Hyderabad: Protests in Andhra Pradesh against US President George W. Bush’s visit to India were intensified Wednesday, with communist parties and Muslim groups organising his mock funeral and an expo on "US terrorism".
Hundreds of workers of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) took out a mock funeral procession.
Shouting slogans like "Down with Bush" and "Bush warmonger go back", the activists carried an ‘arthi’ or effigy on their shoulders and later set it afire. Women were seen beating the effigy with slippers
The CPI-M and the Communist Party of India, along with other Left parties and their affiliated trade unions and bodies for youths, students and women also held a rally and set afire Bush’s effigy.
Bush is scheduled to visit the Andhra Pradesh capital Friday as part of his three-day visit to India.
The communists, who have already launched a signature campaign against Bush’s visit, also unveiled posters that depict the US president as a "warmonger". One of the posters showed Bush’s hands stained with blood.
In another protest, an expo titled "Silent Screams" also began here Wednesday. Organised by the Students Islamic Organisation (SIO), the students’ wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, the expo highlights what it describes as "US terrorism".
The expo has over 300 pictures depicting maimed men, women and children, and houses destroyed in US bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan, the abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay jails, 50 cartoons lampooning Bush and his war on terrorism, and quotes from Western analysts criticising Bush’s policies.
The two-day expo, inaugurated by Moulana Abdul Basit Anwar, chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami’s unit for Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, is drawing huge crowds of students and youths.
Visitors were also seen writing their impressions on huge banners and taking part in the signature campaign.
The expo, being held in an open ground in the heart of Hyderabad, begins with posters on the 9/11 attacks. Quoting analysts, the posters claim the attacks were part of a larger conspiracy by the Bush administration to launch a global war against Islamic countries, with Afghanistan becoming the first target.
The second section contains pictures of "US atrocities in Afghanistan" while the third deals with the US attack on Iraq to "captures oil reserves".
Two more sections deals with "atrocities on Iraqis" and human rights abuses at American jails in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. "Iran next?" asks a huge poster as one exits the expo, which also gives facts and figures about the killings in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"The person whom the Indian government has invited with dignity is a global terrorist," said SIO leader Tanveerul Haq.
Haq, however, clarified the protest was not aimed against the American people. "We are with the peace loving people of America and other countries who are opposing Bush’s inhuman foreign policy," he said.