[Reader-list] Sign Petition: Punish the Guilty of the Anti Muslim Pogrom of 1992-1992

Yogi Sikand ysikand at gmail.com
Thu Aug 2 05:11:13 IST 2007

    To:  citizens of Mumbai, India and the world

    Punish the Guilty of the Anti Muslim Pogrom of 1992-1993

    Justice for All

    The convictions of the accused in the 1993 Bombay blasts case are
intended to be a form of redress for the 250 families who lost dear
ones in the serial blasts and aim to send the message that the Indian
system delivers justice for all crimes, especially mass crimes of
unspeakable brutality. But the bomb blasts of March 12, 1993 were only
the external symptoms of a cancer that had gnawed away at Mumbai's
vital organs with the abject failure of the state machinery to protect
the city's Muslim population during the horrendous communal riots of
December 1992 and January 1993. More than three times as many
Mumbaikars were killed in the riots that preceded the bomb blasts but
the lack of action against the perpetrators of the riots � who are
named in the Srikrishna report � is clear evidence of the operation of
a double standard of justice, one for the majority community and the
other for the minorities. India and it systems of democracy,
executive, judiciary and legislature, need to reflect.

    The bomb terror of March 12, 1993 must be recalled with the same
horror as the mob terror of December 6, 1992, in Ayodhya, resulting in
the loss of hundreds of lives all over the country. The causes of the
blasts, too, must be revived in public memory. As the Srikrishna
report observed: "The serial bomb blasts were a reaction to the
totality of events at Ayodhya and Bombay in December 1992 and January
1993� The common link between the riots and the blasts was that of
cause and effect."

    Information obtained under the Right to Information Act makes it
clear that successive state governments, no matter what their
political persuasion, have decided to shield the guilty. The
motivations of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena parties in
refusing to implement the recommendations of the Srikrishna Commission
are obvious: among the individuals named in the report are several of
their leaders and cadres, including Bal Thackeray, Manohar Joshi,
Gopinath Munde and Madhukar Sarpotdar. What is more shocking is the
role of the so-called secular parties. Though the manifestos of both
the Congress Party and the Nationalist Congress Party in 1999 and 2004
promised to implement the recommendations of the report, these
promises remain unfulfilled.

    The report also lays bare the biased role played by 31 police
officers, including RD Tyagi, who as then joint commissioner, shot
dead nine persons at the Suleiman Usman Bakery labelling them
"Kashmiri terrorists". Another senior police officer, NK Kapse was
promoted after a departmental inquiry exonerated him of any guilt in
shooting down seven persons at the Hari Masjid located at Rafi Ahmed
Kidwai Marg. Save one policeman who was dismissed from service, all
others have escaped lightly despite being found guilty of complicity
in acts of murder and arson.

    The RTI findings also demonstrate a complete absence of vigour in
pursuing riot-related cases through the judicial system. Cases have
been closed in a seemingly arbitrary fashion and appeals have not been
filed against acquittals in the lower courts. If a genuine peace is to
return to Mumbai, there must be justice. Continued injustices cause
schisms to widen, wounds to fester. Justice can only be truly served
by implementing the recommendations of the Srikrishna Commission
report. We urge the state government to do so immediately. It must
devote as much energy and resources to obtaining justice for the
victims of the Mumbai riots as it mustered up for the victims of the
Mumbai bomb blasts. We also believe that the process must be visible
and transparent. Only then will the deep wounds caused by the targeted
violence of 1992-1993 heal, bringing enduring peace.

    Public Release of the Statement/Signature Campaign
    Indian Merchants Chamber, Churchgate
    August 9, 2007; 5.30 p.m.
    Justice For All Campaign, Telephone: 022-26602288/26603927
    Email: sabrang at sabrang.com


    Vijay Tendulkar
    Anil Dharker
    Naresh Fernandes
    Ram Rehman
    Teesta Setalvad
    Nandan Maluste
    Arvind Krishnaswamy
    Javed Anand


    To sing the petition, click on

Sukhia Sab Sansar Khaye Aur Soye
Dukhia Das Kabir Jagey Aur Roye

The world is 'happy', eating and sleeping
The forlorn Kabir Das is awake and weeping

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