Wednesday, May 14, 2008

India: Jaipur Serial blasts

Jaipur Serial blasts: Statement of Concerned Citizens
May 14, 2008

We the undersigned strongly condemn those behind the serial blasts of Jaipur. We also offer our sincerest condolences to the victims of this dastardly act and urge upon the state government and the Central Government to take all possible measures for the proper compensation/ rehabilitation of the survivors.

These cowardly acts of terror have become a sore on the body politic of Indian democracy. The current global and local politics in the name of religious identity is intensifying the acts of terror, more so in India. The unfortunate part is that prevention of these acts has been politicized by some political parties. Some of them claim that the present Government is soft on terrorism so there is increase in these acts of terror. They forget that even during the NDA regime the frequency and intensity of these acts was similar. Just by making the repressive laws cannot curtail these acts as it is a superficial and wrong approach. These acts of terror have deeper political causes. These causes relate to U.S. lust for oil, its help in forming Al Qaeda and local rise of communal politics around issues of religious identity.

The worst part of handling acts of terror, which has a bearing on the preventive measures, is the prevalent theory guiding the investigation authorities. As per this theory these acts are done by some Pakistan trained groups who want to spread communal disharmony. On this pretext many Muslim youth are hauled up and investigation is presented as a success. So many such acts of terror have taken place, Malegaon, Banaras, Mumbai, but how many places have the communal disharmony erupted? Are the terrorist's fools to repeat the act which is not having the desired result? Then, the investigations done so far are clouded in mystery and under the cloak of secrecy. The social audit of these investigations has not taken place barring an odd exception. The present theory of investigating agency deliberately overlooks the case of two Bajarang Dal workers getting killed in Nanded in April 2006. It also does not want to give serious thought to the narco-analysis of one of the survivors of the Nanded episode who said that now we Hindus should also do the acts of terror, in front of crowded mosques, else we will be regarded as eunuchs.

The occurrence of these acts, more often on Tuesdays and Fridays gives a signal which goes beyond the thinking of present investigation agencies. There is a need to have a National body with due representation from the socially concerned citizens and Human rights activists who can have a say in these matters and also who in an unbiased way can go to the truth of these acts, unlike the ones at present, where the pattern of investigation can be predicted right in advance due to the prevalent prejudices, which by now have become institutionalized.

These acts are now polarizing the society and the biggest beneficiary of these are the communal forces. In a way, now communal violence is being substituted by the acts of terror to consolidate the electoral base by communal party.

We urge upon the society at large, the ruling governments, the bureaucracy, police and human rights activists to try to go to the depth of this painful phenomenon and try to address the deeper disease which is causing the symptom of terrorist acts.

We Demand

Setting up of a National Commission with representation of broad layers of people to monitor the investigations.
This Commission gives suggestions in the direction of prevention of such acts.
This commission monitors those arrested on the ground of suspicion and ensures that only the guilty are detained while innocents are released.
This commission goes to the deeper maladies affecting the society leading to such acts and suggests the remedial measures.
It suggests ways to strengthen the intercommunity bonds so that religious identity and terrorism are not correlated.


Asghar Ali Engineer, Chairman Center for Study of Society and Secularism
Digant Oza: Senior Journalist, Ahmedabad
Shabnam Hashmi, Secretary ANHAD
Dr. M.Hasan, Academic, Writer Jaipur
L.S.Hardenia, Senior Journalist, Writer
Irfan Engineer: Director, Institute of Peace Studies and Conflict resolution
Ram Puniyani , Secretary All India Secular Forum

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