August 04, 2008

Statement by Concerned Citizens of Gujarat on "Bomb Blasts" (31st July 2008)

August 4, 2008


We, the Concerned Citizens (some of us representing groups / organizations / networks) condemn in no uncertain terms, the recent bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and Bangalore.

We do believe and reaffirm that violence and terror in any form have no place in a law-governed, justice-seeking and humane society and do not serve any real or imagined purpose.

We express our deep heart-felt sympathy and solidarity with all those killed or injured in these blasts. We condole with all our sisters and brothers who have lost their near and dear ones. May the departed souls rest in peace.

We pledge to do all we can, both as individuals and groups, to respond to the immediate needs of those affected; be it in ensuring that proper medical care is given; be it in the care of their children who have been orphaned or any other long term measures for their full and just rehabilitation.

We call upon the State and Central Government to provide just and adequate relief and compensation to all those who are affected and to ensure that this reaches the victims without any kind of discrimination and without any bureaucratic delays or hassles. We commit ourselves to render all assistance to them in securing all relief and compensation declared by the Government.

We earnestly appeal to all those involved in this violence or any other acts of violence to stop this madness immediately. Let them realize that all of us irrespective of our caste, creed or language are capable of joint struggle for just, equal and better society and none of these violent or terrorist acts will deter us or deflect us from our path of seeking justice by all democratic ways. We are fully aware that there are several issues which need to be resolved, that there are flagrant violations of human rights and there are gross abuses of law and denial of justice, but people’s democratic struggle is the answer, not violence or senseless terrorism.

We strongly oppose and condemn all mischievous attempts by vested interests and government authorities to communalize the whole issue, to target and to terrorize one community and to frighten another community with a feeling of insecurity. We are deeply distressed and anguished by the widespread harassment and illegal detention of the members of one community only, in order to cover up the police and intelligence failures in detecting and preventing the terrorist acts. This is nothing but the denial and violence of the basic human rights guaranteed by our Constitution and assured by the International law of Human Rights. State terrorism is no answer to private terrorism. We promise all innocent people who are sought to be harassed or detained by the police that their human rights will be protected.

We have no doubt that the series of blasts in Ahmedabad in a well-orchested manner demonstrate the total failure of our intelligence system which is unfortunately politicized to serve the interests of the ruling party. We fail to understand as to how the anti-terrorist squad, much boasted about can collect every small piece of information of conspiracy to kill our Chief Minister (C.M) and other dignitaries but is stunned and did not have any information about a well and executed series of bomb blasts in different parts of the city at regular intervals of 10 to 15 minutes. The people would like to ask as to how the other C.M (viz. Common Man) failed to get the same assistance from our Intelligence Bureau. Is it that only the Chief Minister’s life is valuable, but not the life of a Common Man?

We also believe that the demand for POTA or Gujarat Act is only a political demand to mislead the people. Those leaders conveniently forget that almost all stringent and draconian provisions of the POTA except provision regarding confession before the police and bails are reproduced in the Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act under which the police, if willing, can effectively act. These leaders also forget that terrorist attacks on the Parliament and Akshardham in Gandhinagar and Gujarat Carnage of 2002 took place when POTA was very much there. Will they explain why they could not prevent them, even though they were in power both in the State and in the Centre?

We call upon the State Government to immediately constitute a Judicial Commission under the Chairmanship of a Sitting Supreme Court Judge to investigate into the why, what and how of these organized terrorist acts of bomb blasts in Ahmedabad. It is necessary for the people to know the whole truth and nothing but the truth, however unpalatable it might turn out to be. We strongly condemn all direct and subtle attempts on the part of certain vested interests to make one or the other community appears to be guilty or blameworthy, instead of establishing the truth by independent and impartial enquiry and investigation agency.

These bomb blasts indiscriminately killing or maiming common people of large parts of the city open up a great opportunity for all of us constituting the civil society to come together, forgetting our differences and our past and to challenge terrorism of all groups and of all kinds and fight together to save our society, our nation and our humanity. Only people living and walking in harmony can alone defeat terrorism from all sides. Let us stand one and united and challenge all divisive forces out to destroy our rich national heritage of pluralism and diversity.

Signed Ahmedabad 30th July, 2008

Girish Patel
Hiren Gandhi
Sophia Khan
Saroop Dhruv
Justice A.P. Ravani
Cedric Prakash
Hanif Lakdawala
Francis Parmar
Prof. J. Bandukwala
Rakesh Sharma
Prof. Nisar Ansari
Piyush O. Desai
P.K. Valera
Mukul Sinha
Ashok Vaghela
Sheeba George
Pushpa Iyer
Damayanti S. Parekh
Digant Oza
Nafisa Barot
Gautam Thaker
Shamshad Pathan
Savita Xalvo
Edwin Masihi
Gaurang Raval
Manisha Trivedi
Rohit Patel
Rupa Mody
Amrish N. Patel
Indu Kumar Jani
Abid Shamsi
Jwalant Mehta
Neha Khanna
Shabnam Hashmi
A.U. Thomar
Lona Pinto
Altaf Ghognani
Macwan Alpana A
Amrutbhai Parmar
Mahadev Vidrohi
Anita M. Namha
Mahendra Patel
Aubrey Fernandes
Mahendra Solanki
Beena Macwan
Mandakini Dave
Bhavik Raja
Manjula Vaghela
D. Ramakrishnan
Danabhai Parmar
Mohd. Sharif
E. Shailaja
Niyyati Sinha
Fr. Juze Vaz svd
Orville Jacob
Farzana S. Shaikh
Kiran Desai
Freeda Coelho
H.P. Mistry
Piyush Ratnakar
Hardik Trivedi
R. Vasantha
S.H. Iyer
Ibrahim Shaikh
Sachin Pandya
Iqbal Baiey
Satishbhai Parmar
Iqbal Mirza
Shaikh Kausar N
Joseph Dominic
Simon Parmar
Javed Ameer
Sr. Edith Gonsalves
Jayesh Patel
Victor D. Christian
John D'souza
Vinay Makhija
Waqar Qazi
Kamlesh Christian
Abha S
Keshave Kutir
Abheda Khan
Khairun nisha
Abid Ahi Khokhra
Khambaliya Shailesh J.
Aditya Bharadwaj
Ansari Juned
Ashutosh B
Baldev Thakar
Beena Jadhav
Bhanu Limba
Bharanisht R. Lamba
Bhatt P. Nauluked
Bipin B. Pasa
Bipin G. Desai
Chandu Maheshwar
Chauhan Govind
Deepak Solanki
Dionisio Delgado
Durlabha Goria
Gaurav Sharma
Govind M. Parmar
Harsha Bhatt
Hasmukh A. Patel
I.A. Prajapati
Jignesh Bhavsar
Jitendra Sinh Sagar
Joshi Divyesh
K.N. Shaikh
Kasmira A.P
Kursida Banu
Lalit Parmar
Lokesh K
M.A. Chhipa
Macwan Steller J
Mahida Mahesh I
Mahida Anand
Manoj Sharma
Meenakshi Joshi
Mehul Sinha
Memon Moh. Yusuf A
Memon Aarif
Mukund Desai
Munna D. Sumra
Musabhi Abdulbhai
N.V. Yogi
Parveen Mansuri
Patel Rajendra
Patelia Sachin W
Pathan Imran Khan
Piyush Thomar
Prakash Bhatt
Pravin Mishra
Pravin V. Soya
R.M. Shaikh
Rajiv Desai
Raman Rathod
Ramesh Sivahavi
Rathod Bhavna
Romel Kamil
Saiyed Gulzu
Salma Halel
Sandip N. Patel
Santosh S
Shaikh Saheen
Shaikh Zohra
Shakil Ahmed
Sheikh Hallikbhai
Siraj Sundar R. Vogava
Sunil C. Ray
T.L. Parmar
Usma H. Qurayshi
V.D. Pandey
Vinod Veronica D'souza
Yashoda Koria