Towards a Peaceful India
From the Minorities Council, Aligarh
Milli Gazette Online
18 May 2006
Day of Justice to Victims of Communal Violence
We cannot have a peaceful India unless the state upholds rule of law and the civil society takes initiatives for reconciliation over communally divisive emotive issues, for which there should exist an empowered institutional mechanism .As a first step towards intergroup peace, it is required that the unrepentant guilty is punished and the innocent victims are fully rehabilitated and adequately compensated.
In this regard we find that the record of most state governments is very dismal, the worst example of which is provided by Nellie (Assam) 1983 and Hashimpura
(Meerut, UP),1987. For 1984 Sikh victims a measure of justice is thankfully underway, after such a long delay,
though the guilty have yet to be punished.
The incident of killing of more than forty Muslims of Hashimpura (Meerut) on
22 May 1987 by PAC had stirred the conscience of the nation and demands were made for disbanding the PAC and trial of the guilty for treason. However the reality is very depressing. The next of kin of those killed have so far been paid just Rs. 40,000/- .The trail of the guilty of PAC personnel is yet to start.
Another example of gross injustice to victims is provided by Nellie (Assam)
1983, where just Rs. 2000/- was paid as compensation for those who were brutally killed in one of the worst massacres in Independent India. We understand there has been similar denial of justice to victims of most other major riots. Conviction of the guilty has been very rare in all riots.
In view of this we have decided to observe 20-22 May
2006 as the Day of Justice to Victims of Communal Violence, as part of a larger campaign for 'A Peaceful India', in the first phase of which we consider it advisable to focus attention on the following:
(a) payment of adequate compensation to all victims of riots under uniform standards (b) proper trial/ retrial of riot related cases in law courts (c) action against officials indicted by Inquiry Commissions. . In Delhi it is proposed to organize the following programme;
(a) Consultative meeting to highlight the issues in the larger perspective of peace in the country Venue: YMCA, New Delhi Date: 20 May 2006 Evening Token dharna at Jantar-Mantar on 21 May from 10:00 A. M to 1:00 PM
(b) Press Conference 21st Monday Afternoon
(c) Visiting Hashimpura, Meerut on 22 May to express solidarity with the victims. In the next phase we shall focus attention on inter-community conflict resolution and reconciliation Similar meetings may be organized at various places where riots occurred, demanding equal justice for all victims and for trial/ retrial of all cases. We earnestly appeal to you to lend your support and cooperation for this movement for restorative justice.
Iqbal A. Ansari, General Secretary, Minorities Council
Syeda Manzil, Muzammil Compound 4/1703, Dodhpur, Aligarh 202001
Tel: 0571-3098957 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org