People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 47

November 20, 2011

AIDWA Organises Convention

Against Communal Conflict


IN view of the increasing incidents of communal conflict in different states, the All India Democratic Women’s Association has organised a “Convention against Communal Conflict” on November 16, 2011 at the Deputy Speaker’s Hall, Constitution Club, New Delhi. It was attended by Shweta Bhatt, wife of the police officer Sanjeev Bhatt who has been persecuted by the Modi government. Among those who attended were victims of communal violence, police attacks and atrocities from Gopalgarh (Rajasthan), Rudrapur (Uttarakhand), Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh) and Forbesganj (Bihar) amongst other states. The convention adopted a resolution.

A delegation comprising Brinda Karat, AIDWA patron, Sudha Sundararaman, general secretary, Subhashini Ali, vice-president, Sehba Farooqui, joint secretary and state leaders of AIDWA submitted a memorandum on these issues to R K Singh, home secretary, government of India on the same day. It said, “We are aware of the constitutional position regarding the federal structure. However it is essential for the centre to intervene in the relevant states within the constitutional framework to ensure justice to the victims.”  The memorandum sought intervention in the following cases:


·        Gujarat: In spite of Supreme Court directions for witness protection, the situation for witnesses in the state in the ongoing cases of communal genocide naming important political leaders, is critical. Only recently, six witnesses have appealed for protection in the special court. In Sanjeev Bhatt’s case also the protection is extremely inadequate. A nodal officer must be appointed and a group of senior personnel deputed for this job.


·        Bihar:  Four people including one woman and one infant were killed in the police firing but compensation has been paid only to the family of the infant.  No action has been taken against any of the police personnel involved.  The judicial enquiry that was announced many months ago has only been advertised in the papers two days ago.


·        Uttar Pradesh:  A 14 year old boy succumbed to his injuries from police bullets on October 19 but no cognizance of this has been taken.   Two more adolescent boys have also been similarly injured but there has been no intervention by the state government.  Additionally, nearly a dozen minor boys have been arrested in connection with the incidents of July 6.  Despite the fact that their school certificates have been produced before the court, neither the administration nor the courts have accepted these.  These children are not being tried in the juvenile court or being kept in the juvenile home as is required by law but are locked up in jail.


·        Rajasthan:  There has been some intervention by the state government.  However no action has been taken against the thana police. The CBI has started its enquiry.  Family members of the victims feel a bias in their questioning. Assurances which had been given by the government are yet to be implemented.


·        Uttarakhand: Some compensation to the families of those killed has been paid.  No action has been taken against the concerned police personnel.


These incidents show only too clearly that, most unfortunately, not only lower ranking police personnel but senior officers display a pronounced anti-minority bias.  This is certainly an area that needs your urgent attention.



This AIDWA Convention against Communal Conflict expresses deep concern about the number of incidents in several states where citizens of India belonging to the minority Muslim community have been targets of violence, primarily by forces of the State. It expresses its strong solidarity with the families of the victims, and especially, the mothers, sisters, wives who bear the heavy burden of loss of their innocent loved ones.


These incidents include:


·        The police firing in Bharatpur district, Rajasthan where ten members of the minority community were shot dead by the police, many of them inside the Masjid where they had  taken shelter.  This was the result of a long-pending dispute on the  issue of ownership of a graveyard which the administration had allowed to fester, encouraging communal elements;

·        The police firing on villagers in Arraria district, Bihar who were protesting the forcible takeover of their land by a powerful local politician belonging to the ruling JD-U/BJP alliance.  Four Muslims, including a woman and her baby, were killed and a policeman performed the barbaric act of jumping on the dead body of a young man killed in the firing;

·        The police firing on Muslim protesters in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand and the razing of minority-owned shops and property by communal fanatics;

·        The police firing in Moradabad, UP killing a young man and then arresting several minor Muslim boys.


In all these incidents many innocent people were injured and property of the minority community destroyed.


This convention strongly condemns the communal bias of the police and administrations reflected in all these incidents.


This convention also condemns the refusal of state governments involved to take strong action against the officers responsible. Particularly in the case of Rajasthan, the Gehlot government did everything to protect the officers involved. Similarly, the Nitish Kumar government refused to take prompt action against those responsible for the barbaric firing and no compensation has been paid to the families of those killed.   This convention demands justice for the victims. It demands exemplary punishment against the police officials responsible and full compensation to the victims.


This convention expresses its strong protest against the actions of the Gujarat government in threatening and intimidating those, including senior officers, who dare to expose the role of the chief minister and his government in the Gujarat genocide. Almost ten years after the genocide, a large number of victims are yet to get justice. Instead, activists fighting for peace and harmony are being targeted and harassed.


This convention demands justice for the Gujarat victims. It expresses its solidarity with those who are being threatened by the Modi government. It demands that the central government take action to protect witnesses who have given evidence against Modi and his government.


This convention demands a legislation against communal violence and for protection of secular principles and against attacks on minority rights.


This AIDWA convention pledges to uphold the principles and values of secularism. It pledges to defend the rights of minorities against attacks by communal forces including by administrations with a communal bias, regardless of the political party involved. It resolves to work for the unity of women and to mobilise women in the struggle against communal forces.