A United States (US) body on religious freedom in its latest report has been scathing in its criticism of Pakistan and China over the appalling condition of the minority communities in their states. Stating that underage girls from the Hindu, Sikh and Christian communities continue to be kidnapped for conversion to Islam, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in its annual report said that around 1,000 such incidents occur in Pakistan every year.
A granthi of a Pakistan Gurdwara was suspended after his sleazy video went viral on the net causing much embarrassment to the authorities of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) and its parent body Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB).
According to sources, a group of Sikh leaders of Pakistan, reportedly led by former Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) president, Bishan Singh, held a meeting with the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) top brass seeking change in leadership. Sources alleged that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) bosses were not “satisfied” with the performance of the present PSGPC president Satwant Singh in finding “soft targets” from among the Indian Sikh jathas to push the Khalistan movement. Taking advantage of this, a Sikh lobby led by Gopal Singh Chawla is trying to oust Satwant, they added.
Pakistan’s Religious and Minorities Affair Department has failed completely to utilize its Rs 370.20 million funds in the first 10 months of this fiscal year in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). According to the official sources, out of the Rs 370 million allocated funds around Rs 350 million were released by the Finance Department but the Religious Affairs Department only managed to utilize Rs 110.93 million funds.
India refuted as absolutely untrue allegations that a British Sikh man arrested on charges relating to terrorism is being tortured in Tihar Jail in New Delhi after group of demonstrators staged a protest outside 10 Downing Street in London. The Indian High Commission in London in a statement said, Jagtar Singh Johal has been arrested on serious charges relating to terrorism. It is untrue that he is being held without any charges. The prosecuting agency, NIA (National Investigation Agency), has already filed charge sheet in the court of law and he is presently undergoing judicial proceedings as per the law of the land. It is absolutely untrue that he has been subjected to torture. He has been granted consular access several times to the UK High Commission in New Delhi. Further, institutional safeguards like the Human Rights Commission exist to investigate any such allegation, it said. Earlier, the protesters waved placards and made speeches to protest British national Jagtar Singh Johal's detention in India for 1,020 days. His brother, Gurpreet Singh Johal, handed in a letter for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeking his intervention over the alleged third-degree torture and mistreatment and lack of charges against his younger brother in India. Johal, a 33-year-old Scottish-born Sikh, was in Jalandhar with his family for his wedding in October 2017 when he was arrested by police in the city.
British Pakistani and Kashmiri community held a demonstration outside Indian High Commission London on August 15 afternoon to mark India’s Independence Day as ‘Black day’ which was also joined by Indian Sikh community. The participants carried flags of Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Khalistan.
The new Indian High Commissioner, Gaitri Issar Kumar, said that New Delhi will take all measures at its disposal to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. She said in an interview that “the people of Punjab and the Government of India have worked together over the years to successfully root out the Khalistan ‘movement’ — extremist entities associated with Khalistan terrorism — in the early 90s in India. We are aware that many of these terrorist entities connected with the Khalistan movement continue their activities based in the UK and other western countries, where they had fled to. It is well known that they operate in close cooperation with Pakistan-backed perpetrators of terror to create instability in J&K and other parts of India.” “Our government has a number of institutional mechanisms for sharing relevant information on all these organisations with the UK, including regular dialogue and robust cooperation in a variety of areas related to our convergent security and defence interests.” She added that “We appreciate the position taken by the UK government on the Khalistan issue — that they see Punjab as an integral part of India.” “As for ‘Sikhs for Justice’, its supporters must be aware of this organisation’s involvement in serious terror-related and other illegal activities for which many are wanted in India. My government has officially sought the proscription of the terror entity ‘Sikhs for Justice’ in the UK”, she said.
Businessman and chairman of British Sikh Association, Lord Rami Ranger said that British Prime Minister has assured him that the British Government does not support Khalistan movement in the UK or any activity against India. Lord Ranger said that, “I informed Prime Minister Johnson that there are some separatist organisations working for Khalistan and they want to separate Punjab, the Indian side of Punjab from India. Prime Minister categorically assured me that the British Government does not support such organisations or anything against India.” Recently, Lord Ranger was criticised for his tweet asserting the Prime Minister’s support. Preeti Gill, member of Parliament Labour party, had replied to the post, saying, “The principle of self-determination is prominently embodied in Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations. It is positioned as the first right in the twin Human Rights Covenants-the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and (ICESCR). Most concerning.” Mentioning the fiery twitter interaction with Preet Gill, Lord Ranger said, “You don’t get self-determination on Twitter sitting 5000 miles away. You have to go and fight your cause with the people and test your popularity.” He further called out the organisations and people pushing for Khalistan, to renounce their British Passports, go to India, form a political party and do something “worthwhile” if they really believe in it.
BKI member calls for killing Hindus
At least 50 passengers were killed and another 30 persons were injured as terrorists belonged to Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) attacked the train passengers in a train at Baddowal village in Ludhiana District on June 15, 1991. When the train was stopped as someone pulled the ‘emergency cords’ at Baddowal on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur railway line, the terrorists entered into the train’s compartments and started firing at the passengers.
Khalistani terrorists attacked a passenger bus and killed 38 innocent civilians and injured another 33 others on July 6, 1987, near Lalru village in Mohali District of Punjab. Around a half dozen terrorists belonging to Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) forcefully stopped a passenger bus - Haryana Roadways bus HYE 1735 – near Lalru village (between Jamalpur and Hasanpur villages) and opened fire on passengers, killing 38 passengers including women and children.
The Air India Flight 182 Kanishka on June 23, 1985, flying from Toronto to Mumbai, exploded in mid-air over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland killing all 307 passengers and 22 crew members. The mid-air bomb explosion which killed all the 329 persons, including 268 Canadians, 27 British, 22 Indians and 12 others on board, was the deadliest attack on civil aviation until the September 11, 2001 attack in neighbouring USA.
The Moga CIA Staff arrested a drug peddler, identified as Amanpreet Singh and recovered 2 kg of contraband opium from his possession from Moga in Moga district. The CIA staff disclosed that the peddler brought 3 Kg of contraband opium from Madhya Pradesh and he sold 1 Kg to his permanent customer and the remaining 2 Kg he came to provide to his customers in Moga.
Punjab Police managed to bust the entire part of gangster-cum-drug smuggler Gavi module active in the state with the arrest of his five accomplices and they also recovered 1.25 kg heroin from Gavi's rented flat located at Urban Homes-2 in Kharar in SAS Nagar district besides seizing three Pistols including one .30 calibre Chinese Pistol and two .32 calibre Pistols and 23 live cartridges from his hideouts. Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said that Three vehicles, including Toyota Fortuner, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyundai Verna, which were being used for drug smuggling have also been recovered.
Police arrested two men, who were using an ambulance to smuggle drugs from UP and supply them to their clients in Ludhiana, along with more than 1 lakh intoxicating tablets in Ludhiana.
A resident of Arjan Manga village, in a police complaint, claims to have been receiving threat calls from unidentified persons on a social media app from different mobile numbers of Pakistan. The callers accuse him of using objectionable remarks Khalistan sympathisers.
The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court at Mohali has granted bail to eight accused arrested in connection with the killing of Shaurya Chakra awardee comrade Balwinder Singh Sandhu as charge-sheet was not presented against them within the stipulated 180 days.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday held that “there are serious allegations against the petitioner of waging war against the Government of India and indulging in revival of terrorism and formation of Khalistan” and dismissed the bail plea of Jagtar Singh Hawara, in a 15-year-old case registered under sections of Arms Act, Explosives Act and waging war against Government of India, at PS 17 Chandigarh.
The outlawed pro-Khalistan group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) is indulging in what officials call an “oxygen conspiracy”. Punjab officials allege that SFJ is trying to fish in troubled waters to increase its followers in the border state.