NAPM Condemns attack on Prashant Bhushan

Violence is not the way to express your point of view in democracy

New Delhi, October 12 : The attack on Prashant Bhushan, a senior advocate and rights activists is extremely condemnable and only shows the growing intolerance and contempt for any differing opinion in a democratic country. Violence is not the way to express one’s point of view in democracy.

“Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena” which owned the attack proclaims itself as “a team of guys who are crazy for nation, those who can do anything for Nation. A task force against traitors, anti-nationals & corrupts. A team of people, those who are ready to take any action to teach anti-nationals & traitors.” It is extremely condemnable that a group using the name of Bhagat Singh and in the name of patriotism resorts to such action. We condemn such a heinous attack. In the name nationalism and patriotism such acts can’t be tolerated and those responsible for the act must be brought to book and strict action taken against them.

Millions of young people propelled by the duty towards the nation came on the street during the anti-corruption agitation, where Prashant Bhushan played a key role, but they respected the principles of non-violence, peace and freedom. We urge every one of them that patriotism doesn’t mean vanquishing of those who differ from us. India is a country with diversity of opinions and with myriad complexities and in a democracy we need to respect the difference and differing opinions.

Prashant Bhushan is well known and respected by social movements and civil society for his public work for more than two decades now. Apart from cases involving irregularities in government procedures in the Bofors scam and the 2G Spectrum allotment, he has appeared in numerous cases involving Sardar Sarovar Dam, Vedanta University Land Acquisition, Bhopal Gas Accident and many other cases which have been brought to him from time to time, at his own expense with no charges to people. His efforts through Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) have brought judicial accountability, corruption within judiciary and need for large scale reforms under public glare. Further, Prashant’s constant effort in trying to raise his voice against Operation Green Hunt and rights violations in North East and Jammu Kashmir has also raised hackles in certain quarters. This attack on him is a result of such acts of courage by Prashant over the years.

Political dialogue to address the needs, concerns and aspirations of people in any region on any issue is the basis of a democratic society, and use of force and violence by State or non-state actors must not be used to suppress dissent and protest.

Kuldip Nayyar, Justice (Retd.) Rajinder Sachar, Medha Patkar, Aruna Roy, Sandeep Pandey, Maj Gen (Retd) Sudhir Vombatkere, Prafulla Samantara, P Chennaiah, Arundhati Dhuru, Nikhil Dey, Sister Celia, Gabriele Dietrich, Rajendra Ravi, Ramakrishna Raju, Mukta Srivastava, Shankar Singh, Anand Mazgaonkar, Vimal Bhai, Ajit Jha, Madhuresh Kumar

National Alliance of People’s Movements
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