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Punish those shown guilty on Tehelka tapes: Indian groups in US

By Dharam Shourie in New York
October 27, 2007 10:32 IST
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Reacting to the Tehelka sting operation on the 2002 Gujarat riots, a coalition of Indian-American organisations, the Indian National Overseas Congress and the Indian Muslim Council-USA have demanded action against the people who admitted on tape to participating in the post-Godhra massacre.

The Coalition against Genocide, comprising several Indian-American organisations which had successfully agitated against granting US visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi after the 2002 riots, urged the government in New Delhi to take immediate steps to arrest those who are seen "proudly admitting on camera to these crimes against humanity".

In a statement, CAG expressed outrage at the 'impunity with which Narendra Modi and his cronies have been operating.' "In spite of the well-documented reports of the international human rights groups, the perpetrators of these heinous crimes have not been punished," it said.

"We urge the Indian diaspora in the US to unite against the supporters of Modi and the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh. They have been infiltrating institutions run by the Indian diaspora as well as gaining and buying influence in the political, media, educational and economic spheres of the US. The Indian diaspora should unite against the fund-raising campaigns in the US by visiting Hindutva leaders," it added.

In a separate statement, Indian National Overseas Congress President Surinder Malhotra expressed his "dismay and shock at the arrogant admission of murder and mayhem from the perpetrators themselves which confirms the complicity of the chief minister, police officers and other high officials in the state government".

Malhotra demanded that the people responsible for these crimes be brought to justice.

INOC General Secretary George Abraham asked the NRI community to disassociate itself from the 'Moditva ideology which is anti-democratic and anti-secular'.

"It promotes communal venom of hatred and disharmony here and in India," he said, adding it is high time that the NRI community realise "India's secular and democratic framework is under increasing threat from radicals and fanatics at home and abroad".

The Indian Muslim Council-USA has demanded the "immediate dismissal of the Gujarat government and imposition of President's rule in view of the incriminating evidence recorded from the perpetrators of the ghastly crimes during the 2002 pogrammes".

The Council said that soon after the riots, several independent reports by groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International had concluded that responsibility rested on the administration of the state.

"With the expose detailing the connivance of the state machinery and subversion by the police forces and judiciary, IMC-USA President Rasheed Ahmed said it is next to impossible to expect that justice will be done under the current government.

He demanded the constitution of a special fast track court outside Gujarat to speedily prosecute and serve justice to victims. "It is not fitting for the largest democracy to have murderers, rapists and arsonists strutting around with impunity and gloating over their horrific deeds," he said.

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Dharam Shourie in New York