Islamic Human Rights Commission
2nd July 1997
FEARS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN INDIA
Democracy a sham, as 830 detained and transported without charge
The Islamic Human Rights Commission is extremely concerned for the well-being of 830 detainees, from Lucknow in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The detentions have been made under the Indian maintenance and security laws, which allow detention for up to two years without charge.
This is the latest in a long list of human rights abuses against India’s minority groups including its 200 million Muslims. The latest trouble began last week on Thursday 26 June 1997, when a religious procession in the Hussainabad district, attended by Lucknow’s Sunni and Shia Muslims was dispersed by Indian police, who opened fire and killed 4. Arbitrary arrests were made at the procession and subsequently. A 24 hour curfew was imposed on the Muslim areas of Lucknow by the Commissioner of Police and State Governor. The curfew is still in place. A two hour respite was given on Monday to allow people to get water and supplies.
A protest against the curfew on Saturday 28 June, was also broken up by tear gas and shooting from police. The number of casualties is unknown. IHRC is extremely concerned for the safety of Maulana Kalbe Zawad, who was taken from his home in the early hours of Sunday morning, by police, and transported to Lalitpur prison in Madhya Pradesh (central India). There are further reports of shootings by police, of residents in Lucknow who broke the curfew to get water and food on Monday and Tuesday this week. Official reports say that seven people were injured.
Chairman of the IHRC, Massoud Shadjareh, said:
“We call for the immediate release of all political detainees. India’s actions show that their claims to just, democratic rule are a sham. India’s governments of whatever political hue seem to be steadily moving towards the agenda of Hindu extremists represented by the BJP. Supporters of the BJP have openly called for a genocide of Muslims across India.
“It is unacceptable that the International community should support a country with such a poor human rights record. We call on India’s supporters, of which Great Britain is one to call India to account for their actions. The Muslim community is looking to New Labour to observe its promises on human rights. Failure to do so will only indicate that Indian Islamophobia is shared and supported by Britain.”
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