The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India have issued the following joint statement:
Act Firmly To Stop Communal Violence
The horrific violence which erupted in Gujarat consequent to the call of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad for a bandh has shocked the entire country. After the ghastly attack on the Sabarmati Express in which 58 people were burnt to death which was condemned by all, it was expected of the Gujarat Government that it would do everything to maintain peace and prevent retaliatory attacks. Instead, the BJP state government has allowed rampaging mobs to roam freely in Ahmedabad city targetting people from the minority community and their properties. The largescale arson and killing of innocent people took place with the police standing by and watching. The Narendra Modi government has connived in this gruesome carnage and there can be no words to condemn the role of the state government.
Despite repeated pleas for army deployment in the evening, the Central Government failed to act. Even the next morning (1st March), rioting is going on and the army is yet to be deployed. The Union Home Minister, whose parliamentary constituency is the capital of Gujarat, has not shown the minimum concern to protect the lives of the minority community and immediately deploy the army.
The BJP state government with its history of outright communal bias cannot be entrusted with maintaining law and order in such a situation. The Central Government has to assume the responsibility to send in the army and Central para military forces and supervise their deployment and operations.
The BJP has extended support to the call of the VHP for the bandh in various states in protest against the Godhra incident which only further aggravates the situation. There is danger of communal tensions spreading to other places.
The Vajpayee government must even at this late hour realise the cost the country has to suffer for their criminal negligence in not intervening in time to stop the inflammatory programme of the VHP to mobilise kar sevaks from around the country to go to Ayodhya. The Centre has still not asked the state governments around the country to stop the movement of the kar sevaks by trains or other means.
The CPI(M) and the CPI appeal to all citizens and political forces to realise the gravity of the situation and assert the voice of sanity which demands that the Centre act firmly to stop the VHP programme and assure all sections of the people that the rule of law and communal harmony will prevail.
Harkishan Singh Surjeet, General Secretary, CPI(M)
A.B. Bardhan, General Secretary, CPI