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Friday, 27 May 2011



Shahid Husain
Saturday, May 28, 2011

A mob of Hindu extremists targeted a Sikh family in the Thar Desert, causing serious injury to its eldest member, claimed a well-placed source of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Sardar Jagjit Singh Khalsa, who is the head of the impoverished Sikh family, was seriously injured when he was attacked by a baton-slinging and gun-toting mob of Hindus led by Brahmins.

Singh, who converted from Hinduism to Sikhism a few years ago after becoming fed up with the inequality in the caste system, was living in a quarter which belonged to a Brahmin named Manga Ram Sharma. Since then, he was being subjected to religious hatred and this situation spiraled out of control when Singh and his family were attacked by a mob comprising mostly Brahmins.

The assailants were led by Mangha Ram Sharma’s brother-in-law, Tulja Ram Joshi, Choith Ram Joshi, Dholo Joshi, Suneel son of Jagdesh and Lonio Sharma. Carrying firearms and other weapons, the group stormed into Singh’s living quarters and attacked the family.

Singh was severely injured, but his wife and children saved his life by shielding him from the attackers, the source said. After carrying out the attack, the extremist Hindus ransacked his residence, looting valuables and throwing the rest of his belongings out of the house.

Due to the clout enjoyed by the Brahmin community in the area, the police refused to register Jagjit Singh’s FIR, the source further claimed.

The source also revealed that his landlord Mangha Ram had been convicted of corruption after he fled to India, taking millions of rupees. Ram was a land official for the Sindh Revenue Department and posted in the Left-Bank Outfall Drainage project.

On March 16, 2005, the Special Judge (Anti-Corruption) Hyderabad declared him an absconder under Section 512 and issued a proclamation under 87 CrPC and ordered to attach his movable or immovable property under 88 CrPC. Thus these quarters were now government property, the source said.

Singh, who was born into a Dalit/Scheduled caste family, ran from pillar to post, but nobody was willing to hear his cries for help out of fear for the Brahmin community.

The sourced added that Singh appealed to the people, the government, Supreme Court and human rights activists to come to his aid. He also announced that he would go on a hunger strike until justice is served.

According to research conducted by Zulfiqar Shah, a researcher associated with Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler), as many as 40 schedule castes have been identified in Pakistan at the official level. The Constitution of Pakistan ensures equal rights to all its citizens, but discrimination on the basis of religion, race and caste continues to plague the nation.


President of India cleared execution of two; including Prof. Devinderpal Singh Bhullar

By Parmjit Singh
Published: May 26, 2011

Prof. Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar

Prof. Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar

New Delhi (May 26, 2011): Whereas there is a global wave against death penality, India has decided to go ahead with it. After seven years, the clearance has been given for execution of two convicts that could start the process of clearing the long list of death row convicts.

Mrs. Pratibha Patil, President of India, has rejected the revew petitions filed under Article 72 (Indian Consitution) on behalf of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar of Punjab and Mahendra Nath Das of Assam following the recommendations from the Union Home Ministry, sources in the Ministry said.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan declined to comment, says economics times media report. Bhullar was sentenced to death by a trial court in 2001, for plotting a bed on Maninderjeet Singh Bitta, former youth leader of the ruling Congress party. Though Bitta had escaped the bid but 9 others had died.

A couple of days ago, Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee through advocate K. T. S. Tulsi had urged in the Supreme Court that either his petition should be decided expeditiously or alternatively his death sentence be commuted.

The President has also rejected the mercy petition of Das who has been found guilty of murdering one Hara Kanta Das.

This is for the first time since 2004, when the go ahead has been given for the execution of Dhanjay Chatterjee, that the President has given the nod for any execution.

The decision is expected to spark strong criticism from Sikh circles as Prof. Bhullar’s case has many other related aspects also. Bhullar’s Father, uncle and Friend were killed by Punjab Police during their enforced disappearances. Punjab’s current Vigilance Cheif, Sumedh Saini, is considered to be accused for these murders but he, along with other accused has not faced any trial till date. Moreover Bhullar’s conviction also lacks strong basis. He was convicted solely on the basis of alleged confession made during police custody. Justice M. B. Shah, who was heading three judges bench of the apex court, had accquitted Prof. Bhullar. Justice Shah had rejected the confessional statement labelling it as bundle of lies and tailor made confession. But, other two judges while placing their full reliance on that statement, awarded death punishment to Prof. Bhullar.

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