TURBANED US MAN TARGETED DUE TO ETHNIC ORIGIN
A Sikh male was shot outside his home in Washington by a partially-masked gunman, who targeted him for ethnic origin, shouting “go back to your own country.” Local authorities have announced a reward of up to US$ 6,000 for providing a lead. US national Deep Rai, 39, was approached by a stranger outside his home who first argued with him and then shot him in his arm. Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas told media: “The account provided by the victim suggests he was targeted because of his ethnic origin.” He added furhter that “Hateful acts are not acceptable.” The incident is being investigated by the Kent Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a hate crime.
NRIs WAIT TO GET MONEY TRANSFERRED
NRIs residing outside the country who had deposited demonetised cash at RBI (Reserve Bank of India) offices will have to wait for one more month to get their money transferred into their bank accounts. While the government has allowed a longer time frame for NRIs and Indians travelling outside the country to deposit their defunct currency notes of INR 500 & 1,000, they apropos have to go through a whole series of checks meant to “ensure that their money is clean.” The RBI will check other data-points provided by the customs department, which include a person’s travel itinerary and date of departure and arrival in the country, and whether or not his/her bank accounts have been used in the recent past. “The old currency notes of INR 500 & 1,000 that are being deposited at the RBI offices at various places will not immediately reflect in the bank accounts of the depositors. There will be a multi-layered scrutiny of various data-points and this process will take a month or more,” said a senior government official. Indians holding other-country passports or Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) will not be allowed to deposit the demonetised currency notes.
मदद के लिए आगे आईं सुषमा
विदेश मंत्री सुषमा स्वराज ने इस्लामाबाद में भारतीय उच्चायोग को निर्देश दिया कि वह पाकिस्तान में फंसी भारतीय महिला के पासपोर्ट का रिनुअल करे और उसकी देश वापसी की व्यवस्था करे। पाकिस्तान में महिला का पति कथित तौर पर उसे प्रताड़ित करता है। सुषमा स्वराज से 44 साल की हैदराबाद की रहने वाली महिला के पिता ने उसकी स्वदेश वापसी में मदद मांगी थी। इसके बाद कई ट्वीट करके सुषमा ने जानकारी दी कि उन्होंने भारतीय उच्चायोग से महिला के पासपोर्ट का नवीनीकरण करने और उसकी भारत वापसी की व्यवस्था करने को कहा है। सुषमा ने ट्वीट किया, ‘मैंने भारतीय उच्चायोग से उनकी भारत वापसी की व्यवस्था करने को कहा है।’
UK’s INDIAN-ORIGIN MPs CALL FOR UNITY
Indian-origin MPs who were inside the British parliament and were caught up in the aftermath of the recent terror attack, have called for unity among communities even as Prime Minister Theresa May and Scotland Yard link the attack to “Islamist-related terrorism”. Proceedings of the House were suspended soon after the attack, and nearly 400 MPs and others were told not to leave the building until it was safe. Among those MPs confined to a chamber were Labour MPs Keith Vaz, Valerie Vaz, Virendra Sharma, Seema Malhotra and Conservative MP Shailesh Vara. “We must not sink to the level of people who hate us, we must stand together as a community not apart and not scared, unbent and unbowed,” Virendra Sharma said. Rt. Hon. Priti Patel, MP, said: “The terrorist incident in Westminster was horrific and shocking. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and relatives of those who died and with the injured victims. The events that unfolded are being thoroughly investigated and we all stand together to show that we will not be defeated by terrorism. I commend the police, emergency services and medical staff for their swift action and bravery. They put themselves in harm’s way and in danger to help and protect people. I pay tribute to PC Keith Palmer for his courage and bravery. His family have my condolences and he will be in all of our thoughts and prayers.”
OZ INDIAN RACIALLY ABUSED, ASSAULTED
An Indian from Kerala was assaulted by a group of teenagers, who took to hurling racial abuses at him while at a restaurant in Australia’s Hobart. Li Max Joy, who is pursuing a nursing course and works as a part time cabbie, has alleged that five people, including a girl, hurled racial abuses like “you bloody black Indians,” at him and assaulted him at the McDonald’s restaurant. He said the five accused were arguing with a worker inside, but soon turned their attention to him. When others in the restaurant called the police, the attackers left but they returned later and assaulted him again. Li had to undergo a CAT scan and X-rays.
INDIAN WORKERS BLOCKED FROM LEAVING QATAR DESPITE REFORMS
Violating new labour reforms to improve workers’ rights, Qatar has refused to allow migrants from countries including India to return home, according to activists and trade unions. No reason was given for requests being denied. The Qatari government has defended the reforms to replace the “kafala” sponsorship system, which forces foreign workers to seek their employer’s consent to change jobs or leave the country — a measure that rights groups say leaves workers open to exploitation. A law making it easier for migrants to change jobs and leave the oil-rich Gulf state — where many of them have been recruited to build football stadiums ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup — came into effect in December. Qatari officials were not immediately available for comment, but reports by state-run Qatar News Agency earlier have said the newly-established Exit Permit Grievances Committee had rejected 213 requests made up until February 15.
INDIAN AMERICAN KILLED, WIFE INJURED IN HIT & RUN
In the Columbus city of Indiana, US, an Indian American Anshul Sharma, 30, was killed in a hit-and-run case while his wife Samira Bharadwaj, 28, got critically injured. Police have arrested a 36-year-old man, Michael Demaio, who was driving a red Chrysler minivan and hit the couple from behind near the Four Seasons Retirement Centre in Columbus.
THE BRITISH SIKH ASSOCIATION
On the 23rd of March 2017, the British Sikh Association hosted its annual dinner at the Lancaster Hotel in London, to celebrate the festival of Vaisakhi, when the Order of the Khalsa was created by Sri Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru. The Chief Guest at event was the Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Fallon, MP and Secretary of State for Defence, and the Guest of Honour was H.E. Y.K. Sinha, the High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom. Over 650 distinguished guests were in attendance. The event commenced with a spectacular Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas performing the national anthems of India and the United Kingdom, followed by a one-minute silence to remember the bravery and sacrifice of PC Keith Palmer, the bravery of all emergency service men and women, and those who lost their lives or were injured in the terror Attack in Westminster on 22nd March 2017. An emotional video presentation on Sikh involvement in the British Army and both World Wars was given by Matthew Ward of ‘History Needs You.’ Another special video presentation on the same subject, courtesy the BBC, was shown followed by a speech by Dr. Rami Ranger, CBE, Chairman of the British Sikh Association. He spoke of the growing need for the contribution of Sikhs to be taught as part of the curriculum in schools. “It is not widely known that over 84,000 Sikh soldiers died and over 109,000 were injured over the two world wars, and there ought be a better understanding of our shared history.” He also spoke of the need to resurrect a Sikh regiment within the British army to keep alive the bravery of those who defended the empire with their lives, stating that the regiment should only be so in name and be open to people from all faiths to join, as Sikhs by their very nature believe in being inclusive and are never insular. Dr. Ranger, apropos, was met with rousing applause when he announced a UK£ 1 million pledge for the recruitment campaign for the Sikh regiment. He closed his address with a request to Virendra Sharma, MP for Southall and Ealing, and Ealing Council leader Cllr Julian Bell, to support the BSA in its call to erect a memorial in Southall for the fallen Sikh soldiers.