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Terror Group SFJ claims Khalistani flags raised in Himachal Pradesh were sent through its members in Kejriwal Rally

Author: Manish Sharma
Publication: Trunicle.com
Date: May 9, 2022
URL:      https://trunicle.com/terror-group-sfj-claims-khalistani-flags-raised-in-himachal-pradesh-sent-through-its-members-in-kejriwal-rally/

Terror group ‘Sikhs For Justice (SFJ)’ has released a video, claiming that Khalistan flags that were raised at Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha at Dharamshala were sent through Sikh members who went with Bhagwant Mann to participate in an Arvind Kejriwal Jansabha at Mandi.

On Sunday morning, Khalistan flags were found tied on the main gate and boundary wall of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly in Dharamshala. The banned Khalistani terror organization Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) chief and designated terrorist, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has claimed that the Khalistan flags that were found tied to the main gate and boundary wall of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly in Dharamshala were sent by them.

Khalistani Flags sent via AAP Supporters

He claimed that the flags were sent to the Himachal Pradesh via his activists who went to Mandi with Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to participate in an Arvind Kejriwal Jansabha on May 6.

“Since Kejriwal-Mann lured pro-Khalistan Sikhs into donating over $6 million to AAP during the Punjab election, SFJ will use activists who are close to CM Bhagwant Mann to promote the Khalistan Referendum,” Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said in the video.

Pannun further added that “Khalistan flags at Dharamshala is a clear message to CM Jai Ram Thakur that Himachal Pradesh will be reclaimed through Khalistan Referendum and once again will be part of Punjab.”

Following the appearance of the Khalistan graffiti and banners, Himachal CM Jairam Thakur had ordered an investigation. An intelligence alert issued on April 26 had warned of such an incident. It is said that SFJ Chief Pannun had issued a letter to the Himachal Pradesh CM, stating that a flag of Sikh extremist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and ‘Khalistan’ would be hoisted in Shimla.

SFJ planning Khalistan Referendum in Himachal Pradesh

SFJ has declared that in June 2022, during the 38th year of Operation Bluestar, they will conduct the voting for Khalistan Referendum in Himachal Pradesh.

The Himachal Police have stepped up security in the state after Sikhs for Justice gave a call for holding a ‘Khalistan’ referendum on June 6. Inter-state borders have been sealed and security stepped at key government buildings.

Pannun booked under UAPA

HP Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu stated that Sikhs for Justice leader Gurpatwant Pannun has been booked as the main accused under section 13 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and sections 153 A and 153 B of the India Penal Code, besides section 3 of the HP Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1985.

His organization, Sikhs for Justice, has already been banned by the central government in 2019 for carrying out anti-India activities.

SFJ’s links with Aam Aadmi Party

The rumors of Aam Aadmi Party’s links to pro-Khalistan groups like Sikh For Justice are not new. If you remember, a day after Aam Aadmi Party won a massive victory in the Punjab assembly elections, SFJ had made a sensational claim. In a letter, the SFJ claimed that the AAP used pro-Khalistani votes and pro-Khalistani funds, including funds from foreign nations provided by pro-Khalistani elements to secure AAP victory in Punjab.

The letter also claimed that, on February 17, AAP had circulated a fake letter in their name to falsely claim that the SFJ is supporting AAP in the Punjab elections. The letter was disowned by SFJ’s Pannun in a video released on social media.

The current letter says that on February 18, soon after they denounced the fake letter, a person identifying himself as AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha had called the SFJ, and asked them to own the fake letter.

The same person, identifying himself as Raghav Chadha, also offered them money for it and promised that when the AAP comes to power, they will pass a resolution in the Punjab assembly in support of the Khalistan Referendum, claims the letter.

The then Punjab CM Channi attached this letter and shared it with the Central Home Ministry to take appropriate action against the AAP and SFJ. The Union home minister Amit Shah assured Punjab CM that he would “personally look into” allegations linking the AAP and SFJ. However, nothing concrete has been done till now.

It seems the time has arrived to take stern action against these Khalistani terrorists and their supporters such as Aam Aadmi Party. They have ruined the law and order situation in Punjab, and now trying to destabilize the neighboring state Himachal Pradesh. Immediate action against these elements is the need of the hour, before it is too late.
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Author: Alka Dhupkar
Publication: The Times of India
Date: May 2, 2022
URL:      https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/loudspeaker-lessons-for-india-from-a-maharashtra-village/articleshow/91259002.cms

The villagers of Barad have passed a resolution to stop the use of loudspeakers

Barad shows that strong-arm tactics are not needed to curb noise pollution; a simple matter of sitting across a table and discussing can do wonders

Barad is a biggish village in Nanded district of Maharashtra with a population of around 15,000. It is roughly 20km from Nanded city. Over time, the village has prospered and places of worship, among other buildings, have been renovated.

The village has 15 religious places — 12 Hindu temples and a place of worship each for Buddhist, Jain and Muslim communities. In some neighbourhoods, these religious places are in close proximity. No problem there.

It was only when these places started using loudspeakers to broadcast sermons, aartis and bhajans that the problem started. It became a veritable Tower of Babel — all noise and confusion.

“Since five in the morning, we used to play songs. In some places, one couldn’t hear the other’s songs or for that matter what was played in our temple,” says Suresh Deshmukh, a trustee of the local Hanuman temple.

For days on end, farmer Sharad Kawle’s 80-year-old grandmother couldn’t get a peaceful night’s sleep because of the rampant use of loudspeakers in the village.

But all this is in the past now. In charged times like these, Barad stands out as a model of communal harmony. Back in 2018, the villagers unanimously decided to remove loudspeakers from all religious places.

So, what happened in 2018?

According to deputy sarpanch Balasaheb Shankarao Deshmukh, sometime in December 2017, a Ganesh temple was using loudspeakers to broadcast maha aarti and a Buddha vihar nearby was playing religious songs. This went on till late at night.

“Groups from both sides started raising voices against each other, asking that the volume be lowered. Harmony in the village was completely disturbed,” he says. “Somehow we managed to cool tempers, but the tension simmered.”

But this wasn’t the only incident. A local school kept complaining about noise pollution to the Shiva temple trust and others in their area. The students couldn’t concentrate on studies because there was a kind of competition in using loudspeakers till late night and early mornings among all the religions.

The villagers were fed up. Some of them met after the tension escalated between Buddha and Ganpati followers. During a meeting with the local police, they discussed the proposal of removing all loudspeakers.

Thereafter, the villagers held a meeting with all the religious groups separately. Everybody accepted that the use of loudspeakers was a cause for concern and social discord. The religious trusts said if it was mandatory for all religious groups then they would also stop using loudspeakers.

After the consultations, a special gram sabha was called and a unanimous resolution was passed.

The villagers agreed to use sound boxes instead of loudspeakers. The only caveat: the volume of the sound box should be maintained at a pre-mandated level so the sound does not go beyond the walls of the holy place.

The gram panchayat has already installed around 40 small sound boxes for local announcements such as deaths, vaccination or other government programmes.

After the noise, peace

Yogesh Ratnparakhi, who runs Om Sai Coaching Classes in Barad, says, “In my centre, there are around 100 students and I can’t tell you how happy we all are that the loudspeakers have finally stopped. Earlier, students would use unending noise as an excuse not to study. Now, they properly focus on studies.”

Kiran Mahajan, a trustee of Chandra Prabhu Digambar Jain temple, says, “Ours is a private temple that is open to the public. We too had installed a loudspeaker because others installed it too. But after the removal of loudspeakers, we didn’t lose any devotees. Loudspeakers actually don’t matter.”

Sharad Kawle, the farmer, says, “Many of us in this village are followers of the Varkari bhakti movement. I believe that your religious activity should not disturb others. Keep it personal, so we all supported this proposal.”

His views are echoed by Sardar Sattar Khan Pathan of Jama Masjid in Barad. “We respect festivals of all communities. The kind of communal harmony we have maintained would not have been possible with loudspeakers at each religious place in the village.”

According to Vasant Lalme, a trustee of the Shiva temple, loudspeakers are not essential for singing bhajans or kirtans. “Devotion is a very personal feeling. It can be attained without loudspeakers. We have proved it.”

Model village

Deputy sarpanch Deshmukh, however, is disappointed that his village has not been given due recognition for the innovative solution to the menace of unchecked loudspeakers. The village doesn’t encourage the use of loudspeakers even for political rallies, weddings or other celebrations.

In other ways, too, Barad can be touted as a model village. It has received state awards for cleanliness and drinking water distribution management, open defecation-free status, success of ‘tanta mukti’ yojana (a scheme to clear local disputes at the village level) and other achievements.

The village has 20 CCTV cameras, which have helped curb theft, sexual harassment and other crimes. The village has developed a proper watershed system; a dormitory near a rural hospital is a unique feature of the village. It has also built a hostel for girl students, it has a zilla parishad school, multiple anganwadis, among other facilities.

As the noise over the use of loudspeakers at religious places grows louder and various state governments are using strong-arm tactics, perhaps it is Barad’s use of consultation that stands out more than its other achievements.