Thursday, June 30, 2011
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – http://www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has strongly condemned the harassment and intimidation of Human Rights Organization ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy) by the Gujarat Police.
ANHAD was established in 2003 in response to the Gujarat pogrom of 2002, in which over 2000 people were killed, over 150,000 rendered homeless, and hundreds of women raped and molested. ANHAD is a grassroots based organization, that advocates on behalf of some of the most vulnerable sections of society, including Dalits, Adivasis and minorities.
On June 28, 2011, police visited the ANHAD office and accused, without any basis, the organization of engaging in “anti-state and anti-government” activities. They also threatened the organization’s State Co-ordinator Manisha Trivedi with pressurizing the landlord and forcing ANHAD to vacate their office space.
“This kind of attack on civil society is a characteristic of totalitarian regimes in other parts of the world. It has no place in the world’s largest democracy, which has always prided itself on its robust public institutions”, said Shaheen Khateeb, President, IAMC. “This intimidation is unfortunately part of an alarming trend of harrassment of human rights defenders such as Teesta Setalvad, Binayak Sen and Fr. Cedric Prakash”, added Mr. Khateeb.
IPS Officer Sanjeev Bhatt, in his affidavit filed with the Supreme Court alleged Mr. Narendra Modi’s active connivance in the horrific violence against Muslims in 2002. The fact that the policemen who harrassed ANHAD staff, accused the organization of being “supporters of Sanjeev Bhatt who is against Modi”, clearly indicates the forces behind such intimidation.
IAMC calls upon the Gujarat state police to desist from such intimidation tactics, and calls upon the Home Ministry to investigate this incident in particular and prosecute such transgressions in general to the full extent of the law.
Indian American Muslim Council (formerly Indian Muslim Council-USA) is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 10 chapters across the nation. For more information please visit our new website at www.iamc.com
Police Comes Knocking To Intimidate Anhad
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