We are shocked at yesterday’s incidents in the old city and we strongly condemn the violence perpetrated by miscreants during yesterday’s protest rally. Attacking and burning of vehicles, police personnel and the only women police station in the old city is highly condemnable and unaccepted behaviour. While every citizen has a right to protest peacefully indulging in violence is a criminal act and it only helps the divisive forces.
The Muslim community has struggled for ten years peacefully against the atrocities which were perpetrated against them in 2002 and it is an insult to the peaceful struggle of the of the ordinary people who have fought within the norms of the law and Indian constitution without ever resorting to violence.
Coming on the next day of Gandhi Jayanti, when everyone is celebrating Mahatma’s message of non-violence, it could have been done by only those who do not believe in the teachings of the Mahatma.
While there have been protests across the globe against the film in question, they all happened earlier in the year, when a 15 minute clip was released on you tube in June 2012 made by amateurs in 5 days in a studio in California.
Senior members of various sects from the Muslim community had appealed against the bandh and procession. The community does not have a history of defying the appeals from senior religious leaders.
It is very clear that the protest yesterday was instigated by certain people with vested interests, with the help of certain miscreant elements from the Muslim community, who have been wooed over the past year.
We have a hunch that with elections already announced and no other way of creating trouble probably this is a route which has been taken by those who want to polarise the voters.
We demand a magisterial enquiry into the whole incident and a stern action against those who participated in the violence and all those who are responsible for it .
Common people everywhere in Gujarat want peace and harmony and they dream of a society where interests of the marginalised are kept in mind as enshrined in the Indian constitution. We appeal to all communities across Gujarat to remain vigil against the vested interests so that similar situation is not created anywhere else in the coming months.
Released on behalf of:
Dev Desai- Anhad Yuva Manch
Fr. Cedric Prakash- Prashant
Gagan Sethi- Centre for Social Justice
Hanif Lakdawala- Sanchetna
Indu Kumar Jani –Naya Marg
Mallika Sarabhai- Darpana
Manan Trivedi -Anhad
Manisha Trivedi- Anhad Mahila Manch
Prakash N Shah- Nirikshak
Shabnam Hashmi - Anhad
Sheba George –SAHRWARU, NAWO
Zakia Soman –BMMA