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04 October 2011

GUJARAT RIOTS 2002: Rights’ groups stage Dharna, demand release of Sanjeev Bhatt

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IMO News Service

New Delhi: Civil rights groups, students, teachers and activists have come together to stage protests in different parts of the country against ‘arbitrary and unconstitutional arrest’ of suspended DIG Sanjeev Bhatt by the Gujarat Police. According to Shabnam Hashmi of Anhad, protests were organised in over 40 cities across the country. The protesters demanded immediate release of Mr. Bhatt.

In the capital, a protest was staged at Gujarat Bhawan at the Kautilya Marg, Chanakyapuri on Monday (October 3, 2011) afternoon. “It’s a clear case of intimidation of whistle-blowers and shows totalitarian character of Modi regime”, said Delhi-based activist Mahtab Alam, adding “We are here to express our solidarity with Mr. Bhatt and his family”. The activists also submitted a memorandum to the Resident Commissioner for Governor of Gujarat at the Gujarat Bhawan seeking immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Bhatt.

Addressing the protest meeting outside Gujarat Bhawan, Filmmaker and Activist, Mahesh Bhatt said, “Sanjiv Bhatt's fault is that he dared to reveal the truth behind the 2002 carnage as also the murder of Haren Pandya.” Referring to his conversation with Sanjeev Bhatt, he said, “I spoke to Sanjiv the evening he was arrested, asking that since the worst had happened, what he needed to tell the world outside. He said it was now for the courts to ensure that the rule of law was imposed in Gujarat and the nation.” Mahesh Bhatt also appealed, “We as civil society should come together and fight this trend of communal and fascist mentality.”

Retired DIG and colleague of Sanjeev Bhatt, R B Shreekumar alleged, “The arrest of Sanjeev Bhatt is the peak of the policy followed by the Modi government since the conception, organisation, mobilisation and perpetration of an anti-Muslim carnage in 2002. Of all the actions, this is the most atrocious.” Shreekumar, who himself a victim of Modi further said, “After the 2002 carnage, the Modi government started terrorising the bureaucracy, including the senior police officer who dared to speak the truth.” “If electoral victory is the license for violating the Constitution, the rule of law then our freedom and democracy is under serious threat,” he added.

Activists Shabnam Hashmi, Himanshu Kumar, Sanjay Sharaf, Gauhar Raza, Sandeep Kumar, Faisal Khan, Maulana Ejaz Urfi, Shakeel Ahmed, Madhuresh Kumar, Vani and others also spoke on the occasion. Earlier a similar protest was staged at Jantar Mantar by Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Jan Shakti Party. “We want immediate release of Sanjeev Bhatt,” said Amanatullah Khan, a party factionary. “Our party will launch a nation-wide campaign if Mr. Bhatt is not released,” he added.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Readers,
    In a time when Muslims as well as secular minded people are crying for justice in the police firing at Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, another incident of communal violence accompanied by police firing at Muslims has been reported on October 2 at Rudrapur town in Uttarakhand.
    The death of four Muslims has been confirmed while several others are injured who are under treatment at hospitals. The town is still tense and curfew continues.
    The atmosphere at Rudrapur town of Udham Singh Nagar district in Uttarakhand has been normal for past several years but for last one year some anti-social elements have been trying to disturb the communal harmony here.
    A bag containing a copy of Holy Quran and flesh of pig was thrown by some miscreants at a local temple. When local Muslims came to know about that, they went to the local police station and demanded action against those who are behind desecrating the Holy Quran. The police assured them of action and sent them back.
    Two days passed but no action was taken by police. And then on Oct. 2 another such incident happened the same area in which some people of Hindu community desecrated and burnt a copy of the Quran. The local people again reached the local police station and demanded immediate action but police this time too remained inaction. Then angry Muslims started protesting outside the station.
    “Muslims were protesting for their demand to arrest those who were involved in desecration of Quran. Police asked protestors to leave the place but they refused to do so untill their demand was accepted. Then police started lathi charge which resulted in stone pelting from protestors. It was enough for police to open fire at the protestors which killed four Muslims while injured many others”, Shah Jilani, a physician living in Rudrapur, told TwoCircles.net over phone on Monday afternoon.
    He said that when the police firing was going on, a mob of Hindu community came out on the road and started destroying shops and setting vehicles on fire. “No Muslim shops in the market were left unattached. All were looted and destroyed” said Mr Shah who has his clinic in the affected area.
    “It is a very painful matter that four Muslims have been killed in the attack by police and Hindus and after the incident Muslims are being arrested in large number. Every Muslims in the town are afraid” said Abdul Qadir, secretary of Udham Singh Nagar district unit of Jamit Ulema-I-Hind.
    He recalled that last year also a similar incident happened when pig flesh was thrown inside Jama Masjid. “At that time police arrested some members of Hindu community who were later released without any strict action” he added.
    Bharatiya Janata Party has been ruling Uttarakhand since it was carved out of Uttar Pradesh in November 2000.
    However, the situation in the town is tense but under control. Security has been strengthened in the area with police patrolling all the vital installations. Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel are also being deployed in the area as a precautionary step.

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