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Old October 13th, 2008, 02:25 PM
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Exclamation 'Communal violence in Orissa, Karnataka 'most disturbing'

'Communal violence in Orissa, Karnataka 'most disturbing'


Posted at Monday, 13 October 2008 12:10 IST
New Delhi, Oct 13: Terming the recent communal violence in Orissa and Karnataka as "most disturbing and dangerous," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said those who threaten communal harmony, integrity and peaceful coexistence deserve "very deterrent punishment".
He also said that an atmosphere of "hatred and violence" is being "artificially generated".

"There are forces deliberately encouraging such tendencies and also spawning militant outfits who engage in irrational violence. These need to be firmly dealt with," he said inaugurating the National Integration Council (NIC) meeting here.

Noting that perhaps the most disturbing and dangerous aspect today is the assault on country's composite culture, Singh said "today, we see fault-lines developing between, and among, communities." Holding that there has been considerable debate in the country on ways to handle issues of sectarian and communal violence, he said, "there cannot be two views on the fact that such attempts must be thwarted with the full power of a state that is intent on protecting its democratic foundations.

"Those who threaten our communal harmony, integrity and peaceful coexistence deserve very deterrent punishment," the Prime Minister said.

The day-long meeting is being attended by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Union Ministers and Chief Ministers.

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Old October 13th, 2008, 02:57 PM
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Re: 'Communal violence in Orissa, Karnataka 'most disturbing'

Nothing but a reason to dismiss non-Cong governments. Lately, Congress, Samajwadi party, Janata party seem to have come to a conclusion that any other party ruling a state is illegitimate. If the violence continues, even if mild, Sonia Gandhi will dismiss them. Manmohan Singh is just a pawn, and will act as a useful idiot.

Last edited by Ravi; October 13th, 2008 at 03:06 PM.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 08:24 PM
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Post Re: 'Communal violence in Orissa, Karnataka 'most disturbing'

Oh the whole meeting of the NIC was just for show. The PM did not even mention terrorism as it shoud have been. The attitude was casual.


Now read on -

Quote:
UPA, NDA clash at meet on integration
14 Oct 2008, 0422 hrs IST,TNN


NEW DELHI: The political faultlines over terrorism and communal violence were in sharp focus at the meeting of the National Integration Council on
Monday, with the NDA clashing with UPA and activists over special laws and calls for a ban on saffron outfits like the Bajrang Dal.

The deliberations saw BJP chief ministers charging UPA with lacking the will to tackle terrorism while UPA ministers RJD chief Lalu Prasad and LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan circulated statements in support of a ban on Bajrang Dal though they did not speak at the meeting.

Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh was dismissive of national security adviser M K Narayanan's statement that a ban on Bajrang Dal was not sustainable, noting that it was merely an official's view. He spoke on the sense of insecurity amongst Muslims who were convinced that the Batla House encounter was not genuine. Interestingly, Congress was careful in its articulation, being questioned about communal violence in Adilabad in Andhra Pradesh and Assam, with Amar Singh taking a dig at the Maharashtra government in context of the clashes at Dhule.

MIM's Asaduddin Owaisi contested chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy's claim that the Adilabad incident, in which six of a family were burned alive, could be an "accident".

In the midst of the heated rhetoric, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh indicated that the Centre would tread a cautious path over use of Article 356 and banning organizations like Bajrang Dal. Unless there is a sudden spurt of violence linked to saffron groups, the Centre does not look keen on a confrontation even though Singh in his closing remarks warned his government "would not be found wanting in fulfilment of its constitutional obligations" in dealing with communal and ethnic strife.

His allies were more direct. "Bajrang Dal and VHP used to be the escorting party of L K Advani during his Rath Yatra days,'' Lalu told the media, while on SIMI he said, "All in this organization cannot be branded as bad. Without proof, nobody should be targeted as terrorists."

Paswan said that he had not only sought a ban on Bajrang Dal and VHP but also on schools run by RSS, as "such institutions were instilling feelings of communal divide among the people, which needed to be checked".

Amar Singh said there was no sense of security among the minorities in UP, Delhi, Maharashtra and Azamgarh. Clarifying his position on the Batla House encounter, Singh said, "I am not saying the Batla House encounter and martyrdom of the police officer was fake but the fact remains that minorities are feeling insecure, a 14-year-old was also killed. Was he a terrorist?"

At the NIC meeting, activists like Swami Agnivesh, Shabnam Hashmi, John Dayal, Naved Ahmed and MIM leader Owaisi called for a ban on the Bajrang Dal. Though Lalu and Paswan circulated statements calling for a ban, at the meeting itself, none of the Congress chief ministers raised the issue. The NIC was essentially a positioning exercise where both sides marked out their positions.

On the saffron side, BP chief ministers Narendra Modi, B S Yeddyurappa and B C Khanduri focussed on terrorism and demanded a POTA-like law. Yeddyurappa said the Centre had been selective in sending teams and advisories to Karnataka.

The BJP virtually set out its campaign focus for the coming assembly and perhaps even next year's general elections, with Modi saying that a specific reference to terrorism had been excluded from the NIC agenda as UPA could not look beyond "vote bank" politics. With Leader of Opposition L K Advani skipping the meet, Modi's written speech he did not address the meeting argued that "a clear line must be drawn between those who support and those who do not support our fight against terrorism".

The PM defended the government's position against special laws by pointing out that "we should not be provoked to suspend or subvert a democratic process in search for solutions. A democracy has special onus to ensure protection of civil liberties". He also said that "wrong methods" must not be adopted; an impression that "any community, or sections amongst them, are being targeted, or that some profiling is being done should be avoided".

Facing the heat for prolonged anti-Christian violence in Kandhmal, Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik argued that there had been a long history of "ill feeling and suspicion between scheduled tribes and scheduled castes on a variety of issues like forcible occupation of tribal land and jobs secured on basis of false caste certificates". He said more than 1,000 arrests had been made, including the accused in the rape of a nun.

If Patnaik was not really defensive, Congress chief ministers like Vilasrao Deshmukh also argued that terror incidents in their states were "aberrations" and that measures were being taken to strengthen law and order. Manipur chief minister Ibobi Singh pointed to the need to check illegal infiltration which he saw as a security threat. Though for different reasons, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury was on the same page as BJP over the exclusion of terrorism from the agenda.

Home minister Shivraj Patil, while briefing the media, did not directly respond to the question of imposing a ban on Bajrang Dal and clamping President's rule in Orissa as demanded by some participants. He said thegovernment can look at various suggestions for "taking action in any other manner within the law".

Patil said a broad consensus to contain communal discord and violence and to protect minority rights was reached at the meeting. After deliberations in which over 40 members participated, the NIC adopted a resolution condemning all acts of violence and terrorism and resolving to deal with such challenges firmly.

The meeting also saw a verbal spat between the home minister and the Orissa chief minister when Patnaik blamed the Centre for not sending forces to Kandhmal on time. Patnaik is learnt to said that the home ministry took nearly four days to send paramilitary forces and that too after repeated reminders sent by the state which was contested by Patil.

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