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Carnage in Gujarat: Citizens´ Initiative for Justice & Peace -- appeal for funds

Aims & Objects The burning of innocent women and children inside a train at Godhra on February 27 and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Gujarat, justified by Chief Minister Narendra Modi as a ‘natural reaction´, has thrown up an unprecedented challenge to Indian democracy and the rule of law.

To respond to this brazen communal assault on the country´s secular democratic polity, concerned citizens from Mumbai and Ahmedabad have come together to form an ‘Association of Persons´ (AOP), to be called, Citizens for Justice and Peace - CJP. Activities Following intensive interaction and consultation with a wide cross-section of survivors of the carnage in Gujarat lawyers, human rights groups and communal harmony/peace activists from across the country, CJP has set for itself the task of mobilising finances for the following activities:

1. Citizens´ Tribunal:

Gujarat 2002: A Citizens´ Tribunal consisting of retired judges and prominent citizens from different walks of life will examine and investigate the incident of arson at Godhra and the subsequent statewide violence that took lives, destroyed property and attacked cultural symbols and places of worship of sections of the population.

The Tribunal will sit for a fortnight beginning mid-April and conduct it's hearings in three cities of the violence-ridden state. The report of the Tribunal will be published in English and in Gujarati and released to the public from Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad.

Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer,
Justice P.B. Sawant,
Justice Kuldip Singh,
Justice Hosbet Suresh and
Justice Rajinder Sachar, are expected to lead the tribunal that will also consist of prominent citizens from different walks of life.

2. Public Interest Litigation:

To make legal interventions in the Gujarat High Court and the Supreme Court for the redressal of grievances (Relief, Rehabilitation, Reparation by the Gujarat state) and prosecution of all those guilty for the killing of innocents in Godhra and the rest of Gujarat (Punish the Guilty!).

3. Intervention before the Gujarat-govt. appointed official commission of inquiry:

To assist any lawyer/team of lawyers formed to effectively highlight before the commission the case of the victims and survivors of violence.

4. Public campaign and advocacy:

To build public opinion on the need for justice as an essential step towards reconciliation and peace.

5. Relief and rehabilitation:

To accept contributions from concerned citizens and organisations and assist organisations, groups and individuals engaged in relief work in Gujarat.

6. Documentation, Research, Translation:

To put together the information needed for any or all of the activities outlined above.

7. Legal Training:

To hold legal training workshops in order to prepare a team of junior lawyers and social activists who will assist senior advocates in the various legal interventions proposed. The proposed activities will be carried out by members of CPJ or by other appropriate individuals or organisations selected by the CPJ Working Committee.

Working Committee The following will be members of the Working Committee:
1. Mr. J. B. D´Souza
2. Mr. Anil Dharkar
3. Ms. Teesta Setalvad
4. Mr. Javed Anand

All members of the Citizens for Justice and Peace will be kept informed of the progress of activities and other relevant matters on a weekly basis through e-mail. The Working Committee will inform all members and seek their opinion and comments on all substantive matters pertaining to activities and disbursal of funds through e-mails. Where there is no feedback from any member or members to the proposal within a matter of 48 hours from the time of despatch of the e-mail, it will be assumed as consent on the part of the member(s). Javed Anand agrees to accept the responsibility of regular communication with all the members, via e-mail, as specified above.

Utilisation of funds All amounts collected, whether by cheque or in cash, will be deposited in the bank account and used only for the purposes set out here. Bank account The committee for Justice and Peace has opened a current account with the IDBI Bank.

The account will be operated by any two of the following five members of the working committee: 1. Mr. J.B. D´Souza 2. Mr. Anil Dharkar 3. Ms. Teesta Setalvad 4. Mr. Javed Anand.

The accounts will be audited by a reputed chartered accountant and extracts of the auditor´s report will be sent to all persons/organisations contributing Rs.5,000 or more. All contributors can, however, obtain the extract of the audited report on request. No surplus is anticipated but in case there is, it will be applied for similar objects elsewhere in India.

All cheques should be drawn in favour of ‘Citizens for Justice and Peace´ and posted to the address given below.

The following are members of the committee formed to mobilise resources and oversee its judicious disbursal for the activities identified above.

MUMBAI: Alyque Padamsee, Anil Dharkar, Cyrus Guzder, Ghulam Mohammed, I.M. Kadri, Javed Akhtar, J.B. D´Souza, Nandan Maluste, Titoo Ahluwalia, Vijay Tendulkar, Teesta Setalvad, Javed Anand

AHMEDABAD: Indubhai Jani, Uves Sareshwala, Batuk Vora, Fr. Cedric Prakash, Najmal Almelkar The consent of senior lawyers Mr. Navroze Seervai, Mr. Aspi Chinoy and Ms. Zia Modi to become members of the Citizens for Justice and Peace is awaited.


For purposes of all correspondence, the address of Citizens for Justice and Peace will be:

MUMBAI – 400 049.
Phone/fax: 660 22 88; Phone: 660 39 27;

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