Communalism Combat, Citizens for Justice and Peace, SAHMAT, Prashant, SAHRWARU, People’s Union for Human Rights and a host of undersigned organisations including the Muslims for Secular Democracy condemn the shameful killings by communally minded terrorists in the Udhampur and Doda districts of Jammu and Kashmir over the past few days. Such acts of motivated communal terror are aimed at creating unbridgeable divides among peoples and societies and are a real threat to the secular fabric of our country.
We immediately urge that the government of India through the Minorities Commission conducts Public Hearings in different parts of J & K where minorities and other citizens can depose about the daily conditions of their lives. Steps can then be initiated to assist them. The terrorist bullet is aimed at all innocents who come in their way, and other residents of J & K are as vulnerable but when such communal terrorist acts are committed on the eve of Peace Talks especially, special steps need to be taken by the administration.
We also urge that the government of India examines the issues of all minorities living in different parts of the country but specially the sensitive states like J & K, parts of the north eastern states like Manipur, Assam and the western Indian state of Gujarat. It may be recalled that on February 15, 2006 a wide forum of over 15 individuals and representatives of organisations including representatives of Hindus in J and K , Muslims, Christians, Buddhists,
Jains and Sikhs, representatives of the tribal areas of the north east had met the Shri AR Antulay and presented him with a detailed memorandum that laid out the theoretical position that minoririties are vital to a rich and vibrant democracy’ that religion must not be the only basis of categorisation; that district wise application of the concept would mean that Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists, wherever they live would feel more secure and have their minority rights protected; that the word ‘minority’ should not be typified into meaning just one community.
Teesta Setalvad, Co-Editor, Communalism Combat,
Javed Anand, Muslims for Secular Democracy, Rajendra Prasad, M.K.Raina, Ram Rahman,SAHMAT,
S. W. Narboo who is an MLA from Leh and former minister in Shaikh Abdullah's cabinet [Ladhakh], Motilal Bhat belongs to Kashmiri Pandit community working with the Hindu Welfare Society, Srinagar, a Kashmiri Pandit who has lived in the valley through the insurgency, Bal Patil, Member, Maharashtra Minorities Commission, Justice Kolse-Patil (retd) working with Adivasis and Muslims, Prof. Zahur-ud-Din belongs to the Dogra Muslim community, Sushoba Barve, Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation,
Sofia Khan from Gujarat, John Dayal, All India Catholic Union,
Suhas Chakma from the North East, Sunil Sardar, a representative of Dalit Christians, D. Sherifa, Tamil Nadu Women’s Jamaat, H.S. Phoolka,
Fr. Cedric Prakash, Prashant, Ahmedabad, Sheba George, SAHRWARU, Ahmedabad