Gandhian on 3-day fast against violence on minorities

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New Delhi, Oct 11 (UNI) To protest ''inhuman attacks'' on minorities in Orissa and Karnataka, a Gandhian activist is on a three-day fast here demanding justice for the victims.

The otherwise non-descript road opposite Raj Ghat has been covered with colourful banners calling for peace and justice, as young Gandhian Vimal Bhai is on a 72-hour fast against atrocities on minorities in Orissa and elsewhere.

The fast began yesterday in the presence of Planning Commission member Sayyeda Hammid, former MP Kuldip Nayyar, feminists Kamla Basin and Sheeba George, Secretary Gandhi Hindustani Sahitya Sabha Kusum Shah and Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan.

''We are deeply disturbed by the continuing violence on minorities in Orissa and different parts of the country. Civil society organisations and concerned citizens need to raise their voices effectively to put an end to this,'' said Vimalbhai while spinning his charkha.

The fast is organised as part of different activities to express solidarity with the victims and to demand justice. The National Alliance of People's Movements, a network of over 150 people's movements across the country, Delhi Solidarity Group and Matu Jan Sanghtan are organising the three-day event, which includes a public meeting on communalism and music by activist groups. Children would do paintings tomorrow on peace and harmony and against communal violence.

The ongoing orchestrated attack on minorities by the Sangh Parivar-led communal forces in Orissa, Karnataka and other parts of India is a matter of deep concern for entire society and polity.

The violence has claimed several lives, hundreds have been wounded and women have been raped by organised gangs led by fundamentalist groups. Minority religious institutions have been destroyed or damaged in several states. Refugees in shelter homes in Orissa are being forced to convert if they want to return to their homes, he added.

According to the Gandhian, the failure of both the UPA government at the Centre and NDA-ruled state governments to use constitutional provisions to protect minorities and arrest the guilty was a matter of deep shame.

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