18 nov 2011
Condemnation of Targeted Attacks on Members of One Community
Demand for Action- Constitution of Magisterial Enquiry to Expose Conspiracy
We the undersigned representatives of Civil Society are deeply concerned and disturbed by the spate of targeted attacks on members of a particular community during the past fortnight in different parts of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. What is alarming is that most of these attacks have taken place in localities without any history of communal tensions and conflicts. No one could have imagined that any such incidences could take place in places like Balanagar, Bowenpally, Chickadpally, Kachiguda, Malkajgiri and others. The fact of such attacks in these localities point to a very well thought out strategy to not only foment communal disturbances in the city but also to expand the poison of communal tensions to a much larger area.
People living in communally sensitive areas are already becoming apprehensive about the possibility of communal trouble and rumours are rife that 400 to 500 people have arrived in Hyderabad to start riots. History has shown that creation of such an atmosphere of insecurity, distrust and apprehension of trouble more often than not leads to riots and the conspirators behind this recent spate of attacks must also be aiming to foment trouble by creating the required atmosphere. It is also seen that even after the arrest of 6 persons of Hindu Vahini alleged to be behind some of the attacks, the instances of attacks continue pointing to the existence of more gangs and a deeper and well thought out conspiracy. If the authorities do not unravel the conspiracy and expose the conspiring forces, the city may soon witness another bout of riots causing irreparable damages to the poor and suffering to all citizens.
We had seen riots in Hyderabad in March- April 2010 and it is clear now that those were engineered to divert the attention from the Telangana movement and the conspirators at that time were successful in achieving their objective. Unfortunately, the authorities had totally failed in catching the culprits or exposing and punishing the conspirators. It is also possible that the present occurrence of attacks could be to once again to divert attention from crucial issues like the Telangana Movement, corruption or as a preparation for creating vote bank for the next elections in the State that could be in 2014 or even earlier.
If the conspiracy is not unraveled immediately and all those responsible, however high and mighty, are not exposed and prosecuted with utmost speed, such incidences could well become a trend in future to divert attention from contentious issues or divide society for petty electoral gains. This would cause irreversible loss to the secular fabric and peaceful atmosphere in society and inflict incalculable loss on the economy and greatly stunt the growth of the country.
We appeal to all citizens not to fall a prey to these provocations by some intriguing, communally minded persons, maintain calm and peace locally and make all efforts and assist the authorities to detect the conspirators and share information with them, and pressurize the authorities to bring the culprits to book.
Hence we demand:
1. Those behind the attacks should be apprehended without any delay and booked under sections 307, 153 –A and 120-B and under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002.
2. Special investigation teams should be constituted to unravel the conspiracy and fast track courts should be formed to unsure speedy trail and prosecution.
3. Sketches of suspects should be prepared with the help of the victims and should be publicized though media and posters to apprehend the culprits.
4. It has come to our notice that innocent youth are being picked up again without proper evidence to suspect them. Police should use proper scientific methods to apprehend the guilty and not harass the innocent that seems to be happening more as a rule than an exception. Departmental enquiries against the concerned officials should be instituted for not following proper procedures in arrests and investigations.
5. Cash awards for any information leading to the arrest of culprits and the conspirators must be announced.
6. Cost of all the treatment of the victims should be borne by the government and they should be given a compensation of at least 2 lakhs each.
7. Special police pickets should be posted in all the sensitive areas and police patrolling, especially at night, should be intensified to instill confidence amongst the people.
8. We appeal to all citizens to form vigil groups in their areas to deter targeted attacks and dispel feelings of distrust and insecurity amongst the people.
9. While recognizing and honouring the unalienable principal of the freedom of the media, we appeal to the media to also use extreme care and caution while carrying any news items or reports to ensure that sentiments of the people are not inflamed and an atmosphere of peace and harmony is created and maintained.
Dr. Manatosh Mandal,
Hum Sub Hindustani Trust
Madina Education Centre
Nanak Singh Nishter,
International Sikh Center for Interfaith Relations
General Secretary, Sarvodaya Mandal, Andhra Pradesh
Joint Action for Water
Bharat Ekta Manch
Prof. Rama Melkote
Inter Faith Forum
November 17, 2011