CONGRESS’ HOARDING AND THEME SONG STIR CONTROVERSY AHEAD OF ELECTIONS IN PUNJAB - The Daily Guardian
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CONGRESS’ HOARDING AND THEME SONG STIR CONTROVERSY AHEAD OF ELECTIONS IN PUNJAB

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A few days ago, Punjab Congress Chief Navjot Sindh Sidhu’s Advisor Mohammad Mustafa called Sri Guru Granth Sahib as “Kitab” and later sought an unconditional apology from SGPC. Now, it is the distortion of Sikh terminology that Congress did by changing last words of Ardas “Nanak Naam Chadhdi Kala, Tere Bhane Sarbat Da Bhala” with “Punjab di Chadhdi Kala, congress Mange Sarbat da Bhala”.

Sri Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee took strong notice of it and wrote a complaint to Punjab Chief Electoral Officer (CEO Punjab) asking removal of hoarding and a public apology from Congress. Congress party placed these hoardings all over Punjab and also has released a theme song taking these distorted words on their official Twitter handle. SGPC President Advocate Harjinder Singh Dhami told The Daily Guardian, “This is not the first time, Congress has earlier tried to hurt the religious feelings of Sikhs, This act has created resentment amongst the Sangat. Earlier Mustafa sought apology and now this distortion of Sikh terminology. We have written to the CEO Punjab and if it does not stop here, then we know how to bring it the logical and legal end.”

Earlier in the last year, in September, Congress leader Harish Rawat called Navjot Singh Sidhu and his advisors as “Panj Pyaras” after which a lot of resentment occurred amongst the Sikh Sangat. Then SGPC got infuriated and asked for an unconditional apology from Rawat.

In this time of Assembly elections, Punjab has witnessed many sacrilege incidents from Sri Guru Harmandir Sahib to Mata Kali Devi Mandir. On this, SGPC President Advocate Dhami said, “Congress is trying their hard to disturb peace in Punjab, we have asked Election Commission Punjab to intervene in this matter”.

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Assam floods hit 7 lakh people across 29 districts

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Assam floods have affected more than seven lakh people across 29 districts leaving nine people dead. “Till now, 7,17,046 people across 29 districts have been affected due to the flood situation in the state. 9 people have died in floods and landslides so far,” Assam State Disaster Management Authority said on Thursday. Assam State Disaster Management Authority said that at present 1413 villages are underwater and Nagaon is the most affected district where 2.88 lakh people are reeling under the calamity. In Cachar nearly 1.2 lakh people and in Hojai more than 1.07 lakh people were affected, it said.

Heart-wrenching videos emerged from the flood-hit state. A portion of the Kampur-Kathiatali connecting road in the Nagaon district got washed away today morning in floods. Several parts of the state are reeling under flood. In another incident, a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Lumding Assembly, Sibu Misra was seen taking a piggyback ride to a boat, on the back of a flood rescue worker on Wednesday. He was in Hojai to review the flood situation in the area. Assam Rifles, National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Army are carrying out rescue and relief operations in flood-hit areas of the state. Further, Assam Cabinet decided to introduce an emergency flight service between Silchar and Guwahati at the rate of Rs 3000, to mitigate the communication crisis due to floods and landslides in Dima Hasao and Barak Valley.

In view of the flood situation, the Cachar district administration has closed all educational institutions (government and private) and non-essential private establishments for 48 hours (May 19th and 20th) in the district. On 18 May, Assam forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya said, “Every year Kaziranga National Park faces floods. We are completely prepared including food materials for the officials who are on duty in the park. Our boats are ready, too. Work on 40 islands done for animals to take shelter.”In view of the damages to railway tracks in multiple locations, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has already suspended all trains through Lumding-Badarpur Hill Section to Barak Valley, Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur, and restoration work is on in the damaged areas.

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GYANVAPI MOSQUE SURVEY REPORT SUBMITTED IN COURT

Ashish Sinha

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The court-appointed special assistant commissioner on Thursday submitted a report on the Gyanvapi mosque survey to a Varanasi court. “The report has been submitted before the court. People from both sides were present before the court. It is a 10-15-page long report,” said Assistant Court Commissioner Ajay Pratap Singh on the Gyanvapi Mosque survey report. “We have filed a chip too in a sealed cover,” added Advocate Vishal Singh. On Thursday, court commissioner Vishal Singh handed over the report of the survey and videography conducted on 15, 16 and 17 May to the judge in the Civil Court of Varanasi.

“At 4.30 pm yesterday, Ajay Mishra (ex-court appointed commissioner) submitted his report. Today at 10.30 am, Vishal Singh and Ajay Pratap Singh filed their report with details of the three-day survey,” said Advocate Nityanand Rai.

“The Assistant Commissioners have also filed a chip that contains photos, videos. A copy will be made available to the other side. Once they get the copy, the court will invite their objections. After listening to them, the court will give a final decision if the report will be taken as evidence”, added Advocate Rai.

Former court commissioner Ajay Mishra had submitted his report to the Varanasi court on Wednesday itself.

This is the report of the survey conducted in Gyanvapi on 6-7 May. In this survey report, he has spoken of getting evidence of symbols and relics related to Hinduism. However, Ajay Mishra was later removed as court commissioner. The report said that moving from north to west, there was a snake-like artwork of Sheshnag on the central rock plate. The embossed vermilion coloured artwork was seen on the board. Round curved shape was engraved under the bow. All the stone plates seemed to be lying on the ground for a long time. All these at first glance appear to be fragmented parts of a big building.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the civil court in Varanasi not to proceed with the case related to the Gyanvapi mosque case till it takes up the case on Friday. The apex court further said that it will hear the case on Friday at 3 pm.

A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Surya Kant and P.S. Narasimha adjourned the case before it till Friday at 3 pm after the Hindu side’s lawyer asked it to hear the case tomorrow. It then asked the trial court in Varanasi to desist from taking up the matter today. Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, appearing for Hindu petitioners before the trial court, sought adjournment for the day on account of the medical condition of leading counsel Hari Shankar Jain.

WITH AGENCY INPUTS

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NIA court convicts Kashmiri separatist Yasin Malik

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Yasin Malik, a separatist leader from Jammu and Kashmir, on Thursday was convicted by a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court. He had pleaded guilty in the terror funding case on the last date of the hearing. The NIA has been asked to give an affidavit on the socio-economic status of convict Yasin Malik after taking the help of local authorities. Malik is also directed to file an affidavit disclosing all sources of his income and assets (movable and immovable). Special NIA Judge Praveen Singh on Thursday posted the matter for arguments on the quantum of sentence for 25 May.

Malik had told the court that he was not contesting the charges levelled against him that included Sections 16 (terrorist act), 17 (raising funds for terrorist act), 18 (conspiracy to commit terrorist act) and 20 (being member of terrorist gang or organisation) of the UAPA and Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 124-A (sedition) of the IPC. Recently, the court had ordered the framing of charges against several separatist leaders including Yasin Malik under UAPA and IPC.

Meanwhile, the court formally framed the charges against other Kashmiri separatist leaders who are accused in the case. Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Ka

rate, Shabbir Shah, Masarat Alam, Md Yusuf Shah, Aftab Ahmad Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Khan, Md Akbar Khanday, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Abdul Rashid Sheikh and Naval Kishore Kapoor on Tuesday formally signed the court order copy and said they are ready to face trial in the case.

The NIA Judge, while passing the order said, “The analysis reflects that the statements of witnesses and documentary evidence have connected almost all the accused with each other and to a common object of secession, to the commonality of means they were to use, their close association to terrorist/ terrorist organizations under the guiding hand and funding of Pakistani establishment.”

On 16 March, the NIA Court had ordered the framing of charges against Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, among others.

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CENTRE UPS SECURITY IN PUNJAB AHEAD OF ‘OPERATION BLUE STAR’ ANNIVERSARY

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Alarmed by the ISI’s renewed attempt to foment trouble in Punjab on “Operation Blue Star” anniversary on 1 June, the Centre on Thursday rushed 10 paramilitary or Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) companies to the state.

The Ministry of Home Affairs took the decision after a meeting between Home Minister Amit Shah and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. Emerging out of the meeting, Mann said, “10 paramilitary companies have been already sent to Punjab earlier. Union Home Minister has assured to provide 10 more paramilitary companies by today evening to maintain law and order in Punjab.

The decision was prompted by a series of Intelligence Bureau (IB) and other reports that pointed towards sinister designs by Pakistan’s ISI to reignite the Khalistani movement and disturb law and order in a big way in the border state.

Sources told The Daily Guardian that ISI had a secret meeting in Lahore in the first week of May with several Punjab-centric terror outfits such as Babbar Khalsa chief Wadhawa Singh, Khalistan Jindabad Force chief Ranjit Singh Neeta, Khalistan Commando Force’s Paramjeet Singh and Rinda.

The meeting along with many other specific intelligence reports rang alarm bells both at the Centre and Punjab. The IB has already alerted the state government that pro-Khalistani elements may go big to disturb law and order on and before the anniversary of “Operation Blue Star” on 1 June. The IB sources said that the ISI had instructed the pro-Khalistani modules to unleash massive violence in Punjab with the help of gangsters who are in jails.

The Daily Guardian has learnt that the Punjab-centric outfits which have been operating from Pakistani soil have been told to supply weapons to pro-Khalistani modules in Punjab in a big way. The grenade attack on Punjab Police Intelligence Wing headquarters in Mohali this month was one such attempt, lodged by Pakistan-based gangster Harvinder Singh alias “Rinda”. Four Khalistani terrorists who were arrested in Karnal in Haryana recently with RDX and other weapons were also part of Babbar Khalsa. Rinda was a key person in the supply chain. Rinda, who is now operating from Lahore, is said to be supplying weapons to Punjab through drone at the behest of ISI. Rinda is now the blue-eyed boy of ISI and a key operator in planning and coordinating various fringe pro-Khalistani groups.

IB sources said that Pakistan has chalked out fresh plans to disturb Punjab along with Kashmir since Nadeem Anjum became the ISI chief a few months back. ISI has also embarked on major plans to mobilise support of pro-Khalistani elements residing in the UK, US, Canada and Italy.

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Ex Punjab Congress senior Sunil Jakhar joins BJP

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Disgruntled Congress leader and former Punjab party chief Sunil Jakhar on Thursday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in presence of the party national president J.P. Nadda in Delhi. Welcoming Jakhar into the party, Nadda said, “I welcome Sunil Jakhar to Bharatiya Janata Party. He is an experienced political leader who made a name for himself during his political career. I am confident he will play a big role in strengthening the party in Punjab.”

After joining BJP, Jakhar said: “Three generations of my family served the Congress party over the last 50 years. Today, I have broken the 50-year-old tie with Congress over issues of nationalism, unity and brotherhood in Punjab.” Jakhar said: “Congress is a party of sycophants now. It has got rid of all its core values. So, I though it is better to leave Congress. What Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP are doing are the tasks that I wanted to do for the country, but could not. Now I hope to do those jobs by following their footsteps.”

Jakhar, who was stripped of all posts previously, quit Congress last Saturday during a Facebook Live event. On 11 April, Congress leaders K.V. Thomas and Sunil Jakhar were issued show-cause notices for breaching party discipline. “I don’t hold any post (in the party); I have an ideology. I want to ask Sonia Gandhi that being Congress president, doesn’t she know that I hold no position in the party? Then why a show-cause notice is being given to me?” he asked. Jakhar had quit the Congress after lashing out at former Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Twitter, saying that he was “not an asset” as portrayed by the party leadership. He also lashed out at veteran Congress leader Ambika Soni for her statement on the “repercussions of having a Hindu chief minister in Punjab”. Jakhar also held Soni’s statement as one of the reasons for the Congress’ drubbing in the Punjab Assembly polls earlier this year.

After quitting Congress, Jakhar has now again jumped into active politics. However, while in Congress, he had announced to leave active politics. His joining the BJP may increase the troubles of the Congress as the Congress is divided into two factions in Punjab. New Congress President Amarinder Singh Raja Warring and Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Chaudhary have demanded disciplinary action from the high command against former Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu.

The Daily Guardian spoke to sources close to Jakhar and according to them, BJP may nominate him as a Rajya Sabha member as well. In view of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, BJP is engaged in empowering itself in Punjab. Jakhar joining the BJP as the Hindu face could give him a big advantage. BJP can also entrust him with important responsibility in Punjab.

Jakhar can play an important role in bringing disgruntled Congressmen to the BJP. After joining the BJP, he can also create new political equations in Punjab by aligning with former CM Captain Amarinder as he had good relations with the Captain during the Congress. The Congress had last month removed him from all posts for alleged anti-party activities. Jakhar had expressed displeasure over the notice served by party leader Tariq Anwar, who said he was the person who once called Sonia Gandhi a foreigner. Jakhar was removed from the post of PPCC chief in July 2021 as he was considered close to ex CM of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh.

Recently, in another development, Captain Amarinder Singh’s wife, Congress MP Preneet Kaur, was denied to be described as “a Congressian” by Raja Warring. Therefore, there is also a strong possibility that any decision of the Congress high command can bring Preneet Kaur to the BJP’s doorstep.

WITH BUREAU AND AGENCY INPUTS

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INVESTORS LOSE RS 7 LAKH CR AS SENSEX CRASHES

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The Indian stock markets’ key indices, Sensex and Nifty, tumbled by more than 2.5% on Thursday tracking the meltdown in the global equities on fears of a recession in the world economy due to the prolonged Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex tumbled 1,416.30 points or 2.61% to 52,792.23 points against its previous day’s close at 54,208.53 points. Tracking overnight selloff in the Wall Street, the Indian equities markets’ key indices started the trade on Thursday with massive losses. The Sensex opened sharply down at 53,070.30 points and tumbled to a low of 52,669.51 points in the intra-day. The Sensex had lost 109.94 points or 0.20% on Wednesday.

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