The Tribune – Canadian court to hear plea against retired CRPF officer

Tribune News Service

Moga, 27 May 2017. A Canadian court has accepted an application accusing former CRPF IG Tejinder Singh Dhillon of extra-judicial torture of Sikh youths during militancy in Punjab.

The Canadian High Commission in New Delhi had initially refused visa to him, but after a protest by the Indian Government, the former not only granted it but also gave a complimentary ticket to the retired IG to visit the country.

Jatinder Singh Grewal of the Sikhs for Justice, a human rights group, today appeared before the Justice of Peace in Toronto and levelled the allegations of torture on the basis of a victim’s affidavit. The court has fixed May 29 as the date of hearing.

Dhillon is in Toronto to attend a wedding.

The Tribune – Four Sikhs thrashed in Ajmer, panel seeks report

Our Correspondent

Jaipur, 25 May 2017. The Rajasthan State Commission for Minorities today summoned the state police after a video showing four Sikh men beaten up by local residents of Chainpura in Ajmer district on April 24 has gone viral.

The 51-second shows the four men being abused and thrashed by a mob as people witnessing the incident filmed the entire episode, the police said.

After reviewing the video on WhatsApp and other links, commission chairman Jasbir Singh issued letters seeking personal appearance of the four victims, Nasirabad police, and people who lodged a complaint against the Sikhs in the next 10 days before the commission.

“The location is unidentified. In fact, I got a vehicle number traced and found that the incident happened somewhere in Ajmer. A factual report has been sought within 10 days,” Jasbir Singh said.

Additional Director General of Police (law and order) N Ravindra Kumar Reddy said the incident had occurred nearly a month-and-a-half ago in Chainpura village falling under Nasirabad Sadar police station of Ajmer district.

He said three-four sewadars (Sikh members) of a gurdwara from Alwar district had visited the village to collect donation. Some local residents had then beaten them up alleging that they molested their women. They were arrested and released on bail.

However, according to the police, the Sikh men were not found involved in molestation and were asked to file a cross FIR against those who thrashed them but they did not lodge any complaint.

Laxman Ram, SHO, Nasirabad Sadar, said the sarpanch of Chainpura had lodged a complaint following which four accused were arrested. They were released on bail.

The Tribune – SGPC president Kirpal Singh Badungar approaches Yogi over UP gurdwara loot

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, 21 May 2017. Taking cognisance of the incident in which a group of armed persons barged into a gurdwara and looted the ‘golak’ and other articles in Saharanpur (UP), SGPC president Kirpal Singh Badungar has approached the UP Chief Minister.

“If the spiritual places are not safe, the plight of the common man can be well gauged. This instance has raised a question mark on the law and order situation over there. The culprits should have been arrested. I have asked for the intervention of CM Yogi Adityanath to take action against the accused,” he said.

The SGPC has formed a committee which will visit the gurdwara and gather information about the incident. The committee comprises SGPC senior vice-president Baldev Singh Kaimpur, member Manjit Kaur and Gurdwara Kapal Mochan manager Harwinder Singh.

The Tribune – Five booked for molesting Dalit sisters

Action taken after siblings reach police station in torn clothes

Ravi Dhaliwal, Kila Lal Singh, Tribune News Service

Batala, 18 May 2017. Accusing five youths of their village, Shampura, of molesting them, two Dalit sisters today rushed to Kila Lal Singh police station in torn clothes.

The teenaged girls claimed that they had lodged a verbal complaint with the police a few days ago that the youths had photoshopped their pictures and posted these on social media. Despite repeated requests, the police took no action because the youths were known to a prominent Congress leader of Gurdaspur district, they alleged.

“Instead, the cops picked up our brother and beat him up him in the police station this morning. The cops also informed the boys about our complaint. They came to our house and tore our clothes, threatening us with dire consequences if we reported the matter,” they said.

When the sisters reached the police station, scores of villagers blocked the road along the UBDC canal to protest against the police.

Subsequently, Batala SSP Deepak Hilori ordered the Kila Lal Singh SHO to book the boys under Sections 354 (assault on a woman or using criminal force to outrage her modesty), 506 (criminal intimidation), 148 (rioting armed with a deadly weapon) and 149 (unlawful assembly guilty of offence) of the IPC. The accused are Rahul, Sulieman, Akash, Raju and Punna.

“The allegation that the girls’ pictures were photoshopped is being probed. The police are not working under any pressure,” the SSP said.

The Tribune – Bains brothers to move Bill on SYL, seek support

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, 16 May 2017. The Lok Insaaf Party today appealed to all political parties to support them to move a private member’s Bill on the issue of water dispute with Haryana in the upcoming state Assembly session.

In a press conference, Atam Nagar MLA Simarjit Singh Bains said the Speaker should allow them to move the Bill which would prove crucial to protect the state’s interests on the SYL canal issue.

While sharing the details of the Bill, he said the Supreme Court’s decision was not likely to go in favour of Punjab.
“The only way out for the state is to pass a Bill and seek presidential reference on the legality of Section 78 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, and Section 14 of the Inter-State Water Dispute Act, 1956, in the light of federal structure of the country, which the Constitution ensures,” he said.

He said both sections were against the 7th Schedule and Article 262 of the Constitution, respectively. It was thus important that all parties must unanimously pass the Bill, he added.

The Tribune – Dalit who raised voice against fund misuse now fears for life

He was fired from job four years ago

Parvesh Sharma, Tribune News Service

Sangrur, 14 May 2017. Justice comes at a cost and 42-year-old Dalit labourer Sarbjit Singh knows it well. His temporary service as helper under the incharge of the Persons-with-Disabilities scheme at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET), Longowal, was terminated in 2013.

He lost his job after he raised his voice against the alleged misuse of funds meant for persons with disabilities. Then, he procured information through the RTI Act and wrote to many authorities, but justice continues to elude him.

Fearing that their “wrongs” would be exposed, SLIET authorities are allegedly threatening Sarbjit with dire consequences. But he has refused to compromise.

With a bag of documents that Sarbjit has procured under the RTI Act, he has been visiting various villages of the district to trace the students whose money has been misused.

“Despite having grants, SLIET authorities did not give financial aid to enrolled persons-with-disabilities students for vocational courses under the scheme from 2007 to 2015. The authorities should pay Rs 5,700 to each student.

I have detailed information that lakhs have been misappropriated by the authorities concerned. My services were terminated in 2013 after I raised my voice against it,” said Sarbjit.

He has written to SSP Sangrur for action against SLIET employees.

He alleged that on his complaint to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in August 2016, SLIET authorities, despite having the grant, gave wrong information to the PMO that a large number of students were waiting for the grant as funds were not available.

“First, they offered me money. When I refused, they started threatening me. These days, I am being pressured to withdraw my complaints. I fear that I may be killed and SLIET authorities will be responsible for it,” he said.

Today, he was in Sangrur to board a bus to New Delhi to meet authorities of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

The scheme for integrating persons with disabilities in the mainstream of technical and vocational education was launched in 1999-2000 with an objective to upgrade the skills of physically challenged persons.

Mahesh Arora, incharge of PWD scheme, SLIET, has denied the allegations. “No one is issuing threats from our side. It is a baseless allegation”, said Arora.

SHO Longowal Jugraj Singh confirmed that Sarbjit has lodged a complaint and said that he would look into it.

The Tribune – Bus policy to undo monopoly

Roster system to be introduced during peak hours

Ruchika M Khanna, Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, 12 May 2017. Designed to provide a level-playing field, Punjab’s new transport policy aims to rationalise the motor vehicle tax on air-conditioned buses and follow a roster system for buses to ply in peak hours.

No longer will the peak hour time-tables be allotted to a privileged few. Instead, all transporters will be allotted these for a month in rotation. The time-table discipline will be enforced through CCTV cameras to ensure that no bus operator overstays at a stop.

This draft policy, once approved, will clamp down on the “hugely favourable to the Badals” policy of the previous Akali-BJP regime, where the time-tables of buses, the tax on categories of buses owned by the Badals and other politically-connected transporters (tax on luxury and AC buses was less than on ordinary buses), and unauthorised extension of route permits helped in monopolisation of the business.

The new policy also explores the potential of roping in more players in the private sector, especially in the mini-bus segment.

Sources said the draft of the policy has been sent to the Advocate General office for legal vetting. Advocate General Atul Nanda said the draft policy would be approved by early next week.

Under the new policy, each of the 13,000 public transport buses (6,000 mini-buses, 3,200 state transport buses and 4,000 private transport buses) will have to install a GPS system and CCTV cameras. The idea is to ensure that no bus misses the trip on the permitted routes so as to carry only full buses and cut costs.

The system of reviewing the rate of diesel will remain the same: every three months, with adjustments in increasing or decreasing the price of tickets subsequently. On the cards is also the revision of monopoly bus routes and strengthening of the state-owned transport sector by adding more buses.

Official sources said the government could raise a loan for buying more buses.

The Tribune – Punjabi immigrants win BC polls

Sarbjit Dhaliwal, Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, 10 May 2017. Indo-Canadians have registered significant wins in the British Columbia elections. Most Punjabi immigrants have won on the New Democratic Party ticket from the Surrey region.

A former basketball player, Jagrup Singh Brar, has been elected from Surrey Fleetwood. He belongs to Deon village in Bathinda district. Before moving to Canada, he played basketball for India at the national level.

Harry Bains, elected for the fourth time, has won from Surrey Newton. He defeated Gurminder Parihar of the Liberal Party. Bains is a member of the BC Assembly since 2005.

First-timer Rachna Singh, has won from Surrey Green Timber as NDP candidate. She is the daughter of Punjabi writer Dr Raghbir Singh and wife of journalist Gurpreet Singh. Rachna has had her education in Chandigarh.

Raj Chouhan, elected fourth time in a row, has won from Burnaby Edmonds as NDP candidate. Chouhan was president of the Canadian Farm Workers Union.

Ravi Kahlon has represented the Canadian hockey team in the Olympics twice. He has been elected from Delta North as NDP nominee. From Surrey Panorama, Jinny Sims defeated Liberal’s Puneet Sandhar. Former TV reporter Jas Johal has been elected from Richmond Queensborough, defeating NDP’s Aman Singh.

The Tribune – ’84 riots: Supreme Court to pass order on CBI’s plea for lie-detector test on Tytler

New Delhi, 9 May 2017. A Delhi court on Tuesday will pass an order on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s plea seeking permission to conduct a lie-detector test on Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, who was given a clean chit by the agency in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, and arms dealer Abhishek Verma for further probe.

Earlier in April, Tytler refused to undergo the lie detector test in connection with the case.

In February, the CBI had sought the court’s permission for lie-detector tests on Tytler and Verma.

Earlier, the CBI had in its plea requested the court to direct the two to appear before it and accord their consent for conducting polygraph test so that further investigation could be conducted.

Tytler is accused of leading a mob in the 1984 Pul Bangash case in which three Sikhs were killed.

The CBI had earlier given a clean chit to Tytler in the case but re-opened the investigation following the 4 December 2015 order in the wake of Verma’s allegations.

The investigative agency moved a written application in the Karkardooma court on the issue, after the arms dealer’s accusation against the Congress politician of influencing witness Surender Singh by giving him money and promising to send his son Narender Singh to Canada.

The court also ordered the agency to find out whether Verma’s statement was authentic.

The agency had in September 2016 filed its investigation report in the case. (ANI)

The Tribune – Mintoo acquitted in bomb recovery case

Three acquittals in a week put question mark on probe

Aman Sood

Tribune News Service

Patiala, 4 May 2017. The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Ravdeep Singh Hundal today acquitted Harminder Singh Mintoo, one of the six prisoners who escaped from the Nabha jail last year, in the Nabha LPG bottling plant case. Bombs were seized from the plant in January 2010.

The Punjab Police had, in 2014, arrested Mintoo from Delhi’s international airport.

The acquittal comes almost a week after Mintoo was acquitted in another bomb recovery case, and a couple of days after Khalistan Tiger Force “terrorist” Ramandeep Goldy was acquitted in a Patiala bomb blast case.

The police had claimed that Mintoo was the facilitator and provided logistic support to the four accused, already acquitted three years ago, after unexploded improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were seized outside the Indian Oil’s LPG bottling plant in Nabha on January 18, 2010.

Mintoo’s counsel Barjinder Singh Sodhi said: “The police could not produce even one witness, who could prove my client’s link with the conspirators. Even the Army official, who was called to defuse the bomb, finds no mention in the police challan. The police could not prove that the seized objects were bombs. The only report presented by the police is by an Inspector, who certifies that the recovered objects were bombs”.

“The four accused in the case — Jasbir Singh, Harjant Singh, Pargat Singh and Bakhshish Singh, were acquitted on 3 March 2014, while the police still accused Mintoo of being the facilitator”, he said.

Then Patiala SSP Ranbir Singh Khatra had claimed that in November 2009, Bakhshish, the main accused in a case related to the attack on the convoy of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in Karnal, returned to India from Pakistan.

Jasbir and Harjant arranged his stay in India. Through Harjant, Mintoo made arrangements for arms, ammunition and explosives from Mumbai.

The police, however, failed to prove it in the court.

Investigation falls flat

The recent acquittals raise fingers at the police investigation in terror cases. Now, these cases will need re-investigation as all accused have been acquitted.

Last week, the court of Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, acquitted Harminder Singh Mintoo, citing lack of evidence in the explosives recovery case. The Ludhiana Rural police had claimed to have recovered explosives from an abandoned Maruti car near the Halwara airbase on January 24, 2010.

On May 1, Khalistan Tiger Force “terrorist” Ramandeep Goldy was acquitted in a bomb blast case. On April 10, 2010, a low-intensity bomb exploded near the Arya Samaj area in Patiala, leaving seven persons injured. Goldy was acquitted due to lack of evidence

Police ‘helpless’

The police say no person comes before court to identify or give statement against terrorists, making it difficult for them to prove their case in court. “We can establish their links (with terrorists) during grilling, but it is not valid in court. The accused go scot-free due to lack of evidence,” they add.

Why were all suspects aquitted ?
There were no bombs
There was no case !

Man in Blue