We are shocked to learn of the gruesome murder of senior activist and campaigner for prohibition of liquor, Mr. A.T. Babu
, one of the state convenors of NAPM in Karnataka. This is one more instance of the continuing chain of violence targeting activists working among the poorest and downtrodden, whether they be campaigners against liquor or against corruption. And more often than not Governments not only stand as mute witnesses to such acts but are often involved either in cover ups or at least lackadaisical in investigations of such crimes. We hope the new Karnataka Government which has made various promises to the people of the state will order a thorough investigation of the murder and bring all those involved, however strong and powerful they are, to book.
The NAPM convenors meeting in Wardha today offers its most heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and stands with it at this tragic hour.
We demand a CBI enquiry in this case as we apprehend that the state authorities may not be able to take a neutral stand.
We also propose that the governments rethink about the policy of allowing liquor sale. With the kind of revenues and vested interests involved in production and sale of liquor, anti-social elements will always continue to dominate this business and such incidents as above would continue to take place. Liquor has played havoc with the lives of poor people, especially women in the families, and is a curse on society. We demand a total ban on liquor.
Medha Patkar, P. Chennaiah, D. Gabriele, S.R. Suniti, Anand Mazgaonkar, Ulka Mahajan, Swati Desai, Mukta Srivastava, Srikanth, Sandeep Pandey
NAPM contact Numbers in Karnataka: Sr. Celia, 09945716052; Balakrishnan: 080-23392354; David Selveraj, 09880290181