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Jagdish Tytler attacked by Sikh youth in Delhi

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New Delhi: Congress leader and 1984 riots accused Jagdish Tytler was attacked by a Sikh youth at a wedding in New Delhi on Saturday night.

According to reports, 23-year-old Sehaj Umang Bhatia, allegedly in an inebriated state, got into a heated argument with Tytler at a farm house in the national capital’s Mehrauli area and then threw a glass at the latter at around 11 pm. Tytler reportedly escaped unhurt.

The man was detained by police.

“The Congress leader was leaving the wedding ceremony when the incident happened. A youth named Sehaj Umang Singh started abusing Tytler and then tried to throw a glass at him. However, the leader escaped unhurt,” a police official said.

“Following the attack, the people caught the youth and handed him over to the police. He was detained and later let off after a brief interrogation.”

This comes two days after a court here refused to accept the closure report and directed the CBI to further investigate a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case against Tytler, pointing to arms dealer Abhishek Verma’s statement that Tytler had tried to influence a witness.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Saurabh Pratap Singh Laler ordered on Friday the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct further investigations and refused to accept the closure report that gives Tytler a clean chit, saying it should be found out whether Verma’s statement was true or not.

Verma, in his statement, told the CBI that Tytler had tried to influence one of the witnesses by giving him a hefty sum of money and promising to settle his son abroad.

The court observed that Verma has disclosed an active role played by Tytler in sending key witness, Surinder Singh Granthi’s son Narinder Singh to Canada. It was done as a deal for changing Granthi statement which has helped Tytler to get clean chit in the case, Verma has disclosed.

The court ordered the CBI to find out whether the statement of Verma was true or not and directed to conduct his lie detection test, if required.

It also asked the CBI to find out how many times Nairnder Singh applied for Canadian visa and to collect the copies of all the relevant documents.

The judge also ordered to find out whether Nairnder Singh ever committed any visas violations in Canada.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Seven Decades after Partition: Sikhs in Pakistan Struggle amid Bombings and Violence

Sikhs in Pakistan have been looking to leave Pakistan as their homeland has begun to turn toward radical Islam

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Sikhs in pakistan
Types of 51st Sikhs (Frontier Force), now 3 Frontier Force, Pakistan Army. ca. 1905. Wikimedia Commons
  • In today’s period, Sikhs in Pakistan are among the smallest minorities
  • Pakistan today uses blasphemy as a weapon against minorities and fellow Muslims alike, which is a crime that carries an involuntary death penalty
  • Mr. Singh heads a council representing the Sikhs in Pakistan

Aug 15, 2017: At the age of 11, Radesh Singh’s grandfather left his village in India’s Punjab province to move to Peshawar, which is bordered by Afghanistan in the far northwest of the country.

Pakistan wasn’t even a glint in the eye of its founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah in the year 1901 when the British ruled the Indian subcontinent and Peshawar held the promise of work and adventure.

It has been 70 years since the partition of India, which divided the subcontinent into majority Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan and led to one of the largest migrations in modern history.

Singh’s family have been waging a secessionist uprising in India ever since, demanding unmitigated sovereignty for India’s Punjab state where they command. Singh’s family is neither Hindu nor Muslim but Sikh, a religious minority in both countries. Feeling increasingly less at home on either side of the border, they have been victims of local Taliban violence in the recent years in Muslim Pakistan.

Singh’s grandfather would never return to his village, not even in 1947. Singh stated that poverty kept his grandfather in Peshawar, which was controlled by fiercely independent ethnic Pashtun tribesmen. He said, “It’s not easy to start over at zero when you have very little,” mentioned BBG Direct.

ALSO READ: 10,000 members of Sikh community in Pakistan lack Education and Health: Sikh Leader 

According to Singh, the enmity in the immediate aftermath of 1947 was slightly lower in the northwest. It was followed by decades of peace. The decision to stay in Pakistan appeared like a reliable option at the time.

The Sikhs had lived harmoniously for centuries alongside their Pashtun Muslim countrymen. Singh explains, Sikhs had a glorious history in the northwest. In the 18th century, they oversaw a dynasty headed by a Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh, whose capital was Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore. He rebuilt Peshawar’s infamous Bala Hisar Fort, an imposing walled fortress that some historians assume is as old as the city itself.

In today’s period, easily identifiable because of the colorful turbans and the surname Singh, Sikhs in Pakistan are among the smallest minorities. As indicated by the CIA Factbook, 3.6 percent of Pakistan’s 180 million people are non-Muslims which include Sikhs, Christians, and Hindus.

Singh asserted until 1984 Pakistan’s Hindus and Sikhs lived unitedly in northwest Pakistan. Their children married and worshipped together. But after the tragic assassination of India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, the entire scene changed consequently.

“They (Hindus) cut all relations with us. They said Pakistani Sikhs are like all Sikhs everywhere. No difference. They said, ‘From now on, we will be separate from you”, Singh recalled.

Today Sikhs in Pakistan are contending with the government for possession of dozens of Sikh temples (Gurdwaras); however, they have succeeded to restore some of the buildings. The Pakistan government took over the buildings after 1947 and allowed the squatters to remain.

Once a vibrant Gurdwara attended by hundreds of Sikhs, it no longer resembled a house of worship but rather a sweeping courtyard. However, it was until now that two families called it the home, said Singh.

Singh who heads a council representing the Sikhs in Pakistan, said young Sikhs have been looking to leave as the homeland has begun to turn toward radical Islam.

“They want to go to another country, not to India or Pakistan. But every country eyes them with suspicion.,” he said.

He adds, “Even Indians see his Pakistani passport and question his intentions, suggesting he wants to agitate for Sikh secessionism, the battle that resulted in Indira Gandhi’s death and a dream still held by many Sikhs on both sides of the border.”

According to Singh, Pakistan’s slide into intolerance began when Pakistan’s military dictator Zia-ul Haq set the country on the course of Islamic radicalization in the late 1970s with the former Soviet Union’s invasion of neighboring Afghanistan. Jihad became a rallying cry to defeat the communists in Afghanistan.

Extremism aggravated after the 2001 intrusion of Afghanistan by a U.S.-led coalition, he proclaimed.

The tribal areas were steadily caught by Taliban and in 2013 several Sikhs were killed, their limbs cut. Singh said the brutality of the killings and the threats sent thousands abandoning Pakistan.

Pakistan today uses blasphemy as a weapon against minorities and fellow Muslims alike, which is a crime that carries an involuntary death penalty.

“That is why we have a fear in our hearts, that this law can be used against us,” he told.

“In the last nearly 40 years we have been facing the boom, boom (mimicking the sound of explosions) in every city of Pakistan,” said Singh. “In a long time we have not heard any sweet sounds in our Peshawar, but still we love our city.”


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1984 anti-Sikh Riots Case: Abhishek Verma Ready to undergo Polygraph Test

The case pertains to the riots at Gurudwara Pulbangash in North Delhi on 1st November 1984, in which three people were killed, just a day past the assassination of then Prime Minister of India- Indira Gandhi

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Abhishek Verma, controversial arms-dealer
Abhishek Verma. Twitter
  • The court also asked Verma to give the statement in writing, that he wished to undergo the test if fulltime security is offered to him till the test was conducted
  • The court had directed Tytler and Verma to provide ‘unambiguous’ statements on whether they were willing to undergo the lie detection test
  • The case pertains to the riots at Gurudwara Pulbangash in North Delhi on 1st November 1984, in which three people were killed, just a day past the assassination of then Prime Minister of India- Indira Gandhi

New Delhi, July 08, 2017: Abhishek Verma, a controversial arms-dealer and a witness in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case allegedly involving Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, gave a statement to a Delhi court on Thursday that he was prepared to undergo a lie-detector test if that ensured full security to him and his family; Press Trust of India has reported.

During the hearing, Verma was present and he stated that- while Tytler had Z-plus security, he was offered protection only on the days of court-hearing and he anticipated severe threat to his own life as well as that of his mother and wife.

According to PTI reports, Verma agreed to the suggestion of the counsel, meant for the victims in the court that he should be provided with 24 hours security till he gives nod for the polygraph test.

ALSO READ: 1984 anti-Sikh Riots: Special Investigation Team (SIT) moves High Court For Cancellation of Bail to Sajjan Kumar

Advocate Prabhsahay Kaur and Kamna Vohra, who represented riot victims, said “Here is a witness who is willing to depose against Tytler. Witness protection is very important. Till the time his statement is recorded or lie detection test is conducted on him, he be given security round-the-clock so that he has no apprehension of grave danger to his life. After conducting the test, the threat perception could be re-assessed.”

According to the reports, Shivali Sharma, the additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, stated that she was curious to know the stand of the CBI’s investigating officer regarding this issue and listed this matter for 18th July as he was not present on Thursday. CBI prosecutor had mentioned to the court that the IO is out for a training session and would be available after two weeks.

The court also asked Verma to give the statement in writing, that he wished to undergo the test if fulltime security is offered to him till the test was conducted and his perception of a threat be re-assessed post that.

PTI reports say that besides carrying out a test for Verma, CBI has also sought for Tytler to undergo a lie-detection test, which has been refused by him.

The court had directed Tytler and Verma to provide ‘unambiguous’ statements on whether they were willing to undergo the lie detection test. It had held that the CBI’s plea for obtaining the consent of the two for the test was maintainable.

It had mentioned that, if there were any conditions attached to their consent, Verma and Tytler should have to appear in person for clarification.

According to the reports, the CBI’s move to seek permission for carrying out polygraph test on Verma and Tytler, came in pursuance to the court’s order of 4th December 2015, in which it was stated that the test may be conducted, if necessary.

The case pertains to the riots at Gurudwara Pulbangash in North Delhi on 1st November 1984, in which three people were killed, just a day past the assassination of then Prime Minister of India- Indira Gandhi.

Reportedly, Tytler was given a clean-chit by the CBI three times in the case, post his denial of involvement in the riot; but the agency was directed by the court to pursue further investigation in the matter. A protest petition had been filed by the victims, challenging the closure reports of CBI in the case.

The court had directed the CBI on December 2015 to investigate the matter, and decided to supervise it in every two months, just to ensure that all the aspects were thoroughly investigated.

The agency had gone through severe re-investigation regarding the murder of Thakur Singh, Badal Singh, and Gurcharan Singh near the Gurudwara after a court in refused to accept its closure report December 2007. The CBI has already filed three closure reports in that case; PTI has reported.

– prepared by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Italian Supreme Court ruled against a Sikh Migrant who wanted to carry a Kirpan in Public

The Sikh man in the case was appealing against another court's decision ordering him to pay a 2,000 euro fine ($2,195)

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Sikh Community, Wikimedia

Rome, May 16, 2017: The Italian Supreme Court has ruled against a Sikh migrant who wanted to carry a kirpan in public.

The court on Monday said migrants who choose to live in Italy must respect Italian laws prohibiting the carrying of weapons even though Sikhs regard kirpan as sacred.

The court, while acknowledging that diversity in a multi-ethnic society is important, ruled that “public safety from weapons was of paramount importance and superseded an individual’s rights”, BBC reported.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

The Sikh man in the case was appealing against another court’s decision ordering him to pay a 2,000 euro fine ($2,195) because he had been caught leaving his home in Goito, northern Italy, armed with a kirpan measuring nearly 20cm, the Italian media reported.

The man had argued that his kirpan as well as his turban were symbols of his religion and wearing them was part of his religious duty.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

But the court in Rome ruled that migrants must ensure that their beliefs are legally compatible with host countries.

“(While) the multi-ethnic society is a necessity, public safety is an asset to be protected,” the court ruled. (IANS)

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