Tag Archives: gujarat

28Dec/13

Urgent Appeal for Relief for the Survivors of the Muzaffarnagar Riots

Urgent Appeal for Relief for the Survivors of the Muzaffarnagar Riots

28th December 2013

Dear Friends

Please support the appeal below for help for the survivors of the Muzaffarnagar riots. Thousands of families are still living in relief camps since being forced to flee their homes during the riots in September in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India. At least 34 children under the age of 12 have died in these camps as a result of the poor conditions, cold and lack of medicines.  People are desperately in need of warm clothing, firewood, medicines and food.

The riots in September were orchestrated by the Hindu right-wing BJP and its parent organisation the RSS, along with the Bharatiya Kisan Union, with the goal of forcible displacement of Muslim families from the area(1) . The total numbers of people killed are still not known; evidence has emerged of systematic rapes of Muslim women during the riots (2). The ruling Samajwadi Party government did not do anything to prevent or control the violence, nor did it rehabilitate the displaced. Instead the administration  has been continuously harassing the riot survivors living in relief camps and trying to ensure that they do not return home(3)(4). Shockingly, Chief Minister of U.P. Mulayam Singh Yadav recently claimed that the people living in relief camps were not riot victims but ‘conspirators’ who had been asked to stay there by the BJP and Congress to make a political point – leading to widespread outrage.  Even more callously, the U.P. Home Secretary, commenting on the number of children living in the camps who have died as a harsh winter has set in, quibbled that ‘no-one can die of cold. Children have died of pneumonia, not of cold’(5).

A team of volunteers organized by the CPI(ML) is visiting Muzaffarnagar on 28 December to distribute the first batch of relief materials they have collected, and is currently collecting through a fundraising drive including street collections in cities and towns across India for a second batch to be sent during the next few days. But a lot more help is still needed to prevent further deaths as the cold weather continues.

To contribute to the relief effort from the UK, please make cheques payable to South Asia Solidarity Group, and write ‘Muzaffarnagar Appeal’ on the back. Send to South Asia Solidarity Group, c/o Londec, 293-299 Kentish Town Road, London NW5 2TJ. Or contact sasg@southasiasolidarity.org

(1)    http://kafila.org/2013/09/18/muzaffarnagar-2013-violence-by-political-design-centre-for-policy-analysis/

(2)    http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?288907

(3)    http://www.urdumediamonitor.com/2013/12/09/administrations-wrath-riot-victims-muzaffarnagar/

(4)    http://twocircles.net/2013nov23/muslims_verge_losing_4000_acres_land_muzaffarnagar.html#.

(5)    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Muzaffarnagar-relief-camps-deaths-Nobody-dies-of-cold-UP-home-secretary-says/articleshow/28001591.cms

Demand Relief, Rehabilitation, and Justice for Muzaffarnagar’s Riot Survivors

Observe National Protest Day on 2nd January 2014

Friends,

The bitterly cold winter has begun. And the stories of Muzaffarnagar’s relief camps jolts our conscience.

Thousands of people, who have watched their loved ones killed in cold blood, and who have been raped, and lost their homes and means of survival, languish in the relief camps of Muzaffarnagar. The Uttar Pradesh Government had pleaded earlier that they were helpless to prevent the communal violence. But why has the Government turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the plight of those in the relief camps?

  • ·34 children have died in relief camps in Shahpur, Budhana, Malarpuur and Sunhati due to the cold, and lack of medicines.
  • ·There have been instances of rapes in the relief camps. FIRs have been filed in rape cases that took place during the communal violence – but the accused are yet to be arrested.
  • ·Meanwhile, the BJP shamelessly felicitated its MLAs who are accused of leading the communal violence.
  • ·And the Akhilesh Government issued an order forcibly evicting the riot-hit from the relief camps, and pressurising them to accept a Rs 5 lakh payment in exchange for giving up their right to return to the villages from where they were evicted! In exchange for the Rs 5 lakh, they are being asked to sign an affidavit saying “”Main aur mere parivar ke sadasya apne gram mein hui hinsatmak ghatnaon se bhayakant hokar gaon va ghar chhodkar aaye hain, tatha in kinhi bhi paristhitiyon mein ab apne mool gaon evam ghar nahin lautenge (I and my family left our village and our home due to the violent incidents there. We will not return to our village and home under any circumstances).”
  • ·Also, the UP forest department has booked thousands of Muzaffarnagar riots victims for setting up relief camps by “encroaching” on forest land.
  • ·The report submitted to the UP Government by the 10-member committee of Ministers under the leadership of senior SP Minister Shivpal Yadav, appallingly, blames the madrasas running the relief camps for not wanting to wind up the relief camps in spite of the situation having returned to ‘normal’!
  • ·The SIT constituted to enquire into the riots is doing a mere token job of it and not bothering even to talk to the victims.

We cannot watch this travesty of justice in silence.

The CPI(ML) appeals to people all over the country to contribute funds that can be used to buy relief materials (warm clothing, firewood, medicines, food) that are urgently for the Muzaffarnagar riot-affected. A CPI(ML) team is visiting Muzaffarnagar on 28 December to distribute the first batch of relief materials collected, and is currently collecting for a second batch.

CPI(ML) also appeals to begin the new year with a resolve to secure justice for Muzaffarnagar’s riot victims.

On 2nd January 2014, the CPI(ML) has called for an all-India protest day demanding immediate arrest and prosecution of all rioters and rape-accused named in FIRs, and demanding that the  State Government of UP ensure urgent relief and rehabilitation measures for the riot-displaced and riot-affected people.

06Sep/13

Press Release

Barry Gardiner – Withdraw your invitation to the ‘Butcher of Gujarat’!

Brent North MP Barry Gardiner will be embarrassed by a large and noisy protest outside his surgery at Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ, on Monday 9th September between 11.30am and 1.00pm.

Called by a large number of South Asian organisations, including Sikh and Muslim groups; human rights and equality campaigners; and local organisations including Brent Trades Council, the protest will demand that Gardiner withdraws his open invitation to Narendra Modi the so-called ‘Butcher of Gujarat’, and that he should never invite him again. A theatrical stunt about the relationship between Gardiner and Modi will be performed between 12.15 and 1.00pm

Organisers South Asia Solidarity Group said ‘in the face of so much opposition to the invitation to Modi, Barry Gardiner has now released a statement saying that Modi is unable to come in the next few weeks. But we are continuing our campaign demanding that the invitation is officially withdrawn and not  repeated. Modi has already tried to make political capital in India from this  invitation, and we need to send a clear message that he is not welcome here’     

Protest:­­­ Barry Gardiner – Withdraw your invitation to the ‘Butcher of Gujarat’! Monday 9 September 2013, 11:30 AM – 1 PM, at Barry Gardiner’s MP’s surgery, Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way,
Wembley HA9 0FJ

There will be a theatrical stunt about the Modi-Gardiner relationship between 12.15 and 1.00pm

 

Who is Narendra Modi?

Narendra Modi has  been the Chief Minister of Gujarat since 2001 and is the most likely Prime Ministerial candidate of the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP). He is an avowed admirer of Hitler and his policies.

In 2002, Modi was responsible for the horrific attacks on Muslims in Gujarat – over 2,000 men,women and children  were killed.  There is clear evidence (1)(2)(3) that these attacks were sponsored by the state. The police had been told not to intervene while Hindu right-wing mobs linked to the BJP murdered and raped, brutally murdering children in front of their mothers, who were then raped and murdered.

Among those killed in 2002 are three Britons, Saeed and Shakeel Dawood and Mohammed Aswat whose family are still seeking justice and whose case against Modi is still going on. Also on-going is a case brought by Zakia Jafri whose husband former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was also murdered in the riots.

According to a leaked report by the British High Commission in India, the violence ‘had all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing and that reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims is impossible while the chief minister [Narendra Modi] remains in power
and that ‘far from being spontaneous’ it was ‘planned, possibly months in advance, carried out by an extremist Hindu organisation with the support of the state government.’(4)

Modi is currently making a bid to become India’s next Prime Minister and has launched a campaign using openly fascistic and anti-minority rhetoric. At the same time he is claiming that he has been absolved of wrong doing in connection with the massacres of 2002 by the Supreme Court of India. This is untrue, see for example (6).

Barry Gardiner and the Labour Friends of India

Barry Gardiner  who chairs the ‘Labour Friends of India'(LFI) has invited Modi to come and speak at the House of Commons on the subject of ‘The Future of Modern India’. Other prominent members of  the LFI are Vikas Pota and Manoj Ladwa, founders of  the firm Saffron Chase,  Modi’s key lobbyists  in the UK. Pota and Ladwa are prominent members of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh the London wing of the RSS, an organisation which is the Hindu right’s storm troopers (7)
However, Barry Gardiner has acted without consulting  the rest of the Labour Friends of India group, as Batley and Spen MP, Mike Wood, also a member of the group, has complained in a letter to Gardiner. Wood has tabled an Early Day Motion in the British parliament opposing the invitation to Modi. (8) (9)

Pete Firmin Chair of Brent Trades Council said: ‘It is a terrible idea to invite Modi given his involvement in the massacres in Gujarat. Barry Gardiner should withdraw the invitation right away” And Davinder Prasad of Caste Watch UK which is also supporting the protest said ‘Modi’s supporters have shown their caste prejudice and tried to block the our campaign for caste equality in the UK. Barry Gardiner  invitation to Modi  only encourages this discrimination, he should withdraw the invitation.’

Samarendra Das of  Foil Vedanta said ‘Modi claims to have brought ‘development’ to Gujarat – but the reality is that nutritional  poverty is higher than all-India levels and there is a huge and growing gap between rich and poor in the state. The only people benefitting are corporates like Adani and the notorious Vedanta Resources. Modi should not be invited to the UK’

Modi’s past visits to the UK have been used to raise extensive funds and support for communal violence. It makes a mockery of human rights and ignores the murders of three British citizens Saeed and Shakeel Dawood and Mohammed Aswat. The Dawood family are still seeking justice and have an ongoing case against Modi.

Contact: South Asia Solidarity Group sasg@southasiasolidarity.org; 07846873341

Notes

(1) See Human Rights Watch: ‘ “We Have No Orders To Save You”
State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat’,  April 30, 2002
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/04/30/we-have-no-orders-save-you

(2) Amnesty International: ‘India: Justice  — the victim in Gujarat’ [Full Report] 27 January 2005
http://www.coalitionagainstgenocide.org/reports/2005/ai.27jan2005.gujarat.pdf

(3)‘Threatened Existence: A Feminist Analysis of the Genocide in Gujarat’ Report by the International Initiative for Justice (IIJ) December 2003
http://www.gujaratfiles.net/files/iij.dec2003.report.pdf

(4)bbc.co.uk: UK report censures Gujarat
rulers (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1951471.stm

(5)Amnesty International: ‘A decade on from the Gujarat riots, an overwhelming majority of victims await justice in India’ 29 February2012

http://www.coalitionagainstgenocide.org/reports/2012/Amnesty-International-A-decade-on-from-the-Gujarat%20riots.pdf

(6) Sahmat – Citizens for Justice and Peace: ‘Press Release- Supreme Court clean chit to Narendra Modi ?’
http://www.kractivist.org/press-release-supreme-court-clean-chit-to-narendra-modi/  which explains in detail how the Supreme Court has NOT in fact absolved Modi of responsibility for the 2002 genocide as he has falsely claimed.

(7) http://www.truthofgujarat.com/uk-based-hindutva-lobbyists-manoj-ladwa-vikas-pota-driving-force-behind-modis-uk-invitation/#.Uih83JpwbIU.

(8) Early Day Motion in UK Parliament http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2013-14/479

(9) Gardiner’s invitation has also been supported by Sailesh Vara Chair of the Conservative Friends of India  who was forced to quit the All Party Parliament Group on Trade and Investment in India because of his connections with Saffron Chase. Sunday Express http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/87026/MP-forced-to-quit-over-conflict-of-interests

Organised by South Asia Solidarity Group.

Supported by:

Council of Indian Muslims

Brent Trades Council

Foil Vedanta

Islamic Human Rights Commission

CasteWatch UK

Southall Black Sisters

Indian Workers Association, Birmingham

South Asian Alliance

Asian Rationalist Society

Freedom Without Fear Platform

22Aug/13

Stop mass murderer Narendra Modi

Stop mass murderer Narendra Modi

from visiting the UK!

Barry Gardiner: Withdraw your invitation to the ‘butcher of Gujarat’!

Protest:­­­  Monday 9 September 2013, 11:30 AM – 1 PM, at Barry Gardiner’s MP’s surgery, Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ

Nearest Tube Station: Wembley Park (see map http://www.brent.gov.uk/your-council/brent-civic-centre/your-visit-to-the-civic-centre/)

 

  • Narendra Modi is the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and an avowed admirer of Hitler and his policies.
  • In 2002, Modi presided over the genocidal attacks in which over 2,000 men, women and children from Gujarat’s Muslim minority community were systematically killed.
  • This is the man whom Labour MP for Brent North Barry Gardiner has invited to come and address the House of Commons on the subject of ‘The Future of Modern India’.

What happened in Gujarat in 2002 has been amply documented and there is clear evidence (1)(2)(3) that the violence was orchestrated and sponsored by the state. The police had been instructed not to intervene while Hindu supremacist mobs linked to the BJP murdered and raped, selectively  targeting the addresses occupied by Muslim families . According to a leaked report by the British High Commission in India the violence ‘had all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing and that reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims is impossible while the chief minister [Narendra Modi] remains in power’ and that ‘far from being spontaneous’ it was ‘planned, possibly months in advance, carried out by an extremist Hindu organisation with the support of the state government.'(4)

Modi is currently making a bid to become India’s next Prime Minister and has launched a campaign using openly fascistic and anti-minority rhetoric. At the same time he is claiming that he has been absolved of wrong doing in connection with the massacres of 2002 by the Supreme Court of India. This is untrue, see for example (6).

While in the wake of the 2002 genocide and the clear evidence and documentation of  Modi’s role in coordinating and sponsoring it, the UK, EU and US were compelled to distance themselves from Modi, more recently the British government is  rehabilitating him. At a recent meeting with Modi in Ahmedabad,  the Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire made it clear that this was in ‘the UK’s national interests’, meaning the interests of British big business (7) (8).

Modi claims to have brought ‘development’ to Gujarat – but the reality is that nutritional  poverty is higher than all-India levels (9)and there is a huge and growing gap between rich and poor in the state. The people of Gujarat are paying the price for Modi’s policies (10), in which swathes of land and coastline have been converted into Special Economic Zones or ‘Special Investment Regions’ and handed over to corporates heavily subsidised by the state. Recent official figures show 44.6% of children under 5 are malnourished in Gujarat – figures comparable only to the poorest states in India(11)

Now Barry Gardiner on behalf of the ‘Labour Friends of India’ has invited Modi to come and address the House of Commons on the subject of ‘The Future of Modern India’. The Conservative Friends of India have supported this invitation. This is purely an attempt to help British corporates sell their products and services in Gujarat in the interests of larger profits.  It makes a mockery of human rights  and ignores the three British citizens who were murdered  during the genocide and whose families are yet to receive justice.

Modi’s past visits to the UK have been used to raise extensive funds and support for communal violence. A visit at this time is particularly dangerous and must be stopped.

We condemn this collusion in Modi’s attempts to deny his role as a mass murderer.

We demand that the invitation to Modi is withdrawn.

Notes

(1) See Human Rights Watch: ‘ “We Have No Orders To Save You”

State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat’,  April 30, 2002

http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/04/30/we-have-no-orders-save-you

(2) Amnesty International: ‘India: Justice — the victim in Gujarat’ [Full Report] 27 January 2005 http://www.coalitionagainstgenocide.org/reports/2005/ai.27jan2005.gujarat.pdf(3)‘Threatened Existence: A Feminist Analysis of the Genocide in Gujarat’ Report by the International Initiative for Justice (IIJ) December 2003 http://www.gujaratfiles.net/files/iij.dec2003.report.pdf(4)bbc.co.uk: UK report censures Gujarat rulers (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1951471.stm

(5)Amnesty International: ‘A decade on from the Gujarat riots, an overwhelming majority of victims await justice in India’ 29 February 2012

http://www.coalitionagainstgenocide.org/reports/2012/Amnesty-International-A-decade-on-from-the-Gujarat%20riots.pdf

(6) Sahmat – Citizens for Justice and Peace: ‘Press Release- Supreme Court clean chit to Narendra Modi ?’  http://www.kractivist.org/press-release-supreme-court-clean-chit-to-narendra-modi/ which explains in detail how the Supreme Court has NOT in fact absolved Modi of responsibility for the 2002 genocide as he has falsely claimed.

(7) See The Hindu ‘Embracing the Darkness’ October 23, 2012, http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/embracing-the-darkness/article4023194.ece

(8) bbc.co.uk: UK India envoy to visit Gujarat for first time since riots http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-19907453

(9)Agrarian Poverty, Nutrition and Economic Class – A Study of Gujarat, India, Anita Dixit, Journal of Agrarian Change,

Volume 13, Issue 2, pages 263–281, April 2013 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-0366.2012.00379.x/abstract

(10)Atul Sood ‘Poverty amidst prosperity’ The Hindu, November 30, 2012

 http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/poverty-amid-prosperity/article4147478.ece

(11)‘Narendra Modi’s Gujarat has 44% malnourished children’

 http://www.kractivist.org/india-narendra-modis-gujarat-has-44-malnourished-children/

Organised by South Asia Solidarity Group. Supported by: Council of Indian Muslims, Brent Trades Council, Foil Vedanta, Islamic Human Rights Commission, Southall Black Sisters, Indian Workers Association (Birmingham), South Asian Alliance, Asian Rationalist Society, Brent Trades Council , Freedom Without Fear Platform

 

 

13Aug/13

Keep Mass Murderer Narendra Modi out of the UK!

South Asia Solidarity Group condemns the invitation to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to address the House of Commons issued by the Labour Friends of India and the Conservative Friends of India. We strongly believe that Narendra Modi, who is responsible for the 2002 genocidal attacks in which over 2,000 men women and children from Gujarat’s Muslim minority community were systematically killed, must not be allowed to visit the UK. Modi’s past visits to the UK have been used to raise extensive funds and support for communal violence, and a visit at this time when Modi is launching a campaign to become India’s next Prime Minister, and continues to try to gain votes using openly fascistic and anti-minority rhetoric, would be particularly dangerous.

In the wake of the 2002 genocide and the extensive documentation of Modi’s role in co-ordinating and sponsoring it. the UK, other EU, and US governments were compelled to distance themselves from Modi and the Gujarat state government. However recently we have seen David Cameron take steps to rehabilitate Modi, as evidenced by meetings between the British High Commissioner and Modi in Ahmedabad. This puts the interests of British corporates wishing to invest in Gujarat ahead of any concerns for human rights and justice, and makes a mockery of the rights of the three British citizens who were murdered during the genocide and whose families are yet to see justice. We condemn this collusion in Modi’s attempts to deny his role as a mass murderer. We demand that the invitation to Modi is withdrawn and he is refused a visa to the UK.