Following the serial bomb blasts in the suburban trains in Mumbai on 11 th July 2006, there has been a systematic propaganda campaign to portray the Muslim community as responsible for the bomb blasts. The modus operandi of this campaign has been through inspired leaks to the press, and television channels.

Lok Raj Sangathan firmly condemned the terrorist bombings of local trains and demanded that the culprits should be caught and punished. However even before the investigation was over, police and intelligence agencies started creating enmity between communities by portraying Muslim community as responsible for these terrorist acts while their official spokesmen were claiming that no conclusion should be reached till the investigations are over. The fact is that Mumbaikars belonging to all communities gave succour to the injured in the blasts and came forward to help them immediately. After this campaign went on for several weeks, some major newspapers had to admit that the arrests of hundreds of Muslims had been without a shred of evidence linking them to the blasts. The disinformation campaign only served to heighten tension in Mumbai. We have seen that such leaks, whispers and rumours are used to later justify a well organized communal massacre as was done in 1984 in Delhi or 1993 in Mumbai or 2002 in Gujarat.

Lok Raj Sangathan considers victimization of an entire community, as wholly baseless and unjustified. A statement was brought out by the Lok Raj Sangathan, Mumbai in July, which exposed the devious disinformation campaign launched against the Muslims. It called on the investigating agencies of the state to carry out their work of finding the real culprits quietly and stop inspired leaks of half baked information to the media.

Teams of Lok Raj Sangathan members and supporters went to areas like Kurla, Byculla, Thane, Kalwa, Mumbra, Rabodi, Bhiwandi and other places to distribute the leaflets. A very warm response has been received from the people in these areas. People were very happy to see that LRS understood their difficult situation and has boldly supported them publicly. Many people wanted to know more about LRS and wanted to have more discussion. Others shared their happiness about the clear statement that LRS had brought out, which put forward the truth.

Several people shared their experience of how people were being picked up in dozens by the police in Bhiwandi and how people were being terrorized by frequent police searches in the middle of the night. In Mumbra, LRS members talked to several people including teachers, doctors and lawyers. One doctor in Mumbra was harrassed for a whole day in a police station because police found washing soap in his car. Police claimed it was RDX and despite the testimony by his colleagues and despite the soap cakes being available for any tests, he was not released by the police for hours on end. A rickshaw driver recounted how a passenger in his auto was stopped by the police and harassed till late night. He was merely carrying vegetables in his bag but police kept on insisting that there were bombs in his bag.

Many people in different areas invited LRS activists to visit other localities and hold meetings. In some localities, people offered to translate the statement in Urdu language. In other places people volunteered to join in the distribution of the LRS leaflets.

Mass contact through the LRS statement clearly shows that people are able to see through the disinformation campaign of the media and the State. They are looking for an alternative to this oppressive system and the vision presented by Lok Raj Sangathan is striking a chord with the people.

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