Statement of Lok Raj Sangathan issued on June 21, 2004

Condemn the cold blooded "encounter" murder of four innocent people by the Indian State!

With deep anger Lok Raj Sangathan condemns the brutal cold blooded assassination of four people on June 15 by the Ahmedabad police.

Immediately after the assassination, a clear case of a fake encounter, the Ahmedabad police declared the four as members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba who were allegedly on a mission to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narender Modi.

One of the victims was Ishrat Jahan Raza, an 18 year old student of the Khalsa college, Mumbai and a resident of Mumbra in Thane district. All her friends in college remember her as a warm and studious person who came from a poor family of Bihari migrants. The Mumbai police have declared, belatedly, that she had no criminal record. Inspite of this, Ishrat’s mother and family members were repeatedly harassed by the Gujarat police, when they went to bring back her body and made to "confess" under duress that perhaps her movements at that time were not fully known to the family. The post-mortem report of Ishrat’s body has been denied to her family. The entire Mumbra town came to a standstill on June 19, 2004, as people came out in thousands, to express their anger and to pay their respects for this young innocent girl. Thousands participated in her funeral. This is just one example of a "dreaded terrorist" that the Gujarat police proudly claim to have done away with!

It turns out that the driver of the car, Javed, was carrying his identification on him. His father, Praneshkumar Pillai from Kerala, was tortured by the police to "confess" that his son was a terrorist. He has said that taking courage from Ishrat’s friends and family, his family has decided to appeal to the NHRC to investigate the killing of his son. It is reported that Javed converted to Islam to marry his beloved, who was a Muslim.

As far as the other two murders are concerned, we have only the information of the state that they are Pakistani "terrorists". The dead do not speak.

Lok Raj Sangathan considers the killings of these innocents as part of the policy of state terrorism of the Indian state, which it has pursued to avoid dealing with political and social problems. Whether in the states of the North East, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu, Kashmir and Punjab, or Maharashtra and Gujarat, the Indian state’s police and armed forces are thoroughly criminalised and violate their own "rule of law" with impunity.

Narendra Modi and his uniformed and civil goons can massacre hundreds and thousands of innocent men, women and children with impunity in the "national interest". This is what the late Rajiv Gandhi and his goons did in 1984. The perpetrators of crimes against the people remain unpunished.

However, ordinary people are killed in "encounters", labelled as "terrorists", and that is their end. This is what has been the fate of Ishrat, Javed, and the other two unidentified and ill-fated victims. This has been the fate of tens of thousands of people in our country, in the past.

In response to the popular outcry against the killings of these innocents, the NHRC has asked the Gujarat police to probe the killings and submit its report. This is like asking a murderer to investigate the murder he has himself committed!

The issue is plain and simple. The "rule of law" assumes a person is innocent unless proven guilty. That is why many Indian politicians, well-known for organising the worst crimes against the people, are still going around scot free… The police forces have no right to kill anyone, unless they can prove that it was done in self-defence.

The perpetrators of the murder of Ishrat and the other victims must be immediately arrested and tried for pre-meditated murder.

A mass demonstration is planned tomorrow, June 21 in Mumbai. It is important that the peoples movement does not allow the issue of punishing the guilty for state terrorism, to be side tracked into a "remove Narendra Modi" campaign. The instruments of state terrorism have been set into place by the bourgeoisie to stabilise their rule, and they are being strengthened by each successive government, even while governments change. An example of this bitter reality is the fact that many people are still languishing in jail, to be hanged under TADA, which was repealed a decade back!

Let us come together in struggle, to dismantle the instruments of state terrorism that have been built over the years by the Indian ruling class, not only in Gujarat, but all over India, once and for all!

Let us intensify our struggle against the terrorism of the Indian State!

By admin