Human Rights Law Network

Open Letter for specter of communalism in UP

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Dear friends,

As you know some of the lawyers from Delhi and UP as well as social activists from different parts of the country came together to file a petition in the Supreme Court putting on record the reports of ANHAD, PUDR, PUCL and other organizations and on the basis of the recommendations made in these reports certain reliefs were sought from the Supreme Court. The Court has issued notice and the matter is to be heard on 21.11.2013.  Please find attached copy of the said petition. Also find attached the order of the Supreme Court issuing notice in Writ Petition No.  W.P.(Crl.)181/2013

In the meanwhile the state of UP has filed several affidavits in the Supreme Court making out a pretence that the state is taking appropriate action in arresting persons and in providing relief and rehabilitation. All the information received indicates that this is not true and that the situation is as bad as before. Scanned copies of the replies filed by the state of UP are also attached herewith.

To conduct this case properly it is absolutely necessary that we counter the false promises made in the affidavits of the state of UP and not only reply on old fact-finding reports but keep up a steady stream of fact-finding initiative so that at any point of time the latest information is at our fingertips.

For example, we now have all the information regarding the names of the accused in the FIRs. We say that many of these accused persons have not been arrested or if they have been arrested, they have been granted bail. The affidavit of the state of UP gives details of hundreds of persons arrested. The question is, however, as to whether the persons named in the FIRs have been arrested or whether the arrests are related to chapter cases of persons arrested only under suspicion. Then again it seems that many of the persons arrested have been released on bail with the public prosecutors of the state of UP helping accused persons linked to political parties, getting bail.

It may be necessary to work out a plan of action collectively so that a steady stream of individuals including students visit the affected area and send in reports on a regular basis.

Information received indicate that the women who were subjected to sexual abuse and rape have become unwilling to speak out at all particularly after the way they were treated after they made certain complaints. We will need to think about and plan for proper investigation into such cases otherwise many of the complainants may not come forward at all.

The next issue is arising whether we should try and collectively set up a legal aid centre in Muzaffarnagar in collaboration with all fraternal organizations and prepare for the long haul over many years. This is because in our estimate very sustained legal aid work will be need to be done over many years and together with this legal work fact-findings, campaigns and other activities will be needed to be done.

Towards this end a small meeting is being organized tomorrow Friday 1st November 2013 at 5 p.m. at the office of the Human Rights Law Network, 576, Masjid Road, Jungpura, Near D.A.V. School, New Delhi 110014 to try and arrive at a tentative plan of action. Please do come and bring with you whatever latest information you have. It is imperative that a collective of likeminded persons and organizations come together in this endeavour as all of us individually have neither the resources nor the capacity to do anything alone. The specter of communalism in UP is overwhelming and we will need to band together if we are to have any effect in the state.


Warm regards

Himanshu Kumar, Shabnam Hashmi, Colin Gonsalves, Naushad  Khan, Akhlaq Ahmad, Tariq Adeeb

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