The call for implementing the report of the commission of inquiry — ignored by successive state governments for nine years — into the 1992-’93 Mumbai communal riots just got louder.
About 900 people from New Delhi to New Zealand and Bihar to Bangladesh have joined an online signature campaign led by activist Teesta Setalvad to press for action on the report submitted in 1998 by former Bombay High Court justice B.N. Srikrishna.
Signatories include theatre personality Alyque Padamsee, playwright Vijay Tendulkar, Magsaysay awardee Admiral L. Ramdas and danseuse Mallika Sarabhai.
The campaign statement went online a couple of days ago and will be publicly released on August 9 at the Indian Merchants' Chambers in south Mumbai.
The petition is the latest in a growing upswell of public opinion demanding the riot perpetrators be brought to justice. The Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court are both hearing petition from victims of the 1992-’93 riots, which claimed 900 lives and was the trigger for the 1993 blasts.
The petition, while acknowledging the 1993 blasts’ verdict as a redress for the victims, urges the government to initiate a transparent reinvestigation into the riot cases. It said: "It (the government) must devote as much energy and resources to obtaining justice for the victims of the Mumbai riots as it mustered up for the victims of the Mumbai bomb blasts."
The Srikrishna Commission indicted 31 policemen and many politicians from the Shiv Sena and BJP. “We have not been able to do justice to the Srikrishna report. If the Supreme Court directs that some cases be reopened, it should be done. It was mob terror which led to terrorism and there should be justice for all,” said Jeetendra Awhad, MLC, Nationalist Congress Party.
“The Congress-NCP combine has been in power since nine years, so the onus of implementation is on them,” said Neelam Gorhe, Shiv Sena spokesperson.
Most signatories said the State had shielded the guilty. Anjali Kanitkar wrote: “How can we trust our law and order system when they have different rules for different people?”