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08 April, 2010

Ekta's call for end to violence

The following is a statement issued by EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity), Mumbai:

It is to express and put on record our deep pain and anguish at the massacre of 76 members of the central and state security forces in the early hours of April 6 in the thick jungles of mountainous Mukrana in the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh while carrying out the Operation Green Hunt to counter and crush the raging Maoist insurgency in that area as a part of their duty.

That these 76 young lives from ordinary families from different corners of India were tragically lost while engaged in waging war against the “enemy” in the call of duty is hardly a factor mitigating the present tragedy. Loss of so many young human lives, otherwise completely avoidable, cannot be considered as anything but utterly unfortunate. They fell to the bullets of those whom they had been sent to “hunt”.

As the human toll is tragically rising – in terms of death, destruction and displacement – in the ongoing armed conflict, we fervently appeal to the warring parties to immediately cry a halt to this intensifying orgy of blood spill and engage in a purposeful dialogue, also involving concerned representatives of the civil society

While we have hardly any claim over the armed Maoist insurgents, except as co-citizens; the democratic government led by our elected representatives is duty bound to show due sensitiveness to this call for peace.

And, the state stands to lose its moral legitimacy if it continues to show callous disregard for human lives – lives of its own citizens. It just cannot afford to emulate the armed insurgents out to capture state power through the use of blazing guns.

And it must also address the issue of its persistent failure, and worse, to uplift the conditions of vast sections of India’s adivasi populations in the war zones and also elsewhere. That’s the way to eliminate the support base for insurgency.

The mindless recourse to bullets is just not too cruel, it is also counterproductive.

We also urge all right thinking citizens to mount moral pressure on the side of peace – just and fair peace at that.

Sukla Sen
for EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity)

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