Statement of eminent Gujaratis on Tehelka expose

We, concerned citizens of Gujarat, register strong moral outrage at the shocking disclosures made in the Tehelka-AajTak expose on the post-Godhra Carnage of 2002. The expose alludes to the direct involvement of the elected members of the State Assembly, Cabinet Ministers of Government of Gujarat, the administration officials, and the police and judicial machinery in carrying out the carnage.

We also condemn the unilateral and unconstitutional decision of the Ahmedabad District Collector of taking six news channels off the air while the telecast was going on. This is a serious and direct infringement of the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression in Gujarat.

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We also condemn the arrest of two innocent residents of Bhuj who were called by the police for denying them the permission for holding a peaceful demonstration in support of the victims of the carnage of 2002.

In light of the revelations in the Tehelka-AajTak expose, we demand that:

1. The Central Government should issue an Ordinance suitably amending the provision of the Delhi Police Establishment Act which requires the consent of the State Government for investigating any matter by the CBI and immediately order the entire matter be investigated by the CBI;
2. The BJP as the principal party in power at the Centre then, and in the State as well, take moral responsibility for the crimes committed in 2002, and issue a strong condemnation of those involved in the crimes and shown in the tapes;
3. The State administration take immediate steps to cancel the bail of all those named in the tapes, viz. Babu Bajrangi, Jaydeep Patel, and all others accused in the various cases related to post-Godhra violence, who have been caught on tape confessing to the same, and who are currently out on bail;
4. There be a re-telecast of the expose, since most of the State have been unable to view the same, on account of the unconstitutional ban on the channels for more than 24 hours;
5. That all public prosecutors and judges in all cases related to 2002, be re-examined for their proximity or connection to Sangh Parivar outfits, and make fresh appointments;
6. The police officers named in the tapes be suspended forthwith, and legal proceedings be initiated against them.

Hiren Gandhi
Ghanshyam Shah
Fr. Cedric Prakash sj
Persis Ginwalla
Mukul Sinha
Saroop Dhruv
Samir Khan
Jayesh Patel
Waqar Qazi
Jayesh Solanki
Bhavik Raja
Bharat Parmar
Meera Rafi
Gaurang Raval
Bharat Jhalla
Javed Ameer
Pravin Mishra
Forum Against Oppression of Women
Fr. Francis Parmar sj
Ashoke Chatterjee
D. Ramakrishnan
Fr. P. D. Matthew sj
Bharat Rathode
Veronica D’Souza

And several others

Released on Oct. 29th, 2007