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10 October 2011

SDPI takes strong exception to police action in raiding Kavita Srivastava’s house

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By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has taken strong exception to the high-handed police action in raiding and searching the house of Ms Kavita Srivastava, the National Secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and the President of the Rajasthan State unit of the PUCL last week in Jaipur.

E. Aboobacker, SDPI national president, in a statement has deplored the police action saying that the raid is a scandalous act of maligning, intimidation and harassment to muzzle dissent at the behest of the government of Rajasthan which is out to victimise human rights activists who expose its misdeeds of atrocities against Muslim minorities and poor, they added

Mr. Aboobacker said it is most disconcerting how a search warrant against her could have been so casually issued when the Supreme Court has cautioned against it and observed that “issuance of a search warrant is a serious matter and it would not be advisable not to dispose of an application for search warrant in a mechanical way by a laconic order. Issue of search warrant being in the discretion of the Magistrate it would be reasonable to expect of the Magistrate to give reasons which swayed his discretion in favour of granting the request.

The SDPI president said that it is clear that Ms Kavita Srivastava has been targeted primarily because of her role in pointing out Chhattisgarh government’s violation of human rights, Rajasthan government’s mindless use of force against Muslim minorities and centre’s anti-poor policies.

He charged that this was a well-planned operation carried out with the connivance of the Rajasthan police. He said there is no doubt that the raids were a well thought out design to go after the human rights activists aimed at silencing them through the misuse of law and official machinery. In all its manifestations the present raid is in the series of acts of blatant vindictiveness aimed at sending a message to the larger human rights community that the present central and state governments have no faith in and respect for the value of dissent and protest as a cardinal principles as enshrined in our constitution.

Mr. Aboobacker stated that it seems the raid had the ‘tacit support' of the Congress-ruled Rajasthan government. The reason could be the recent initiatives by the PUCL in exposing the role of the administration and the police in the killings of innocent Muslims in Gopalgarh in the state.

The SDPI warned that if such incidents are repeated in future then it would not remain a silent spectator but join hands with other like-minded parties and social organisations to expose the governments’ misdeeds in violating and curtailing human rights of the citizens of India.

[Pervez Bari is a Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

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