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PUCL,August 2007

Press statement on the assault of writer Taslima Nasreen

PUCL condemns the attack on Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen in Hyderabad on 9 August 07. The attack is reprehensible assault on our cherished democratic values enshrined in the constitution and calls for greater censure because it comes from the members of law makers who are supposed to be guardian of the law of the land and are expected to add to its efficacy.

PUCL views the present act of assault and vandalism in line with a growing trend in the country where fundamentalist of every kind are becoming increasingly emboldened to create mayhem at the public places and take the law in their hands. In the process they pay the scant respect to othersí rights. This trend has registered an increase in frequency in recent times primarily because of inglorious past history of the state in not taking action against such elements. The reasons have been political and myopic. As a result the silent impunity that these elements enjoy has brought us to this pass and if unchecked it has very serious implications for the democratic fabric of the India in future. PUCL is shocked to learn that the police has been quick to register a case against the concerned writer while on the other hand it has been dithering on taking legal action against those who in full public view have been guilty of trespassing, criminal intimidation, assault and threat of murder.

PUCL demands that the cases be registered against the perpetrators of the said crime and steps be initiated in form of speedy trial of such crimes so that crimes of such nature do not fade from public memory and consequently strands of fascism in our society are stemmed. PUCL also demands that the writer be provided with the adequate security under basic human rights guaranteed under the Indian constitution.

-- Pushkar Raj, Secretary PUCL , 14 August 2007

People's Union for Civil Liberties, 81 Sahayoga Apartmrnts, Mayur Vihar I, Delhi 110091, India. Phone (91) 11 2275 0014