Justice for All Campaign
End Impunity, Ensure Accountability
End Impunity, Ensure Accountability
Several groups and individuals have come together from all over India and will be meeting at Allahabad on November 23-24 2013(Saturday-Sunday) to launch a visible public campaign for the immediate tabling of the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011in Parliament forthwith. Several Individuals and groups involved with humanrights issues among various communities will be spearheading the tabling of the Bill.
SAY NO to Violence, YES to Justice and Peace are the slogans of this campaign that will be launched at a national level Campaign this November.
- Expedite Tabling of Prevention of Communaland Targeted Violence Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill 2011
- Join the Campaign at Allahabad November23-24 2013
The arrangementsfor stay for all the outstation delegates have been made at the following places:
1.Sadhana Sadan(Opp. St. Josephs College) Tashkant Marg, opp. Company Babh, Allahabad.
2.G. B.Pant Institute for Social Sciences, Jhunsi, Allahabad.
3.Homes of Friends.
All outstation delegates may contact the camp office at Allahabad or local contacts whose phone numbers are given below. Please copy all email correspondence firstname.lastname@example.org
Venuefor the seminar: Jagat Taran College 32, Amarnath Jha Marg,George Town, Allahabad.
Venuefor public meeting: Prayag Sangeet Samiti 12C, Kamla NehruRoad, Civil lines, Allahabad.
Issued by Justice for All Campaign Ad Hoc Committee: Teesta Setalvad(Convenor), Dr Amarjit Singh Narang,
Irfan Engineer, Aslam Ghazi, MaulanaBurhanuddin Qasmi, Maulana Daryabadi, Dolphy D'Souza, Farid Shaikh,
HaroonMozawala, Javed Anand, Keval Ukey, Kaushik Sangahvi, Rahul Bose, Sumedh Jadhav,Yusuf Muchhala.
Peoples’Union For Civil Liberties(PUCL), Progressive Writer Association, Jan Sanskriti Manch, Institute for Social Democracy(ISD), Jagrit Samaj, Aazadi Bachao Andolan, Istri Mukti Sangathan, New Socialist Initiative, Shahri Garib Sangharsh Morcha, Human Rights Law Network, Josh and Firaq Literary Society,Sambhav.
Camp Office at ALLAHABAD: CareerCoaching,13, Kamla Nehru Road, Civil Lines, Allahabad.
Local Contact Persons:
Zafar Bakht(9839054009) e-mail : email@example.com
Prof. AliAhmad Fatimi (9415306239)
All India Contact : c/oSabrang, Nirant, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai 400049;
After the genocidal pogrom of Gujaratin 2002, UPA I in its Common Minimum Programme assured India’s minorities of a special law and well defined crimes to ensure that the perpetrators of mass andtargeted violence are punished and fair reparations are made mandatory. This promise has been kept in cold storage. The recent perpetrated violence in thefour districts of Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Shamli and Meerut demand that India’s political case are made to fulfill this long overdue promise. India’s National Advisory Council (NAC)drafted a bill in June 2011 aimed at tackling communal and targeted violence and delivering justice and compensation to victims. The proposed Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill 2011 brings in categories like sexual offences, hatepropaganda, dereliction of duty and culpability of officials within its ambit,widening the spectrum of crimes that constitute communal violence.
While the Bill seeks to prevent all forms of violence against all communities, the many incidents of violence targeting religious minorities in the past three decades – e.g., Nellie, Assam (1983),Delhi (1984), Kashmir (1989), Bhagalpur (1989), Mumbai (1992-93), Gujarat(2002) and Kandhamal, Orissa (2008) – as well as the failure of the police and justice systems to punish the guilty show the need for such a law to ensure accountability, due process, reparation, and protection of these peoples’ human rights. These constitutional guarantees have been repeatedly denied and it seems the state machinery is complicit inacts of communal violence, both by commission and omission.
The inaction on the proposed bill (almost 2 years since its drafting) would seem tosupport this allegation. Civil society groups in India are now campaigning for the NAC draft bill to be tabled andtaken up in Parliament.
To strategise how to ensure and expedite thetabling of the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill 2011 in the Parliament a National Campaign meet has been planned at Allahabad on November 23-24, 2013. We request you to attend and make this campaign successful.
There is a history of targetedviolence in India in the past three decades.To name a few: Nellie, Assam(1983), Delhi (1984), Kashmir (1989),Bhagalpur (1989), Mumbai (1992-93), Gujarat (2002) and Kandhamal, Orissa(2008) . The attacks were made onIndia's religious minorities: Muslims,Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs, Christians.Tamilians in Karnataka and Biharis in Maharashtra are examples oflinguistic minorities who have suffered. Dalits and Adivasis too are frequentvictims. The Khairlanjee massacre of Dalits in 2006 or the Ramabai Nagar police firing in 1998, both in Maharashtra,are cases in point.
The attacks are also allegedly state-sponsored and state-condoned. Moreover, when it comes to following the Rule of Law and ensuring accountability and due process afterbouts of such targeted violence, the local administration and the police have been found tardy and wanting, failing to deliver justice and punish theguilty. Local sources opine thatsuccessive governments have been guilty of serious crimes of omission and commission.
Apparently there is what they call an “institutionalized riot system”. The November 1984 massacre of Sikhs provides agood illustration. Victims were unableto get the local police to protect the lives of their family members orproperty. They were unable to file aproper complaint in the police station.Senior police officers, bureaucrats and ministers, who got reports fromall across the city, state and country, did not act immediately to ensure thetargeted minorities were protected.Incendiary language against the victims was freely used. Women who were raped or sexually assaultedgot no sympathy or assistance. When theriot victims formed makeshift relief camps, the authorities harassed them andtried to make them leave. The victimshad to struggle for years before the authorities finally provided some compensation for the death, injury and destruction they suffered. As for the perpetrators of the violence, they got away since the police and the government did not gather evidence, conductedno investigation and appointed biased prosecutors, thereby sabotaging thechances of conviction and punishment.
On a smaller scale, all victims of organized,targeted violence — be they Tamils in Karnataka or Hindi speakers in Maharashtra or Dalits in Haryana and other parts of the country — know fromexperience and instinct that they cannot automatically count on the localpolice coming to their help should they be attacked. Overfifteen years ago, a serving, senior police officer made a stunning statement:“No riot can last for more than 24 hours unless the state wants it tocontinue”. T his statement has since been endorsed by a number of seniorpolicemen and political leaders.
What this means is simple. Ifthe police and administration were to be held directly responsible for thefailure to impartially enforce the Rule of Law, perpetrators of recurringviolence would be halted in their tracks.If the law could give fair reparation commensurate to the loss and to becompulsorily paid within a time-frame, the future would not benefit rioters. Ifsenior officers were held responsible for dereliction of duty they would ensureaccountability from themselves and the men and women they command.
The proposedPrevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Accessto Justice and Reparations) Bill 2011 (PCTV) isa first step towards addressing these incidents of targeted violence, a modestcontribution towards ensuring that India's citizens enjoy the protection of thestate regardless of their religion, language or caste. It was framedby the National Advisory Council (NAC) and released in June 2011. Sources also feedback that it is a hugeimprovement over a bill originally drawn up by the United Progressive Alliancegovernment in 2005.
The PCTV bill sets out to protect religious andlinguistic minorities in any state in India, as well as the Scheduled Castesand the Scheduled Tribes, from targeted violence, including organizedviolence. Apart from including the usualIndian Penal Code (IPC) offences, the NAC draft modernizes the definition ofsexual assault to cover crimes other than rape and elaborates on the crime ofhate propaganda already covered by Section 153A of the IPC. It also broadens the definition ofdereliction of duty — which is already a crime — and, for the first time inIndia, adds offences by public servants or other superiors for breach ofcommand responsibility.
Another important feature is the dilution of thestandard requirement that officials can only be prosecuted with the priorsanction of the government. The PCTV billsays no sanction will be required to prosecute officials charged with offenceswhich broadly fall under the category of dereliction of duty.
Likewise, the Bill fills the lacuna of compensation for thoseaffected by communal and targeted violence.Today, the relief that victims get is decided by the government on an adhoc and sometimes discriminatory basis.Sections 90 and 102 of the PCTV bill rectify this by prescribing an equalentitlement to relief, reparation, restitution and compensation for all personswho suffer physical, mental, psychological or monetary harm as a result of theviolence, regardless of whether they belong to a minority group or not.
The PCTV bill also envisages the creation of a NationalAuthority for Communal Harmony, Justice and Reparation. The authority's role will be to serve as acatalyst for implementation of the new law.
Citizensof India and human rights groups battling communalism have had a major role indebating and highlighting the need for this Bill. Today we need to cometogether to ensure that these collective efforts are not in vain, that the Billis tabled before Parliament. Those opposing the Bill are those responsible forcommunalizing the public sphere and fomenting communal violence. Given thefierce opposition to such a Bill, it became imperative that it be brought backinto the focus. We need to take up the challenge and launch a nationwidecampaign, at regional and national levels.The campaign now aims at focusing on the need to get the broad parametres contained in the NAC draft bill, re-worked into a government Bill and tabled in the Rajya Sabha.
SAY NO to Violence, YES to Justice and Peace
'Nirant', Juhu Tara Road,
Juhu, Mumbai - 400 049