The President,

Union of India

Subject: Ensure effective intervention under Article 355 of the Indian Constitution, to stop closure of relief camps in Muzaffarnagar, ensure relief and rehabilitation for all survivors, and arrest of all perpetrators to pave the way for safe return of survivors

Dear Sir,

The new year dawns with horror stories from Muzaffarnagar’s relief camps that are an affront to democracy. Thousands of people, who have watched their loved ones killed in cold blood, and who have been raped, and lost their homes and means of survival, languish in the relief camps of Muzaffarnagar. The Uttar Pradesh Government seems to have abdicated its duty to ensure relief, rehabilitation and justice for the survivors, and arrest of those accused of communal violence and rape. Instead the UP Government is bent on forcibly closing the relief camps, evicting the survivors and preventing their safe return to their villages. Relief camps at Loi and Bhora are already faced with bulldozers, with the riot survivors given ultimatums to leave within a few hours. Children have died of cold and lack of medicines. Women who have been raped see no prospect of justice: even in cases where FIRs have been filed and perpetrators named, no arrests have followed.

In such circumstances, it is far from enough for political leaders from the ruling party at the Centre to make visits and score political points. What is needed is effective intervention to correct this travesty of justice and democracy.

We appeal to your office to act without any moment of delay, to ensure that steps are taken under Article 355 that allows the Central Government to intervene if a State Government fails to defend its Constitutional obligations.

The CPI(ML) is holding protests all over the country today, observing a National Protest Day.

Our demands:

That an advisory be issued under Article 355 to the UP Government immediately to prevent closure of relief camps and ensure adequate relief and rehabilitation measures for all survivors, to be monitored by the President’s office

Steps be taken under Article 355 to ensure arrest and prosecution of all named accused in riot and rape FIRs

An SC-monitored SIT be sought to investigate the communal violence cases

Enacting of the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparation) Bill in the next session of Parliament

Sir, these measures brook no delay. The Central Government’s inaction and apathy in 2002 came under fire as much as the Gujarat State Government’s role. In the case of Muzaffarnagar, undoubtedly the communal Sangh forces are responsible for the communal violence. But the UP State Government’s role is criminally reprehensible. The Central Government’s role here is crucial, and your office must intervene to ensure that the Central Government acts to defend the Constitution.

Sincerely yours,

Sanjay Sharma

Secretary, Delhi State Committee

CPI(ML) Liberation