NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS
National Office : 6/6 Jangpura B, New Delhi – 110 014 . Phone : 011 2437 4535 | 9818905316
For Immediate Release
16th July, 2015
NAPM Condemns the Repeated Persecution of Teesta and Javed Anand
and the Abuse of Investigative Agencies by their Political Masters
Calls upon the Apex Court to direct CBI to investigate only as per law
Parliament must pass a Comprehensive Human Rights Defenders Act to safeguard the rights and interests of the HRDs from state and non-state actors
National Alliance of People’s Movements is outraged at the repeated persecution of peace activists Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand by the Government of India and Govt. of Gujarat, who, for more than two decades have been challenging the communal face of the State and its multiple fronts and in particular, after prolonged struggle, have been able to secure remarkable convictions against those involved in the inhuman Gujarat carnage in 2002. Their firm resolve to seek justice for the riot victims and stringent action against the culprits, despite the most severe odds has been acknowledged widely.
Their courageous work has won them many foes in the fundamentalist State-system, all of who are hell-bent to tarnish their image, weaken their morale, destroy the organizations they are associated with, implicate them in false cases, snatch their support-sources and deflect them from their spartan work, by entangling them in useless paper defence. Barely a few months after the Gujarat police landed at their doorsteps with arrest warrants, which could not be executed, only due to the Supreme Court’s intervention, turning down the need for “custodial interrogation” at that stage, the powers-that-be have now, through the Central Bureau of Investigation unleashed another round of vindictive raids at their office and residence. Notably, despite Teesta and Javed’s co-operation, Gujarat insisted on arresting them for interrogation in February last. Now, once again, ignoring their written assurances of full co-operation, CBI teams have conducted the sudden raids in a wholly unwarranted manner.
It is indeed a pity that acts of the premier investigative agency of this country, which is expected to be independent, are influenced in this way by the Government-in-power at the Centre. It is also a crass irony that law-abiding citizens in this country are tormented, even as all those who break the law, walk the corridors of power and abuse the process of law. It is no wonder that multi-million scamsters and perpetrators of gruesome mass murders as also those who loot and sell the natural resources of this country to profit-making corporates receive all the protection and privileges while those struggling to keep the Constitution alive are hounded by the State like witches. It is no hidden secret that the Prime Minister of the country has a direct say in the handling the matters pertaining to the Gujarat’s riots and his role continues to be under the scanner. With the Naroda Patiya appeal-hearings underway and Zakia Jafri Criminal Revision petition slated for final hearings on the 27th July, this action, just two weeks before that speaks a lot of the intent of the “investigators”.
In these trying times for democracy, NAPM joins hands with concerned citizens, civil liberties, human rights groups across the country and elsewhere in seeking an END to this oft-repeated saga of persecution of Teesta, Javed, Sabrang and CJP activists. If the lives of retired judges (such as Retd. Justice Jyotsna Yagnik) who directed convictions of culprits based on robust evidence is under threat, one shudders what would be fate of the activists!
It is high time that we all demand:-
1) The Parliament of India to enact a comprehensive legislation protecting the human rights defenders and whistle blowers, who are always at the receiving end for seeking execution of constitutional rights and demanding accountability from the State.
2) To keep CBI as an independent agency free from interference of all political powers.
Medha Patkar – Narmada Bachao Andolan and the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM); Prafulla Samantara – Lok Shakti Abhiyan & Lingraj Azad –Samajwadi Janparishad, NAPM, Odisha; Dr. Sunilam, Aradhna Bhargava – Kisan Sangharsh Samiti & Meera – Narmada Bachao Andolan, NAPM, MP; Suniti SR, Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagwe – NAPM, Maharashtra; Gabriele Dietrich, Geetha Ramakrishnan – Unorganised Sector Workers Federation, NAPM, TN; C R Neelkandan – NAPM Kerala; P Chennaiah & Ramakrishnan Raju – NAPM Andhra Pradesh, Arundhati Dhuru & Richa Singh –Sangtin Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan, NAPM, UP; Sister Celia – Domestic Workers Union & Rukmini V P, Garment Labour Union, NAPM, Karnataka; Vimal Bhai – Matu Jan sangathan & Jabar Singh, NAPM, Uttarakhand; Anand Mazgaonkar, Krishnakant – Paryavaran Suraksh Samiti, NAPM Gujarat; Kamayani Swami, Ashish Ranjan – Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan & Mahendra Yadav – Kosi Navnirman Manch, NAPM Bihar; Faisal Khan, Khudai Khidmatgar, NAPM Haryana; Kailash Meena, NAPM Rajasthan; Amitava Mitra & Sujato Bhadra, NAPM West Bengal; B S Rawat – Jan Sangharsh Vahini & Rajendra Ravi, Madhuresh Kumar and Kanika Sharma – NAPM, Delhi