All India Secular Forum
Centre for Study for Society and Secularism [CSSS]
602/603, New Silver Apartment, 6th Floor, Prabhat Colony,
Santacruz [E], Mumbai – 400 0055. Tel. 26673571 / 3154
Re: Press Conference and Public Meet on 18th November 2011 at 3.00 p.m. at Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh on the Demand to Enact Law for Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2001
One of the promises of the UPA Government was enactment of a legislation to prevent communal violence. After much prodding from the victims of communal riots and human rights organizations, a draconian bill was proposed by the government. The bill seemed to empower the police and the state machinery with draconian powers as a remedy to "control" riots whereas the experience of the victims and human rights organizations was that the power invested in the police was either not used or was misused against the weaker sections, mainly the minorities and dalits. After the riots very negligible efforts were made to punish the guilty or to rehabilitate the victims of targeted violence.
After much efforts and engagements with the authorities by various human rights organizations, the National Advisory Council has proposed a bill entitled "Prevention Of Communal And Targeted Violence (Access to Justice And Reparations) Bill, 2011". The proposed Bill is not yet the best law we need and does have some issues, but we feel it is a step in the right direction. The Bill has been forwarded to the Government by the NAC but the Govt. has not taken any further steps.
All India Secular Forum and Action Aid are therefore organizing a Press Conference to demand that the Government take immediate steps to enact the "Prevention Of Communal And Targeted Violence (Access to Justice And Reparations) Bill, 2011" and place the legislation before the Parliamentary Standing Committee and enact the Bill in Winter Session after thorough and proper discussion in the Parliament.
The Press Conference will be addressed by:
1) Harsh Mander (Member, National Advisory Council)
2) Farah Naqvi (Member, National Advosory Council)
3) Justice H. Suresh (Retd. Bombay High Court Judge who was member of People's Tribunal that heard the victims of Gujarat Riots 2002, as Well as Mumbai riots in 1992-93)
4) Teesta Setalvad (Citizen for Justice and Peace, Mumbai and Padmashree Awardee)
5) Dr. Ram Puniyani (All India Secular Forum National Convening Committee Member )
6) Adv. Sanghraj Rupawate (Advocate, Bombay High Court)
Kindly attend the public meeting and the press conference to express your solidarity with the demand. We need your support to see the Bill through. Also the formation of National Alliance for Communal Harmony on the issue and its future programme will be announced at the meet.
With regards ,
Nirja Bhatnagar , Regional Manager Action Aid Irfan Engineer AISF National Conven.Com.Mem.