An Open letter to the Chief Election Commissioner

The Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Group reacting sharply to the ongoing communal vitiation of the political environment by the Bharatiya Janata Party issued an open letter to the Chief Election Commissioner of India, Mr. N. Gopalaswami. The indiscriminate manner in which the Bharatiya Janata Party and its parent organizations had been targeting the minority communities in the country in Kandhamal, Dhule, Udulgudi creates an alarming situation that challenges the very moral fabric of a secular, democratic nation. Not only the credentials of a central university like Jamia Millia Islamia is being regularly brought into question, a sense of insecurity, fear and anxiety is created in the adjoining area of Batla House, Jamia Nagar, Abul Fazal Enclave, etc. where primarily the Muslim population resides. The hate campaign of the BJP has to be stopped at all cost and before the guilt of those who have been killed in the encounter, one of whom was a minor and the five who have been accused of being involved in seditious activities against the State is proved before a court of law, they cannot be referred to as terrorists

Subject: Demand to Restrain Bharatiya Janata Party targeting the Muslim community in Jamia and Batla House area in their election campaign.

Dear Sir,

Following the incident of encounter at L-18 in the Batla House area on September 19, 2008 where a MA Previous year student of Jamia Millia Islamia and a 17-year old boy were killed by the Special Cell on the ground of their involvement with the bomb blasts in Delhi and other cities of the country, Bharatiya Janata Party had been actively engaged in a virulent hate campaign fomenting communal sentiments in the country to garner votes in their favour. Two of the five young men who are in police custody for their alleged involvement in seditious activities are students of Jamia Millia Islamia, while the other three were young men seeking out a career in the city. The recent findings of the CBI regarding the activities of the Delhi Police Special Cell has cast a serious aspersion over the credibility of their findings and since the issue of Batla House ‘encounter’ is yet to be produced before the court of law, one cannot pronounce them as guilty. Thus, the constant reference by the BJP to the deceased (one of whom was a minor) and the five arrested as terrorists is not only malicious and politically motivated but also legally invalid.

We urge your office to immediately intervene in the matter and take necessary action against a political party like the Bharatiya Janata Party who have been campaigning for the forth-coming elections in a language that is contrary to the secular, democratic spirit of the Indian Constitution.

The letter was signed by several members of the teaching fraternity.

Thanking you,

Yours’ truly,

Manisha Sethi

Adil Mehdi

Anuradha Ghosh

Sreerekha

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