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10 October 2011

SDPI to stage symbolic ‘dharna’ to protest action against whistleblowers

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By Pervez Bari

Chennai: The cadres and members of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) will stage symbolic “dharna” (sit-in) at all the district headquarters all over the country against state terrorism and police atrocities to muzzle the voice of whistleblowers.

This was decided at the National Working Committee meeting of the SDPI at Chennai to protest the arrest of Mr. Sanjeev Bhatt, a senior IPS officer of Gujarat cadre, and 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), in Jaipur and many other whistle-blowers many of whom have had to pay with their lives.

According to A. Sayeed, national general secretary of SDPI, besides this symbolic “dharna” the cadres and members of the SDPI in Rajasthan would assemble before the house of Ms Kavita Srivastava in Jaipur with banners and placards expressing the party’s solidarity with her in the hour of crisis.

It may be mentioned here that Mr. Bhatt was arrested as he dared to expose the allegedly blood-stained hands of the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his aides in the 2002 post-Godhra communal riots in which thousands of Muslims were killed and the murder of former state Home Minister Haren Pandya, the release pointed out.

While Ms Kavita was 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 in Gopalgarh and centre’s anti-poor policies, the release stated.

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

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