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Saturday, November 3, 2007

BRING TO BOOK THE CULPRITS OF GUJRAT 2002

[3] [CITIZENS SPEAK UP FOR ACTION TO BRING TO BOOK THE KILLERS OF GUJARAT]

(i)

PROMINENT CITIZENS PUBLIC STATEMENT FOLLOWING
TEHELKA EXPOSE OF THE "GUJARAT RIOTS" OF 2002


The recent Tehelka expose of the "Gujarat riots"
of 2002, demonstrates very starkly that these
were neither "spontaneous" nor "riots", but were
in fact mass murder, loot and mayhem orchestrated
and organized by the top echelons of the Gujarat
units of the VHP, the Bajrang Dal, and the BJP
with the full connivance and complicity of the
Gujarat government headed by Narendra Modi. The
Tehelka tapes show senior functionaries of these
organizations and of the government bragging and
confessing to their having committed and
participated in committing heinous crimes like
brutal mass murder, rape, burning, looting etc.
Many of them claim and boast about how Narendra
Modi explicitly encouraged the carnage and told
the killers and rioters that they were being
given a free rein of three days. These people
also claim how several senior police officials
not only aided and abetted these killers by their
actions and inaction but in many cases themselves
participated in the carnage.

These senior functionaries who boast about having
committed these crimes also claim how Modi
provided shelter to these people and even got
inconvenient judges changed to ensure that these
mass murderers got out on bail. They also boast
about having successfully subverted the integrity
of the Nanavati Commission. In short, the tapes
reveal a horrific state of affairs in Gujarat,
which seems to have gone beyond the pale of the
rule of law, and the most basic norms of
humanity. And that it has become a state where
the government is not being carried on in
accordance with the Constitution.

It has become imperative that a special
investigating team be immediately constituted to
investigate the involvement of Narendra Modi and
other senior functionaries in his government and
the police in the killings, their abetment and
the shelter and help given to the criminals. This
SIT can be constituted by the Supreme Court and
should be monitored on a regular basis and asked
to compete their investigation within a few
months. This would be one of the most important
investigations ever undertaken in this country.

But most immediately, the persons shown on tape
confessing to having committed crimes must be
immediately arrested and those of them who are
serving officials, must be placed under
suspension. If the state government shows any
hesitation in doing this, that will only
reinforce the overwhelming evidence of their
complicity in the Carnage.

The pending cases of Naroda Patia, Gulbarga
society etc. which have been stayed by the
Supreme Court, pending hearing of the
applications for their transfer outside Gujarat
for the last 4 years, must be immediately taken
up by the court, ordered to be expeditiously
reinvestigated by an independent agency and cases
tried expeditiously.

We therefore call upon the central government and
the Supreme Court, whose duty it is to enforce
the rule of law and protect the Constitution, to
immediately take the above steps. We also call
upon all right thinking people of Gujarat to come
out in support of these demands. What is at stake
is not merely the survival of Constitutional
values and the rule of law but the survival of
civilisation itself in this country.

Signed by:
Admiral R.H.Tahiliani (Former Navy Chief,
Chairman Transparency International, India)
S.P. Shukla (Former Finance Secy, GOI)
Shanti Bhushan (Former Law Minister)
Muchkund Dubey (Former Foreign Secretary, GOI)
Ramaswamy Iyer (Former Water Resources Secy, GOI)
E.A.S. Sarma (Former Power Secretary, GOI)
B. George Verghese (Senior Journalist)
Madhu Bhaduri (Former Ambassador, GOI)
Medha Patkar (Social Activist)
Aruna Roy (Social Activist, Former member NAC)
Arundhati Roy (Writer, Social Activist)
Arvind Kejriwal (RTI Activist, Magsaysay awardee)
Sandeep Pande (Social Activist, Magsaysay awardee)
Major Gen. S.G. Vombatkere (Retd. Mysore)
Prof. Amit Bhaduri (Former Professor of Economics, JNU)
Prof. K.M.Shrimali (Department of History, Delhi University)
Arun Kumar (Professor Economics, JNU)
Prof. Girijesh Pant (School of International Studies, JNU)
Prof. Pramod Yadava (Professor, Dean, School of Life Sciences JNU)
Prof. Sujata Patel (Dept. of Sociology, University of Pune)
Prof. Achin Vinayak (Professor, Third World Academy)
Nasir Tayabji (Director, Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, Jamia
Milia Islamia)
Jean Dreze (Visiting Professor, Allahabad University)
Arshad Alam (Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, Jamia Milia Islamia)
Shailesh Gandhi (Convenor, NCPRI)
Vikram Lal (Director, Common Cause)
Shabnam Hashmi (Social Activist, ANHAD)
Dunu Roy (Social Activist and Director, Hazard Centre)
Ravi Chopra (Director, People's Science Institute)
N. Bhaskar Rao (Director, Centre for media studies)
Dr. Ajay Mehra (Director, Centre for public affairs)
Manoj Mitta (Journalist)
Sundeep Dougal (Journalist)
Ajit Bhattacharjee (Journalist)
Sudhirendra Sharma (Journalist)
Smitu Kothari (Dir. Centre for Intercultural Resources, Co-Founder Lokayan)
Himanshu Thakkar (Centre for Water Policy)
Nandini Oza (Social Activist, M.P.)
Ashish Kothari (Founder Member Kalpavriksh)
Vinod Raina (Founder Eklavya)
Rohit Prajapati (Social Activist, Baroda)
Trupti Shah (Social Activist, Baroda)
S. Srinivasan (Baroda)
Sanjay Kak (Filmmaker)
Arshad Amanullah (Documentary Filmmaker)
Nikhil Dey (Social Activist)
Ashok Rao (Secy. National Confederation of Officers Association)
Kamini Jaiswal (Lawyer)
Prashant Bhushan (Public Interest Lawyer)


(ii)

CITIZENS FOR PEACE

PRESS STATEMENT - 26TH OCTOBER 2007

The expose showing perpetrators of the 2002
carnage in Gujarat boasting about their crimes is
an open challenge to all citizens of India. It is
an urgent reminder that we must renew efforts to
prosecute those who commit such crimes against
humanity.

We, Citizens for Peace, in particular appeal to
the people of Gujarat to break silence and oppose
the politics of hatred and terror. It is possible
that many residents of Gujarat may have been
unaware of the enormity of crimes committed in
their state with open state support in 2002.
Others may have hesitated to confront a truth so
bizarre. Now, after the confessions, silence is
equal to endorsement of the chilling crimes.

Justice delayed is better than justice denied
altogether. It will make a difference if citizens
from all walks of life, across India, stand
emphatically opposed to the continuing
miscarriage of justice in Gujarat.

We urge all citizens to:

1. Write to the Prime Minister and Union Home
Minister demanding that they take immediate steps
to prosecute the culprits of the carnage.

2. Write to all national political parties in
India asking how and why the constitutional
crisis, of a dysfunctional judicial system in
Gujarat, is allowed to persist and urging them to
address this grave threat to the idea of India
with utmost urgency.

3. Write to the BJP, impressing on them that this
is their chance to dissociate themselves from
those responsible for these crimes, and to help
this country make a new beginning towards justice
for all.

For the text of our letters please see these posts on our website.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil
is for good men to do nothing."

Citizens for Peace is a Mumbai based non-party
group of volunteers committed to working for
communal harmony and a vibrant secular polity.
The Trustees of CFP are: Julio Rebiero,
B.G.Deshmukh, Titoo Ahluwalia, Rina Kamath, Tariq
Ansari, Dolly Thakore and Cyrus Guzder. The
Managing Committee consists of: Titoo Ahluwalia,
Tariq Ansari, Dolly Thakore, Dilip D'Souza, Gulan
Kripalani, Pervin Varma, Rajni Bakshi and Devieka
Bhojwani.

(iii)

Association for India's Development (AID)
Contacts:
Aniruddha Vaidya (Bay Area): 650-996-8249
Prof. Mohan Bhagat (College Park): 301-345-5308
Nirveek Bhattacharjee (Baltimore): 410-627-7679

E-mail Contact: info@aidindia.org
Web: aidindia.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

College Park, MD.
Oct 31, 2007.
AID STATEMENT ON TEHELKA EXPOS? ON GUJARAT VIOLENCE

The Association for India's Development (AID)
views with great concern the various revelations
in the Tehelka expos? of October 25th 2007
regarding the planning and execution of the
Gujarat pogrom in 2002 and how a systematic
effort is going on to deny justice to the victims
and survivors of these violent events in which
over 2000 people were killed according to human
rights organizations.

The tapes reveal several prima-facie
incriminating statements by the perpetrators
themselves of how the pogrom in Gujarat was
planned, how administrative cover was provided by
the state, confessions of brutality, rape and
murder; statements to the effect that they will
murder again if opportunity arises; statements
indicating subversion of law by law officers such
as by a prosecutor and another person
representing the State of Gujarat in front of
judicial commission investigating the violence;
and bragging by a Gujarat MLA about how bombs
were made at a place in his control and arms
procured and distributed.
The tapes provide fresh evidence implicating
those involved in the Gujarat government at the
highest levels of the political establishment,
administration and law enforcement who colluded
with the key perpetrators of the violence. The
tapes also correlate with various statements
regarding the scale and the nature of violence as
well as attempts to subvert justice previously
made by various human-rights organizations in
India, and by eminent persons and activists who
were in Gujarat in the immediate aftermath of the
violence in 2002 to independently investigate and
provide relief and assistance to the survivors.
The violations of law and order recorded by
Tehelka are heinous in the extreme and cast a
most egregious blot on the very core of civic
society. Every effort must be made to immediately
bring the perpetrators and their supporters to
justice. Such crimes should not go unpunished for
such lengths of time by the judicial system, if
we are to ensure that they don't ever repeat in
Gujarat or elsewhere, and that people's faith in
the rule of law is restored. It is shocking to be
reminded that some of the most egregious violent
incidents such as the Naroda Patiya and Gulbarga
Society are still pending hearing for the past 4
years, not the least because of the way the state
government handled the prosecution.
Following the expos?, the administration in
Gujarat has responded by ordering a media
black-out of the Tehelka tapes in that state.
This goes against the Constitutional right of
freedom of speech and expression and the
fundamental tenets of the RTI Act of 2005 that
says in its preamble: "democracy requires an
informed citizenry and transparency of
information which are vital to its functioning."
We demand that new evidence brought to light by
the Tehelka expos? be rapidly looked at and
action taken to arrest and bring to justice those
who perpetrated, aided and abetted the violence;
and that the pending cases be heard and resolved
by the Courts in an expedited manner. Further,
all Constitutional means should be considered to
ensure that the Gujarat administration does not
continue to subvert the rule of law in delivering
justice to the victims. All the survivors and
families affected in Gujarat in 2002 should be
adequately compensated and rehabilitated, and
clear steps taken to end the isolation and
ghettoization of the communities affected by the
riots. We also demand that the media black-out of
Tehelka Tapes on televisions in Gujarat be lifted
immediately.
We appeal to the people of Gujarat to maintain
public order and peace as they look at the
evidence and demand that the Indian law
enforcement and judicial system bring to justice
all those who are implicated.

______

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always want to defend peace, justice, peoples' right to love each other and live with dignity,struggles against parochial visions and hatred;instinctively a defender of socialist and democratic values  

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