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Published in the 1-15 July 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Minorities Council demands enactment of genocide law

The Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the United Progressive Alliance related to social harmony and welfare of minorities proposes "to enact model comprehensive law to deal with communal violence and encourage each state to adopt that law to generate faith and confidence in minority communities," Professor Iqbal A. Ansari, secretary-general of the Minorities Council said in a statement.

The statement added that to say that the draft CMP had promised to enact a comprehensive law on communal violence providing for a probe by a Central agency, prosecution by special courts and payment of uniform compensation. No State government, least of all Narendra Modi government of Gujarat, will be willing to enact any such law.

The plea that law and order being State subject, the Parliament is not competent to enact a law on communal violence is spurious. The Parliament has been enacting central laws to deal with administrative detention, disturbed conditions and terrorism. Major riots like 1984 massacre of Sikhs, widespread post-Ayodhya violence (1992-93) and Gujarat pogrom 2002 are not ordinary law and order problems, which may be exclusively dealt with by the Governments of the States.

Moreover, for prevention and punishment of the Crime of Genocide & Crimes Against Humanity, the Government of India is required to enact laws fulfilling its treaty obligations under Articles 51(C) and 253 of the Indian Constitution and Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and under Articles V & VI of the Genocide Convention (1948).

The Minorities Council put forward the following demands:

  • We demand that the Central Government take immediate measures to enact such a comprehensive law providing for (i) impartial investigation (ii) trial procedure and punishment, keeping in view the extraordinary nature of organized collective violence targeting a community and the partisan law enforcement and failure of governance; (iii) rights of victims of violence to reparation, restitution and rehabilitation and protection and safe return of all displaced persons and (iv) protection of witnesses.

  • We demand the immediate dismissal of Narendra Modi's Government of 

Gujarat on the following grounds:

  1. The NHRC's final report (May 2002) holding the State Government of Gujarat responsible for failure of governance leading to massive destruction of life, honour and property during February-March 2002.

  2. The observations of the Supreme Court during the course of the hearing of the Best Bakery case, especially in the judgment of 12 April 2004 severely indicting Narendra Modi Government for subversion of process of justice.

It needs to be kept in view that all the then opposition parties, now constituting the UPA and its supporters had stalled the proceedings of the Parliament for a number of days demanding such dismissal under Article 356.
After Imposition of President's rule in Gujarat, the proposed model law should be enforced through a Presidential ordinance for compensating the victims and punishing the guilty. 

Minorities Council may be contacted at

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