Letter to Rajasthan CM on blacklisting of several individuals & organisations

PEOPLE’S UNION FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS

To,
Smt. Vasundhara Raje
Chief Minister of Rajasthan,
State Secretariat
Jaipur-302001
Rajasthan
3 October 2007
Dear Madam,

Re: Blacklisting by your government of several individuals and organizations

People’s Union for Democratic Rights, Delhi (PUDR) would like to express its deepest concern at the way in which the Rajasthan government has been seeking to quell political activity in the state by acting upon a so-called ‘blacklist’ of over a hundred civil rights and minorities-groups activists. On 20 September, two of these activists were denied entry into the Rajasthan state assembly on the grounds that they had been blacklisted.

We are reliably informed that the state intelligence forces have compiled such a list that includes, among others, tespected civil rights activists such as Kavita Srivastava, general secretary of PUCL, Rajasthan, and Vice President National PUCL, political activists such as Nisha Sidhu, secretary of National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) and national council member of CPI as well as members of Jamait-e’-Islami Hind.

Some of these organizations have been campaigning for long on the Right to Food, the Right to Information, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, gender equality, and more recently against communal forces in the state and the police bill. Clearly, they are now being targetted for their work. This compilation of a list amounts to a blatant denial of the basic rights of these activists and the groups they represent, and to political harassment. These activists have been demanding that the state be accountable and abide by its own constitution and laws. This kind of secret blacklisting is a dangerous shrinkage of the democratic space, aimed at creating fear and intimidation, and preventing citizens and organizations from demanding their rights and exercising their right to protest and fight for justice.

Since this has been done in such a surreptitious manner, we would like you to inform us: Exactly how many people and/ or organizations are on that list? On what grounds have they been blacklisted thus? What are the restrictions imposed on the persons on this list and under what law?

We demand that this list be scrapped and the Government immediately stop its harassment of these respected activists and groups.

Nagraj Adve, Shashi Saxena
(Secretaries, PUDR)

Email: [email protected]
Address: 5 Miranda House Staff Quarters
Chhatra Marg
Delhi University 110007