Press Statements

Prominent Civil Rights Activists condemn Mumbai violence

New Delhi (11 August 2012): The unfortunate acts of violence, arson and attacks on life and property of innocents and mediapersons in and around Mumbai's Azad Maidan after the protest demonstration against the violence in Assam and Burma needs to be deplored in strongest terms.

Already, civil rights activists are deeply concerned about the pathetic conditions of the victims of ethnic and communal violence in Assam and with the callous and indifferent attitude of the administration of the state of Assam. Some of the prominent activists had already visited the effected areas and had voiced their concern about the inhuman and pathetic conditions of the victims in different relief camps.

In a democracy, citizens enjoy a fundamental right to protest peacefully against the injustices, and support the victims of violence and hate crimes but violent protests damage the real issues and strengthen the forces working against the victims.

The acts of violence and arson by a fringe group of the demonstrators have damaged the cause of the Assam victims apart from exposing its nefarious designs to create communal divide, and law and order problem. This needs to be condemned in harshest terms.

We appeal to all right-minded people to maintain peace and defeat the designs of divisive mindset apart from condemning the forces of violence and hate, and demand the Maharashtra government to identify and take strongest possible measures against the culprits who have indulged in these provocative acts.

Navaid Hamid, Member, National Integration Council
Shabnam Hashmi, Trustee, ANHAD
Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan, Editor, The Milli Gazette, New Delhi

Statement - II

Condemnation of Attack on Media in Mumbai

11 August 2012: We strongly and unequivocally condemn the attack on media in Mumbai by a section of people gathered at the Azad maidan to protest the violence in Assam and Burma. Using violence in a protest against violence is an insult to the suffering victims in whose support the protest was purportedly organised.

There are many non violent and democratic ways to communicate and protest any grievances, including against the media.  This mindless and shameful action by a few misguided individuals discredits protest and becomes a disservice to a cause.

We offer our solidarity with media; sympathy with all those injured and wish for their quick recovery. We urge the government to take immediate and exemplary action against the guilty. We also appeal to all citizens not to get swayed by this isolated and dastardly incidence and allow the situation to become a cause of conflict.  Any communalisation of the situation will be harmful for everyone and totally against the interests of the nation.

Lalita Ramdas, Ali Baug
Mazher Hussain, Hyderabad
Admiral L. Ramdas, Ali Baug
Mahesh Bhatt, Mumbai
Ram Punyani, Mumbai
Kamla Bhasin,- Delhi
Sandeep Pandey, Lucknow
Jatin Desai, Mumbai

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