamden-Connecticut-USA, 14 March 2017. A presentation on Sikhs was arranged by USA Attorney Office (State of Connecticut) in Hamden Police Station to create awareness about the Sikh religion.

John Sereno a former FBI agent and Sarala Nagala the Assistant US attorney were the organizers of this event.

Swaranjit Singh Khalsa, Member Commission of City plan Norwich and President of Sikh Sewak Society International (USA) provided key information on the Sikh religion. He also made the attendees aware that recently due to new political scenario, their has been increase in hate crimes on Sikhs.

Swaranjit Singh Khalsa mentioned that recently, a Sikh men was shot in Kent and one Indian doctor in Kansas also lost his life.

Manmohan Singh Bharara, President of Hamden Gurdwara Sahib, also attended the presentation and also decided to join Department of Justice outreach program as a Presenter.

Speaking with Sikh24, Swaranjit Singh Khalsa said that he has sent a note to Deirdre Daly, the US Attorney, who resigned on Friday at the request of President Trump.

Swaranjit Singh wished her good luck for her future endeavors and also made a remarks that while she was in the office, she always pushed outreach and awareness program for Sikhs and other religious groups.

Swaranjit Singh told Sikh24 that he has requested the Department of Justice to increase awareness programs to these hate crimes to a halt in the country.

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/03/14/connecticut-sikhs-ask-officials-to-increase-awareness-programs-to-end-hate-crimes/#.WMjRdaLavIU

Sikh24.com – Punjab’s sky is now free of ‘Badals’, Congress makes resounding comeback with 77 seats

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh-Panjab, 12 March 2017. Freeing the Punjab’s sky from ‘Badals’, the Congress has made resounding comeback securing 77 seats in Punjab assembly polls.

The rookie Aam Admi Party (AAP) could secure only 20 seats while the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal faced blunt rejection by Punjab masses at 99 seats and securing only 18 seats. Two out of total 117 seats went to independent candidates Simarjit Singh Bains and Rajwinder Singh Bains.

Punjab Congress head Captain Amarinder Singh won from his home turf Patiala by a margin of 52,407 votes while Manpreet Badal won from Bathinda (Urban) by a margin of 18480 votes.

Congress’ Ex-MLA Sardar Ramanjit Singh Sikki, who had resigned from legislative assembly in protest of Sri Guru Granth Sahib’s sacrilege, also won his seat of Khadoor Sahib by a margin of 17055 votes.

Interestingly, the AAP leader Bhagwant Mann who used to claim of ousting Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal from Punjab politics lost his seat to Sukhbir Badal by a margin of 18500 votes.

Similarly, the Chief Minister Parkash Badal defeated Punjab Congress head Captain Amarinder Singh by a margin of 22,770 votes whereas the AAP’s CM face Jarnail Singh was left behind by senior Badal with a margin of 45,121.

Alleged kingpin of Drug mafia, Cabinet minister Bikram Majithia, also won his seat by defeating Congress’ Sukhjinder Raj Majithia by a margin of 22,884 votes. The AAP’s anti-Majithia bomb Advocate Himmat Singh Shergill diffused only at 10252 votes.

Senior Congress leader Rajinder Bhathal lost her seat to Akali minister Parminder Dhindsa and Sunil Kumar Jakhar also lost his seat. These two veteran Congress leaders were capable of polarizing congress leadership causing collapse but now with their defeat has paved all the ways for Captain Amarinder Singh to become Chief Minister of Punjab have been cleared.

To see full results go to :

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/03/12/punjabs-sky-is-now-free-of-badals-congress-makes-resounding-comeback-with-77-seats/#.WMYqTaLavIU

Sikh24.com – A Pakistani Writer’s Thoughts On Khalistan – A Sikh Nation

Khalistan, A Reality?

Dr Ikhlaq Hussain

14 January 2017. The subcontinent India was divided in 1947 into India and Pakistan. The founder of Pakistan Quaide-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah possessing wisdom, deep vision and far sightedness had offered the Sikh leadership to join hands with Pakistan as an autonomous Khalistan.

The mad Sikh leader Master Tara Singh had repudiated the offer and standing at the footsteps of Punjab assembly waving his naked sword in the air had vowed and declared that Pakistan would be at the cost Muslim blood.

According to the game plan of hawkish Hindu political leadership, the leadership of Sikhs had been taken into their confidence through promises and assurances. The Sikh leaders had fallen into the Hindu conspiracy net and agreed to carry out the massacre of Muslims all over Punjab in the 1940s.

The Sikhs and Hindus involved in killing were mostly low cast or poor. Majority of the middle and upper class Sikhs had neither appreciated this Muslim killings nor were they involved in it. In fact many of the Sikhs had given Muslim families refuge in their houses and had protected and looked after them well.

Sikhs and Muslims had been living together for a long time peacefully, sharing each other’s happiness and sorrows. However, Hindu leadership had whispered into the ears of Sikhs to become enemies of Muslims and we have never been able to recover from the damage that the Hindus did at the time of partition.

I myself have witnessed the killing and violation of a Muslim mother and daughter at their hands, and their cries still haunt me.

In India in the 1960s, a change in the political atmosphere had started amongst the younger Sikh generation in the Sikh dominated province of Punjab. The Sikhs noticing the Hindu dominated independent India on one side and a Muslim dominated independent Pakistan on their other side.

The awakening for a desire for freedom and independence had started and was felt amongst the Sikhs. The government of India taking notice of this change had immediately decided to divide Punjab to weaken the Sikh domination in Haryana and Punjab.

In spite of this, the Khalistan movement had not subsided. In the 1980s severe police crackdown had been carried out, in which hundreds of young Sikhs had been killed. The movement had temporarily subsided. The Sikh leader of the Khalistan movement Bhindran Wala and his companions hidden in the Golden Temple had continued the movement.

At last Prime Minister Indira Ghandi finally ordered the military operation Blue Star at the Golden Temple to clear the hide-outs of Sikh leaders and completed the mission.

During the military operation, the temple was damaged at various places, which infuriated the entire Sikh community. Consequently Mrs. Indira Ghandi, the Prime Minister of India, was assassinated by her Sikh guard.

I have lived and passed most part of my early life in a Sikh state of East Punjab. Sikhs are brave and sincere friends but revengeful enemies.

Regarding their bravery, Sikhs of Doaba Jalandhar particularly are said to be so brave that they kill their enemy, go straight to police station, surrender themselves along with the arms used, facilitate the job of police and decision of the court and proudly jumps over the deck for hanging.

The Sikhs are now determined to achieve a sovereign Khalistan, I am sure that they would succeed in their mission.

The wealthy and influential Sikh leaders living in UK and USA who have kept the Khalistan movement alive are frequently seen on electronic media speaking in favour of Khalistan, highlighting its strategic advantages to Pakistan, and are now asking Pakistan, after seventy years, for political support at world forums.

They have also started to pressurise its and UK Governments to help and solve the issue of Khalistan.

Remember, keeping in view the seventy years history of Pakistan and India, relations can never be peaceful, whichever ruling political party is in power in both countries due to the clash of national and international interests.

It would continue as such in the future. In 1971, Sheikh Mujib-Ur-Rehman, according to the great game of India and its collaboration, had declared the Bangladesh government in exile and set up Bangladesh radio station in Kolkata city.

Therefore in the prevailing circumstances and geo-political developments around Pakistan, when the political and diplomatic relations between Pakistan and India are at their lowest level, India is threatening to destabilise it. The government of Pakistan should seriously think about allowing Sikhs to setup a radio station at Nankana Sahib.

Today the younger generation of Kashmir is struggling hard and sacrificing for freedom, therefore Sikhs should openly declare their sympathies with Kashmiris and practically help them.

It is therefore hoped, this time that the Sikhs will act in their own real interests, unlike their past, because it is also in the interest of the freedom of Khalistan. An independent Khalistan is a reality written on the wall.

The government of India taking notice of this change had immediately decided to divide Punjab to weaken the Sikh domination in Haryana and Punjab.

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/01/14/a-pakistani-writers-thoughts-on-khalistan-a-sikh-nation/#.WMLchqLavIU

Sikh24.com – Sikh Coalition asks USA Sikhs to join the #lovemyneighbor campaign

Sikh Coalition

New York-USA, 8 March 2017. The U.S. government’s previous orders on immigration continue to fan the flames of xenophobic backlash, and the resulting threats and violence have primarily targeted Muslim and Jewish communities.

It is for this reason that the Sikh Coalition is partnering with Auburn Seminary to launch an interfaith letter-writing campaign to show our solidarity with both communities.

The goal of the interfaith campaign is to emphasize to our American Muslim and Jewish classmates, neighbors and colleagues that every community understands we are strongest as a nation when we stand together.

#LoveMyNeighbor

“The Sikh faith teaches us that all people are equally divine and that we must therefore treat every human being with love, dignity and respect,” said Sikh Coalition Senior Religion Fellow, Simran Jeet Singh. “The Sikh Gurus showed us what it means to stand for justice and to fight oppression, and in today’s context, that means we must stand in solidarity with our Muslim and Jewish sisters and brothers.”

If you support this message of interfaith solidarity, sign the national sign-on letter and then share it with your friends and colleagues across social media using #LoveMyNeighbor.

Want to do more

Join us to host an event in your community where people get together to write notes of affirmation to their local Muslim and Jewish communities.

The Sikh Coalition and Auburn Seminary will then help you deliver these notes to mosques or community centers, along with flowers and hugs. We have seen firsthand how this sort of love can make a difference.

To request our support in organizing a local community event, please contact interfaith@sikhcoalition.org. We will support you to make this a success!

“By launching this campaign, we hope to send a message to our Muslim and Jewish friends that they are not alone and that they are welcome here. Moreover, by uniting people in solidarity of humanity, we will help contribute to sarbat da bhalla, the collective justice and uplift of our world,” said Simran Jeet Singh.

The Sikh Coalition continues to stand in direct solidarity with our American Muslim and Jewish neighbors because no community should ever be the target of bias, bigotry or backlash. While our Sikh faith embodies this worldview, our organizational work also teaches us that we must protect each other as others help to protect us.

As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/03/08/sikh-coalition-asks-us-sikhs-to-join-the-lovemyneighbor-campaign/#.WMDuiH_RHY8

Sikh24.com – Jathedar Jagtar Singh Hawara directs Sikh community to support Gurmehar Kaur

Sikh24 Editors

New Delhi- India, 2 March 2017. Akal Takht Jathedar (appointed by Sarbat Khalsa 2015) Jagtar Singh Hawara has directed the Sikh community to come forward in support and defense of Gurmehar Kaur.

It is notable here that Gurmehar Kaur, who is a daughter of martyred Captain Mandeep Singh, is on target of pro-Hindutva student body ABVP (Akhil Bharti Vidyarthi Parishad).

In a message conveyed through his legal counsel Advocate Amar Singh Chahal, Jathedar Jagtar Singh Hawara has also appealed all the Sikh and Human Rights bodies to take initiative to put control over rising hooliganism of saffron ABVP.

Lauding Gurmehar Kaur for daring to speak against the ABVP’s hooliganism, Jathedar Hawara said that the BJP (patron party of ABVP) projects itself as plaintiff of communal harmony.

He added that the BJP always uses cheap communal tactics like ‘religious intolerance’ to polarize vote bank during elections but it is has become a threat for communal harmony in India. Bhai Hawara also said that the minorities – Sikhs, Muslims and Christians have always remained prime targets of the BJP.

Lashing out at ABVP for issuing rape and death threats to Gurmehar Kaur, Jathedar Jagtar Singh Hawara has said that the ABVP has portrayed its mentality by stooping to a low extent.

Jathedar Hawara further said that it was very shameful that the Indian government was not taking any action against the ABVP goons despite of the fact that Gurmehar Kaur retains written threats sent to her by ABVP goons as evidence.

He further said that Gurmehar Kaur did nothing wrong by speaking up against ABVP goons as it’s the basic moral right of every person to speech and express his/her views.

Agreeing with Gurmehar Kaur’s statement that it was not Pakistan who killed his father Captain Mandeep Singh, instead it was war that killed him; Jathedar Hawara said that common citizens of two warring countries have nothing to do with war.

It may be recalled here that Gurmehar Kaur had condemned the ABVP’s act of creating violence at Delhi University to suppress freedom of speech and expression of students. Later, she had become target of ABVP and she was dubbed as an anti-national girl by the ABVP for her views about his dad’s martyrdom in war of Kargil.

Gurmehar’s father Captain Mandeep Singh had laid down his life while defending the Indian border during Indo-Pak war of 1999.

Meanwhile, Sikh leaders along with Jathedara Hawara have extended their support to Gurmehar Kaur. Speaking with Sikh24, SGPC President Professor Kirpal Singh Badungar appreciated efforts by Gurmehar Kaur. “She has demonstrated the courageous will of the Sikh community and we will stand by her in every way,” Prof. Badungar said.

He referred to Gurmehar Kaur as “daughter of Sikh community”.

Respected Sikh activist Narinder Singh Singh Khusropur also spoke with Sikh24 and said, “the Sikh community is ready to make any sacrifice to ensure safety of Gurmehar Kaur. We will stand by Jathadar Hawara’s edict in support and defense of Gurmehar Kaur.”

Lashing out at the RSS backed pro-Hindutva student outfit ABVP, S. Narinder Singh Singh Khusropur said that the ABVP has depicted true colours of its mentality by issuing rape threats to Gurmehar Kaur.

http://www.sikh24.com/2017/03/02/exclusive-jathedar-jagtar-singh-hawara-directs-sikh-community-to-support-gurmehar-kaur/#.WL2Oj3_RHY8