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Vododara Mayor Solanki Must Resign

SOCIALIST UNITY CENTRE OF INDIA
GUJARAT STATE ORGANISING COMMITTEE
206/1 PATEL VAS , MADAL PUR, AHMEDABAD-380006
Ph.No. 079-26579962  [email protected]

MEMORANDUM
COMMUNAL VIOLENCE IN BARODA
SUBJECT- COMMUNAL VIOLENCE IN BARODA


To,
1-Shri Manmohan Singh,
The Prime Minister of India.
New Delhi
Fax No: (011) 23016857, 23019545

2-Shri Shivraj Patil,
Union Home Minister,
The Government of India.
New Delhi
Fax No : (011) 23093750, 23092763

3-Justice S. Anand,
Chairman,
National Human Rights' Commission.
New Delhi.

4-Shri Naval Kishore Sharma,
The Governor of Gujarat.
Gandhinagar.
Fax No : (079)23224268

5-The Chairman,
National Commission of Minorities.
New Delhi.
Fax No: (011)24693302

Sir,
The Socialist Unity Centre of India (S.U.C.I.) Gujarat State Organising Committee is drawing your attention to the recent   communal
violence in Baroda.
On the day of 1st. May the International working class Day as well as the 47th. Foundation day of
Gujarat "The Maha Gujarat day" communal violence erupted in Baroda walled city area. So far, six people are dead and more than 100 people are injured.  The consecutive   curfews in three PS areas out of six PS areas could not curb the riot. On 2nd of May man was burnt to death in his car. The repeated S.O.S. to Police Head Quarter went without any response. This itself reflect the law and order situation and  the indifferent attitude of the Police and the administration.

The Chief Minister of Gujarat made a token visit to the city after 48 hours of the riot. Of course, the Union Minister of State for Home Shri Prakash Jaiswal made a quick visit to the city on 2nd of May. The deployment of military is an appropriate step by the Central Government. However, the security is not handed over to military. The known lack of political will of Gujarat Government headed by Narendra Modi to tackle the riot as per the previous records cannot be just  be ignored. The dubious role of Mr. Modi and his lip service to law and order  is a open truth.
The demolition drive, by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation(VMC), of the Dargah of Fatehpura  which is believed to be two hundred
years old could have been handled by taking the minority community into confidence. From the media report, it is known that the minority community was ready to comply with the situation. Before the negotiation became fruitful, the dargah was razed and fresh road was made over the dargah in presence of heavy Police Bandobast, senior BJP leader Mr. Nalin Bhatt along with the BJP corporators to ensure the razing of the Dargah.
As per the report in Times of India dated 2/5/06:

Why did Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) demolish the mazaar of Chishti Rashid-ud-Din while still in consultation with Muslim community leaders for a compromise? Community leaders are feeling betrayed by officials in the entire incident. "Municipal commissioner RK Pathak had himself visited that site on Saturday and suggested cutting it by 2.5 feet so that it did not
obstruct traffic around Champaner Darwaja," said prominent advocate Moin Rafai, one of the minority leaders negotiating for a
compromise.

The leaders say that they had received the VMC notice three days ago and immediately approached Mayor Sunil Solanki and Pathak. Given that Mandvi is a communally sensitive area with a history of violence, Pathak had visited the mazaar and suggested the compromise.
Local leaders had then convinced residents for the compromise solution. "We took religious opinion of Kamal-ud-Din Bawa, who saw
nothing wrong in slicing off a part of the mazaar according to Islamic law," Rafai adds. "But then by Sunday morning, we found out that the VMC was planning to demolish the entire mazaar." The community went back to Pathak and Solanki on Monday morning, but by this time, the mood had changed.

"The municipal Corporators, most of them from the BJP, told us that if they could demolish temples, there should be no objection to removing a mazaar," added Yunus Pathan, another community leader. "We disagree with this logic as the Muslim community never asked for temples to be demolished. We told the officials to handle the situation sensitively, but the next thing we know, the officials started the demolition." To allegations that the negotiations were mere delaying tactics by the community, the leaders say they had even roped in structural
engineers and architects for the job.

Pathak says the Muslim leaders had approached him three days back with their proposal. "I had not promised anything," he said. "If I agree to only a partial demolition, it would have set a false precedent."

 The armed police resorted to indiscriminate firing, killing and injuring the people and there by ignited the communal fire, giving
free hand to the communal elements to escalate the violence and communal passion.  The Gujarat Govt., its administration and the police cannot shut their eyes to the bare fact that the Gujarat state is sitting on a tinderbox since the last carnage2002. The confidence building measures of the minorities is yet to be started. Rather a situation of
provocation is deliberately built-up to incite the minorities in different ways and keep the flame of communal fire burning. Peace
and amity has never been given a chance. It is highly deplorable that the Govt. and its administrative machineries have never cared for the law and order situation, administrative neutrality and restoration of peace. Different ways and means are maneuvered to keep the frenzied atmosphere alive. The administrative neutrality in Gujarat is a far cry. Ironically, the Baroda riot co-incided with the posting of  Mr. P.C. Pandey as the highest Police Officer of the State, the then Police Commissioner of the 2002 carnage in Ahmedabad.The atrocious act of Police in Baroda just  reflect the brutal act of Police of  the last Carnage.

"Investigations by TOI reveal that on April 13, Solanki and Swaroop had a spat over the VMC's anti-encroachment drive. Swaroop refused to provide security to the encroachment team and Solanki widened the rift by calling up law minister Ashok Bhatt and home minister Amit Shah to complain against Swaroop. The cop was worried that the drive would degenerate into communal violence if religious structures were targeted. Swaroop had anticipated trouble but did not find it necessary to bring in additional forces to handle a possible escalation of violence." (Times
of
India
4-5-06) It is also reported in press that the Mayor Mr. Solanki went to the extent of uttering that he will take the help of VHP and Bajrang Dal to demolish the Dargah. It is to inform you that most of the Civic Bodies are controlled by BJP. When the Baroda BJP says,
razing the Dargah is a balancing act, they opposed the demolition of temple in Rajkot. A mob of 3000 led by BJP councilors opposed
the demolition of the temple and the Municipal Commissioner of Rajkot was attacked by them. This is the double face of BJP.
 Therefore, the BJP controlled VMC totally ignored the warnings of the communal flare-up deliberately and went ahead with the
demolition drive with utter disregard to the religious sentiment of the minority.

Nowadays a dangerous euphoria has been generated in the name of development and prosperity with utter disregards to the socio-cultural and economic  aspects  in Gujarat of the people. The directives of judiciary should be taken in proper social perspective with the social responsibility by the government and administration but not as a ploy to fulfill its heinous motive in
the name of development, destroying the very fabric of communal harmony. A peculiar fusion of communalism and parochialism is out
and out promoted by the Govt. and it's machinaries and violation of human rights has become a routine affair. Under these circumstances, we request you to take immediate measures to restore law and order situation and deploy military to save
the State from another repetition of 2002 carnage. Enough blood has been spilled and many are injured. Loss of property is also no
less. The normal life is disturbed in Baroda.The holocaust of carnage 2002 is hunting Gujarat.We request you to take stringent measures to ensure peace in the State.We put forward the following demands for quick redressal:


       Adequate compensation be given to the family of deceased, injured and to those who have incurred loss of properties.
       The Mayor Mr. Solanki must resign, the Municipal Commissioner must be dismissed and responsible police officials be
punished.
       A high power judicial committee be appointed whose recommendation be made mandatory.
       Military be deployed over all sensitive areas of Gujarat with order to act and without delay.
       Government relief camps be started immediately.


Thanking You
Dwarika Nath Rath
 Secretary, S.U.C.I.
Gujarat State Organising Committee.
Date- 4-5-06