UNI, Thursday , May 04, 2006 at 20:49
Washington: The Sangh Parivar and BJP-led governments have come under severe attack from a US commission, which said the Indian government should hold to account the perpetrators of the 2002 Gujarat riots to display the country's return to its tradition of religious tolerance.
Although positive developments affecting freedom of religion and belief have been witnessed in the country since the UPA government came to power, the US Congress-mandated commission said, "Concerns about religious freedom in India remain" despite the "improved situation".
Attacks on churches and individuals largely perpetrated by those associated with 'extremist Hindu nationalist groups continue to occur', it said, citing a mob attack on a Catholic school in Maharashtra and some other incidents in Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.
In its annual report, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom said violence against minorities continues to occur in the states where BJP heads the government and names these as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
The US should press India to make 'more vigorous and effective efforts to halt the violent attacks' against religious minorities that 'continue to occur with troubling regularity', it said in the report whose release coincided with violence in Vadodara which left six people dead.
It recommended that the government of India should 'hold state governments accountable' for the violence and other unlawful acts that occur in the states.
British Indian Muslims demand presidential rule in Gujarat
Council of Indian Muslims—UK (CIM) has urged Indian President Dr Abdul Kalam to dismiss the Government of the Chief Minister of Gujarat and impose presidential rule in the state.
In a letter to President Kalam, CIM’s Chairman Mr Munaf Zeena expressed, “deep sense of shock and alarm at the new wave of anti-Muslim violence in Vodora, Gujarat that has claimed the lives of six people, killed in the indiscriminate firing of Modi’s fascist police and one burnt alive by his gangsters.”
Deploring, “…the illegal and outrageous demolition of 300 years old historic shrine against which Muslims were made to protest,” Zeena said, “We in the CIM have a track record of condemning any sort of terrorism. We strongly believe that terrorism in any form whatsoever is a cancer that, if not controlled in time, infects the whole body. However, allowing BJP’s thugs to rule Gujarat, has been a grave mistake and the cancer is therefore penetrating the body bit by bit.
"It may sound not very diplomatic and rather blunt but the fact is that by tolerating Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat a devastating weapon has been provided to the anti-secular forces that have already made several attempts to push the country into a communal frenzy.”
“Therefore”, reads the letter, “CIM urges you to: 1) Immediately dissolve Modi’s government and declare presidential rule in Gujarat; 2) Punish those involved in bulldozing the historic shrine and firing at peaceful demonstrators; 2)Pay compensation to those who have lost their dear ones and have suffered physically and financially.”