Citizens for Justice and Peace

Condemnation of Attack at Nayana KathpaliaÂ’s home

12, Jan 2010


12, 2010

Condemnation of Attack at Nayana
KathpaliaÂ’s home

Ms. Nayana Kathpalia and Ms.
Neera Punj are activists protecting the open spaces in Mumbai which
are inadequate and yet always under threat from government and private
parties who seek to divert them for their purposes. The open spaces
serve the general good by enabling children to play, plants to grow
and absorb global warming gases, etc.  Both Kathpalia and Punj have
complained for years about threats to their persons, families and
properties from entities unknown but believed to be interested in
encroaching upon MumbaiÂ’s open spaces, most recently in the name of
slum rehabilitation. This is deplorable as both ladies, and their NGO,
Citispace, have pursued their mission by peaceful, legitimate and
transparent means. Threats of violence are always blight on our
civilization, but especially in such circumstances, and against women.

The latest attack was at the
home of Ms. Kathpalia on 8 January.  Assailants, apparently low grade
contract killers, attempted to force their way in and fired a crude
hand gun at a maid-servant. Fortunately, there was no serious injury.
Apparently, the aim was to intimidate Citispace into dropping public
interest litigation against misappropriation of public open spaces for
Slum Rehabilitation Schemes. The worthy cause of slum rehabilitation
is thereby sullied.

Citizens for Justice & Peace
(CJP) calls upon the authorities vigorously to investigate the attack
and threats so that the persons and organisations responsible for
these crimes are quickly identified. The guilty must then be
prosecuted in accordance with the law regardless of their wealth,
power and connections. Meanwhile, Ms. Kathpalia, Ms. Punj and their
households must be protected by the State, at public expense.

CJP also calls upon all
citizens and civil society organisations to show solidarity with
Citispace. Let thousands of citizen activists emerge to improve
conditions in Mumbai and across India. Let those threatening Citispace
activists know that the public will not be cowed and thousands stand
behind Ms Kathpalia and Ms. Punj. The rights of the many shall not be
lost to the greed of a few by violence against the brave.

Citizens for Justice & Peace

IM Kadri

Nandan Maluste

Teesta Setalvad

Javed Anand

Farhan Akhtar

Fr. Cedric Prakash

Ravi Kulkarni

Rahul Bose

Nakul Mehta





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