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Written questions to the European Commission

Posed by: Bob van den Bos, Max van den Berg, Maria Martens, Joost Lagendijk
Concerning: Situation of religious minorities in Gujarat, India
Date: April 8, 2003

India is confronted since some years with rising Hindu fundamentalism expressing itself in increasing violence against religious minorities.

In early spring 2002 a massacre against around 2.000 Muslims took place in the Indian state of Gujarat. Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch recently reported that the guilty are not being punished and that the Indian government hardly provides relief to the victims. Human Rights Watch also states that the massacre was planned well in advance and implemented with 'extensive state participation and support' and that 'ghettoization' of the Muslim community has taken place. Some organizations of Hindu extremists regularly make remarks that 'Gujarat' could repeat itself.

Furthermore violence against Christians is occurring and the 'anti-conversion law' that was adopted on 26 of March is greatly worrying for the freedom and security of these and other religious minorities.

  1. Is the [European] Commission willing to suspend bilateral development co-operation with Gujarat until it is clear that those guilty of the massacre are being punished, the victims are being rehabilitated and an end is being put to the marginalisation of the minorities of Christians and Muslims and, in connection with that, the recommendations of the Indian National Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are being implemented. If not, why not?

  2. In which way has the Commission given has given a sequel to and/or will she give a sequel to the serious concern that the European Union expressed last year April and May about the situation in Gujarat?

  3. Which recommendations can the Commission give to companies registered in the European Union that are active in Gujarat, in order to preclude that they contribute in the present situation to the discrimination of religious and other minorities.

Unofficial translation from Dutch by Gerard Oonk, co-ordinator India Committee of the Netherlands

Note by translator:

  • Mr. Bob van den Bos belongs to the ELDR (Group of the European Liberal, Democrat and Reform Party); he is member of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defense Policy.
  • Mr. Max van den Berg belongs to the PSE (Group of the Party of European Socialists); he is one of the vice-presidents of the Parliamentary Committee on Development and Co-operation.
  • Mrs. Maria Martens belongs to the PPE-DE (Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats); she is member of Parliamentary Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia and the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
  • Mr. Joost Lagendijk belongs to the Verts/ALE (Group of the Greens); he member of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defense Policy.
For answers to these questions: click here.

India Committee of the Netherlands/Landelijke India Werkgroep - 21 mei 2003