Your action required to Punish the Guilty of the Anti-Muslim Pogrom of 1992-1993
Milli Gazette / 7 August 2007
To: Citizens of Mumbai, India and the World
Punish the Guilty of the Anti-Muslim Pogrom of 1992-1993
Justice for All
The convictions of the accused in the 1993 Bombay blasts case are intended to be a form of redress for the 250 families who lost dear ones in the serial blasts and aim to send the message that the Indian system delivers justice for all crimes, especially mass crimes of unspeakable brutality. But the bomb blasts of March 12, 1993 were only the external symptoms of a cancer that had gnawed away at Mumbai's vital organs with the abject failure of the state machinery to protect the city's Muslim population during the horrendous communal riots of December 1992 and January 1993. More than three times as many Mumbaikars were killed in the riots that preceded the bomb blasts but the lack of action against the perpetrators of the riots ? who are named in the Srikrishna report ? is clear evidence of the operation of a double standard of justice, one for the majority community and the other for the minorities. India and it systems of democracy, executive, judiciary and legislature, need to reflect.
The bomb terror of March 12, 1993 must be recalled with the same horror as the mob terror of December 6, 1992, in Ayodhya, resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives all over the country. The causes of the blasts, too, must be revived in public memory. As the Srikrishna report observed: "The serial bomb blasts were a reaction to the totality of events at Ayodhya and Bombay in December 1992 and January
1993? The common link between the riots and the blasts was that of cause and effect."
Information obtained under the Right to Information Act makes it clear that successive state governments, no matter what their political persuasion, have decided to shield the guilty. The motivations of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena parties in refusing to implement the recommendations of the Srikrishna Commission are obvious: among the individuals named in the report are several of their leaders and cadres, including Bal Thackeray, Manohar Joshi, Gopinath Munde and Madhukar Sarpotdar. What is more shocking is the role of the so-called secular parties. Though the manifestos of both the Congress Party and the Nationalist Congress Party in 1999 and 2004 promised to implement the recommendations of the report, these promises remain unfulfilled.
The report also lays bare the biased role played by 31 police officers, including RD Tyagi, who as then joint commissioner, shot dead nine persons at the Suleiman Usman Bakery labelling them "Kashmiri terrorists". Another senior police officer, NK Kapse was promoted after a departmental inquiry exonerated him of any guilt in shooting down seven persons at the Hari Masjid located at Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Marg. Save one policeman who was dismissed from service, all others have escaped lightly despite being found guilty of complicity in acts of murder and arson.
The RTI findings also demonstrate a complete absence of vigour in pursuing riot-related cases through the judicial system. Cases have been closed in a seemingly arbitrary fashion and appeals have not been filed against acquittals in the lower courts. If a genuine peace is to return to Mumbai, there must be justice. Continued injustices cause schisms to widen, wounds to fester. Justice can only be truly served by implementing the recommendations of the Srikrishna Commission report. We urge the state government to do so immediately. It must devote as much energy and resources to obtaining justice for the victims of the Mumbai riots as it mustered up for the victims of the Mumbai bomb blasts. We also believe that the process must be visible and transparent. Only then will the deep wounds caused by the targeted violence of 1992-1993 heal, bringing enduring peace.
Public Release of the Statement/Signature Campaign at Indian Merchants Chamber, Churchgate August 9, 2007; 5.30 p.m. Contact: Justice For All Campaign, Telephone: 022-26602288/26603927 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To sign the petition, visit http://www.PetitionOnline.com/jus4all/petition.html