United Muslim Front, Prajasanghala Ikya Vedika from Andhra Pradesh
Prajasanghala Ikya Vedika is forum of more than 22 peoples´ organisations and many intellectuals belong to Andhra Pradesh with a call "Resist the imperialist and fascist BJP-TDP alliance and question the political leaders coming to ask votes on peoples´ issue". The forum has already taken up various campaign programmes in the state.
United Muslim Front is a forum of Muslim and Christian Minority, Dalit and Progressive organisations and with a similar call and taken up state-wide programmes.
We have formed a joint coordination of these two forums to effectively expose the anti-people nature of TDP-BJP alliance in Andhra Pradesh.
The people of India are witnessing …‘early polls´ for the Parliament ahead of the schedule. BJP led NDA government with "India shining" campaign looking the flames of Gujarat genocide, glittering of stamp papers scam, lighting coffins of Kargil soldiers scam as development.
Andhra Pradesh is going simultaneously for both Assembly and Parliament …‘mid term polls in this month. The Chief Minister N. Chandra Babu Naidu dissolved the A.P. assembly 9 months ahead of his tenure, with an intention to gain power once again through the "sympathy wave". The situation in Andhra Pradesh, after the dissolution of the assembly has become serious and alarming. The factionists and the gangsters have already started violence and used bombs, knives, stones etc indiscriminately.
Further, more than 40 battalions of CRPF, BSF and other police and paramilitary forces are taking positions in the state. Reports say about 98,000 strong police force is operating in the state to restore "democracy" through peaceful polls. It is learnt that about 18,000 police personnel are in the combing operations for Naxalites in the Nallamala Forest area alone. The people (and also the voters) in these areas are amidst police out-posts leading their lives under the shadow of the gun.
Recently, it was reported that 25,000 fisherman living in the river Krishna side, in Mahaboobnagar district were taken into custody and kept in camp for "free and fair election". In most of the tribal areas, Adivasis were moved out of their homelands to ensure "on slide victory".
In the outskirts of the capital city Hyderabad itself, around 600 policemen raided and undertook combing operations (the areas fall under the assembly constituency of the Home Minister Mr. Devendra Goud) in the name of intelligence gathering. In Balaji Nagar, Uppal, Yapral etc police searched each and every house saying that some naxalites are hiding in these areas and till today police out-posts are functioning. All this is done at behest of ruling TDP, so that nobody will come forward to vote and rigging, voting by the police, rowdy sheeters will make them victorious.
The state has intensified its brutal attacks and the fake encounters on the people in general, during this period of midterm polls. A week ago the police killed 13 years girl in an encounter. Police are adducting the youth from their houses in the villages and shooting them out in the name of encounters. Almost an encounter a day is common in A.P. Hundreds of police and paramilitary out-posts are opened in the villages across the state. Especially, the Telegana, Guntur and Andhra-Orissa border are full of these forces.
The Hyderabad city police commissioner two days ago organised a rowdy sheeters parade, in which hundreds of innocent Muslim youth were branded as rowdy sheeters. The Hyderabad police all of a sudden one week ago opened a rowdy sheet on the founder president of DJS, Mahaboob Ali (65) and asked him to take part in the parade. When he approached the A.P.High Court, the Police action was cancelled. But two days ago the police had opened another rowdy sheet on him. The state has a hidden agenda to restrict the Muslim voters from the polling process, where they are the majority voters in the Hyderabad Parliament constituency. This will give an edge to TDP-BJP alliance.
Hyderabad police chief announced yesterday that his policemen would verify the voter identity cards at the polling booths. If the police take such a step no one will come to vote. This is against the norms of the election commission.
A new phase in counter-extremist operations is all set to begin in Andhra Pradesh tomorrow. Five Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters will assist the police in the pre-election offensive against People`s War
naxalites. The IAF copters comprising four Chetak choppers and an MI-8, have been made available to Andhra Pradesh by the Centre on Sunday.
Atmosphere of terror is prevailing in the state and people have great fear and hesitation about the elections. Free and fair election may not take place with the existing horrifying situation in the state. Under these circumstances it becomes an absolute necessity to monitor the election with a close watch by a committee of credible democrats, intellectuals and progressive people. We request that such a committee should visit the state during the ensuing elections on 20th and 26th of April 2004 in Andhra Pradesh.
This is a joint invitation from our forums to all democrats and democratic organisations in various parts of India to come and monitor elections in Andhra Pradesh to expose the present disposition and instil confidence among the people so that they can take their own decision either to participate or to reject the elections or choose a candidate of their own will without being intimidated or coerced.
Mr. Abdul Raheem Quareshi
President Tamere Millat
Secretay, All India Muslim Personal Board
Convener, Muslim United Front, Andhra Pradesh
Prof. K.R. Chowdary
Prajasanghala Ikya Vedika
8th April, 2004