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13 Opposition leaders in joint statement against communal violence appeal for ‘peace and harmony’; say ‘shocked at PM’s silence’

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New Delhi [India], April 16 (ANI): Expressing deep concern over the “growing incidents of hate hate speech” and “recent outburst of communal violence” in the country, leaders of 13 Opposition parties in a joint statement on Saturday urged people to maintain peace and harmony while demanding stringent punishment against the perpetrators of communal violence.

In a joint statement, the leaders including Congress, Trinamool, Nationalist Congress Party, CPI(M), DMK, RJD among others condemned the incidents of violence across several states and expressed their “deep” concern.

They also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been silent on the issue and said that he 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,” it added.

However, some political parties like Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Aam Aadmi Party are not on the list of signatories and this was pointed out by senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid.

“SP, BSP, AAP wither?” he tweeted.

In their appeal, the Opposition wrote, “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.”

The Opposition statement said, “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,” the letter reads.

Emphasizing on the “collective resolve to work together”, the Opposition called to strengthen the bonds of social harmony, which they said have “defined and enriched India for centuries.”

The Opposition also stressed on the commitment to combat and confront the “poisonous ideologies which are attempting to entrench divisiveness” in society.

“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,” the letter concluded.

The appeal comes amidst reports of communal clashes from states including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat among others.

The joint statement has been signed by Sonia Gandhi, President, Indian National Congress, Sharad Pawar (President Nationalist Congress Party), Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal CM and chairperson of the Trinamool Congress), M K Stalin (Tamil Nadu CM and President, DMK), Sitaram Yechury (Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary) Farooq Abdullah( National Conference president ), Tejashwi Yadav( RJD leader), D Raja (Communist Party of India general secretary) Debabrata Biswas(All India Forward Bloc general secretary), Manoj Bhattacharya(Revolutionary Socialist Party general secretary), P K Kunhalikutty(IUML general secretary) and Dipanker Bhattacharya (Communist Party of India(ML)-Liberation general secretary). (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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