|INDIAN MUSLIM COUNCIL-USA
IMC-USA condemns harassment of eminent human rights leader Fr. Cedric Prakash
New York, 14 June, 2004: Indian Muslim Council-USA, an advocacy group of Indian Muslims in the United States dedicated to safeguarding the democratic and pluralist ethos of India, has condemned the harassment of eminent human rights leader Fr. Cedric Prakash by the Gujarat police.
Father Cedric Prakash, the Director of "Prashant" and a prominent Human Rights activist, has been constantly harassed by the Gujarat government. The state government, led by Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is widely implicated in the Gujarat genocide two years ago, has initiated inquires to prove that Fr. Cedric Prakash is "anti-national" and have his passport impounded.
The harassment of human rights activists fits the pattern of an ongoing campaign of intimidation by the government of the Indian state of Gujarat against those engaged in the relief and rehabilitation work for the victims and seeking justice against the government officials involved in ethnic cleansing and genocide.
On April 11th, youth activists promoting communal harmony in Vadodara were physically attacked and on April 12th, prominent Human Rights activist Teesta Setalvad, a co-petitioner in the Best Bakery Case was threatened with dire consequences by those accused in Gujarat genocide.
The well-known dance artiste Mallika Sarabhai, who has spearheaded the movement to seek justice for the Muslims of Gujarat, has been harassed by the Modi government which has filed numerous dubious criminal charges against her.
In addition, the state Police, under instructions from the Gujarat Home Ministry, has been intimidating Christian and Muslim Institutions under the pretext of conducting inquires about the receipt of foreign funds.
IMC-USA 's national President Dr. Shaik Ubaid has expressed complete support and solidarity with Fr. Cedric Prakash and the human rights activists of Gujarat. He has appealed to the union government to take notice of this harassment and urged it to take prompt remedial steps.
Sd/- MK Rahman, Secretary General
INDIAN MUSLIM COUNCIL - USA
Tel: (++1) (516) 567-0783 firstname.lastname@example.org
265 Sunrise Highway 1-355, Rockville Centre, NY 11570, USA
Email: email@example.com ; http://www.imc-usa.org q
Related Stories /
1. The Milli Gazette report in 16-31 Dec 2003
issue: Jesuit priest: Situation in Gujarat now worse than it was in 2002
2. Indian Express Friday story on June 11, 2004
: CID questions Gujarat human rights activist
....Prakash said he had been questioned on an article that appeared in
the Milli Gazette. He said he had not given an interview to Milli Gazette
website on his visit to London, where he attended a seminar.... http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=48749
3. Rejoinder sent to Indian Express Editor
In today's edition (11 June 2004) your Gandhinagar correspondent reports on Father Cedric Prakash's questioning by CID. Father Prakash is quoted in your report as saying that "he had not given an interview to Milli Gazette". We would like to clarify that we did not carry any "interview" with Father Prakash; but we did publish a report in our 16-31 December 2003 issue reporting his speech at a seminar held in London on 30 November 2003 [http://www.milligazette.com/Archives/2003/16-31Dec03-Print-Edition/1612200309.htm]. Our London correspondent only reported his speech in that seminar and nowhere claimed that Father Prakash gave an interview to Milli Gazette.
Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan
Editor, The Milli Gazette
The Milli Gazette Newspaper
P.O. Box 9701, D-84 Abul Fazl Enclave-I,
Jamia Nagar, New Delhi 110 025 India
Tel.: 2692 7483, 2632 2825, 2682 2883
Fax: 2683 5825