13 Opposition parties urge people to maintain peace, demand punishment for perpetrators of communal violence

"We're extremely anguished at manner in which issues related to food, dress, faith, festivals and language are being deliberately used by sections of the ruling establishment to polarize our society"


NH Web Desk

In the wake of recent communal clashes across many states, thirteen opposition parties in a joint and open appeal, have urged people to maintain peace and harmony. They have also expressed shock and dismay at the silence maintained by the prime minister over these unfortunate incidents and have demanded stringent possible punishment for those responsible for inciting communal violence.

Here is the complete text of the statement:

"We, the undersigned leaders of political parties, have come together to issue this appeal.

We are extremely anguished at the manner in which issues related to food, dress, faith, festivals and language are being deliberately used by sections of the ruling establishment to polarize our society.

We are extremely concerned with the growing incidents of hate speech in the country by people, who appear to have official patronage and against whom no meaningful and strong action is being taken.

We strongly condemn the recent outburst of communal violence witnessed across several states in the country. We are deeply concerned, as reports indicate that there is a sinister pattern in the areas where these incidents have occurred. Incendiary hate speeches preceded the aggressive armed religious processions unleashing communal violence.

We are extremely pained at the manner in which social media and the audio-visual platforms are being misused with official patronage to spread hatred and prejudice.

We are shocked at the silence of the Prime Minister, who has failed to speak against the words and actions of those who propagate bigotry and those who, by their words and actions, incite and provoke our society. This silence is an eloquent testimony to the fact that such private armed mobs enjoy the luxury of official patronage.

We reiterate our collective resolve to work together to strengthen the bonds of social harmony that have defined and enriched India for centuries.

We reiterate our commitment to combat and confront the poisonous ideologies which are attempting to entrench divisiveness in our society.

We reiterate our firm conviction that our country will prosper only if it respects, accommodates and celebrates its many diversities in full measure.

We appeal to all sections of the people to maintain peace and foil the sinister objective of those who wish to sharpen communal polarisation. We call upon all our party units across the country to independently and jointly work for maintaining peace and harmony.

Smt Sonia Gandhi, President, Indian National Congress

Shri Sharad Pawar, President, Nationalist Congress Party

Ms Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister, West Bengal and Chairperson, Trinamool Congress

Shri MK Stalin, Chief Minister, Tamil Nadu and President, DMK

Shri Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, Communist Party of India(Marxist)

Shri Hemant Soren, Chief Minister, Jharkhand and Executive President JMM

Dr Farooq Abdullah, former Chief Minister, J&K and President, National Conference

Shri Tejashwi Yadav, Leader of Opposition - Bihar Assembly, RJD

Shri D. Raja, General Secretary, Communist Party of India

Shri Debabrata Biswas, General Secretary, All India Forward Bloc

Shri Manoj Bhattacharya, General Secretary Revolutionary Socialist Party

Shri P. K. Kunhalikutty, General Secretary, IUML

Shri Dipanker Bhattacharya, General Secretary Communist Party of India(ML)-Liberation

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