IMC-USA Demands Fair Investigation into Recent Riots
The Indian Muslim Council-USA (IMC-USA - http://www.imc-usa.org/), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India's pluralist and tolerant ethos, has urged the Andhra Pradesh State government to update the public on the status and the nature of the investigations into the recent communal riots in Hyderabad.
An IMC release stated: The riots were triggered due to unprecedented mobilization by Hindu extremist organizations that blanketed the entire city with saffron flags for the Hanuman Jayanti - a festival that was hitherto celebrated with relative simplicity in Hyderabad. These saffron flags and other religious symbols were provocatively planted on mosques, churches and sites of other religions. Rabble rousing speeches provoking violence against minority communities were also delivered at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad Conference on March 24 that led to cases being filed against Hindu nationalist leaders as early as three days prior to the breakout of violence. According to reports three lives were lost, ninety people were injured. Police arrested two hundred and seventy-two suspects while imposing curfew within the jurisdiction of twenty-five police stations.
Dubbing the situation as an overall failure of the state and its intelligence agencies, IMC-USA President Rasheed Ahmed commented that " Andhra Pradesh Government failed to preempt these communal riots. It appears that even the general public had begun to sense the communal tension following the hateful rhetoric at the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) Conference but police intelligence was either oblivious to it or deliberately silent about it." He further added, "It is high time the state police and intelligence forces reprioritize their focus on the Hindutva groups who are the main culprits and agent provocateurs in destabilizing communal harmony and provoking religious violence across the country"
IMC-USA is concerned that regular investigation may not be sufficient to get to the real story behind these riots. A judicial probe led by a judge of unbiased repute may be required to avoid further loss of life in yet another riot on yet another pretext. It is unfortunate that the current government allowed these riots to unsettle the years of communal harmony under the previous governments.
Indian Muslim Council-USA is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 10 chapters across the nation.