The detention by the Gujarat Police of the Delhi based activist
and founder trustee of NGO ANHAD, Shabnam Hashmi and others on
their way to Mohammadi Colony in Godhra is being strongly
condemned by NGOs working for Gujarat riot victims.
"We condemn the detention of Ms.
Shabnam Hashmi and other activists who were detained by the
Gujarat police, in Godhra, this morning", Fr. Cedric Prakash of
Prashant - Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace said.
"In a democracy, everyone has the right to voice their opinion or
to express their dissent in freedom and without fear", he added.
"This detention of Ms. Hashmi and others who were protesting
peacefully far away from the site of the ‘Sadbhavna tamasha’
is indicative of the fascism that is prevalent in Gujarat State",
he said in a statement released to press.
Shabnam Hashmi, the founder trustee of ANHAD - a New Delhi based
NGO, and five others were detained by Gujarat police on Friday when they
tried to enter Godhra, where chief Minister Narendra Modi is
camping for his 23rd Sadbhavana fast.
Hashmi's NGO had organised a programme 'In Search Of Justice',
parallel to Modi's show in Godhra, the ground zero of Gujarat
riots of 2002.
Hashmi was supposed to address a gathering in Mohammedi Colony in
Saatpool area on Friday morning. Her supporters had expected that
the cops would detain her. But they had gathered near the spot of
"Hashmi and her supporters were detained on highway
and taken to Kheda police station," The Time of India
quoted Godhra special operation
group police inspector M V Kikani as saying.
A huge cache of policemen swooped in on Mohammedi Colony on Friday
morning to ensure that the protestors are detained. Tense
atmosphere prevailed at the spot as people gathered in large
numbers. However, the onlookers dispersed soon after some
supporters were detained.