Orissa, K'taka fit for Article 355: Left

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New Delhi Oct 13 (UNI) Making a strong case for the Centre's immediate intervention under Article 355 in the backdrop of unabated violence against the minorties in Orissa, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, the CPI(M) today stressed that the move was necessitated to defend the country's unity and integrity.

Speaking at the National Integration Council (NIC) meet here, senior party leader and Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury questioned the Manmohan Singh government whether it had invoked the Article in Orissa and Karnataka.

''If so, what has been the response of the state governments? said Mr Yechury, adding the Centre had failed to intervene in the situation even after violence against the ''minority Christian community'' continued for weeks in many parts of the country, including Orissa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh.

On terrorism, the Left party found the ruling coalition wanting on several counts, in particular the impartiality of the law enforcing agencies and their investigations.

''No persecution of any kind in combating terrorism, should be permitted.'' The Left leader, however, made it clear that his party had always opposed the misuse of the Article 356 and sought appropriate amendments in it to prevent its misuse.

The CPI(M) also demanded action against the Bajrang Dal under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, holding it responsible for various bomb blasts across the country- in 2003 in Parbani, Jalna and Jalgaon districts of Maharashtra; in 2005, in Mau district of Uttar Pradesh; in 2006, in Nanded; in January 2008, at the RSS office in Tenkasi, Tirunelveli; in August 2008 in Kanpur among others.

Quoting the National Commission for Minorities, it said the BJP-ruled Karnakta was ''soft'' on the Bajrang Dal ignoring ample warnings of impeding violence against the minorities.

The party also referred to recent cases of communal violence in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Assam and Andhra Pradesh.

''Similar observations had been made by the NCM regarding Orissa. The RSS and the Bajrang Dal had now threatened that only those Dalit Christians who converted to Hinduism could return to rebuild their destroyed homes in Kandhamal, Orissa.'' Pleading for stringent measures to prevent terrorists and miltiant outfits from using facilities beyond the country's borders for anti-national activities, the Left party asked the UPA government to consult the state governments without further delay.

''The question of modernisation of the police and other security forces must no longer be allowed to wait," it said.

Underlining the widening economic divide, social injustice, regional imbalances and caste-based oppression and reckless persuance of policies of privatisation, liberalisation and globalisation, the CPI(M) said it was the responsibility of all the political parties, social groups and civil society to fight against the menace.

UNI KSA SB DS1535

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