CPIML condemns the arrest/detention on 17 August of Ram Puniyani, Sandeep Pandey and others who were on way to Ayodhya to attend a workshop on communal harmony. This is a blatant violation of every constitutional and legal norm by Yogi government in UP. Sandeep Pandey and Md. Shoeb were put under house arrest a couple days ago in Lucknow for organising a Kashmir Solidarity programme, and now Ram Puniyani, former Professor at IIT Bombay and an eminent speaker and activist for social and communal harmony was detained and sent back from Ayodhya for trying to address a programme on communal harmony.
The police says that the workshop on communal harmony in Ayodhya could have disturbed peace! This can not be a naive statement but certainly a ploy to stop an eminent person in order the serve the communal agenda of the ruling BJP. Prof. Puniyani is renowned worldwide and always been held in high esteem for his contribution towards strengthening communal harmony.
This incident exposes the communal mindset as well as total disregard for the democratic secular principles enshrined in the Constitution by the UP administration and deserves thorough condemnation.
Ram Puniyani has said in The Wire, “I believe our idea of communal harmony are not acceptable to the Yogi government in UP as they have a different ideology and agenda. We believe in the Indian constitution but they have different ideas, that’s why the workshop was stopped”.