January 15, 2014
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has condemned attempts by the Gujarat government to use the state security apparatus to harass and intimidate noted human rights activist Teesta Setalvad, and the organization she represents, Citizens for Justice and Peace.
Teesta Setalvad has been at the forefront in the struggle to secure justice for the victims of the 2002 Gujarat pogrom. The Gujarat police’s trumped-up charges of fraud against her, are indicative of the aggravation and fear among powerful elements within the Gujarat administration that stand to lose much if the truth about the Gujarat pogrom is established in a court of law. Clearly, the public officials and institutions that were complicit in the genocide, are lending themselves to the silencing of the voices of justice.
The fact that the administration is using law enforcement to intimidate human rights activists is in keeping with Mr. Narendra Modi’s track record. Whistleblowers such as IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, ex-DGP R. B. Sreekumar, and human rights activists such as Fr. Cedric Prakash, have all experienced harassment and intimidation at the hands of the Gujarat government under Mr. Modi. This should give every Indian pause to reflect on the implications of such an individual potentially occupying the highest executive office in the land.
“The cases against Ms. Setalvad are clear vendetta against her for her activism and struggle in the cause of justice,” said Mr. Ahsan Khan, President of IAMC. “This sets the stage for other public officials in positions of power to behave like tin pot dictators, exacting revenge from anyone who dares to hold them accountable,” added Mr. Khan.
IAMC has called on civil society institutions and people of conscience, to stand by the victims of the Gujarat pogrom of 2002, and those who are fighting to secure justice for them.
Indian-American Muslim Council (formerly Indian Muslim Council-USA) is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 15 chapters across the nation. For more information please visit our new website at: http://www.iamc.com
Statement from Citizens for Justice and Peace
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“The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India’s Future” Martha Nussbaun, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2009)
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