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
Justice A.P. Ravani
Prof. J. Bandukwala
Prof. Nisar Ansari
Piyush O. Desai
Damayanti S. Parekh
Amrish N. Patel
Indu Kumar Jani
(and about 200 others)