Editors’ Note: The noted secular humanist Dr Ram Puniyani, who is also a contributing editor of Insaf Bulletin, was harassed at his residence in Mumbai on March 9 by three men claiming to be from the CID. The statement below protesting this treatment and the suspicious circumstances in which it occurred while asking the Mumbai police to investigate it, was signed by many eminent Indians. Insaf Bulletin adds its voice to theirs.



The Commissioner of Police



Dear Sir,


We the undersigned strongly condemn the way in which attempts were recently made to intimidate Prof Ram Puniyani by people supposedly belonging to CID. We fear that it is to silence his voice which has always remained critical of communal forces and has fought for peace and harmony.


We are told that on 9th March three men who said they were from CID visited his home in the garb of an enquiry for passport, which neither Prof Ram Puniyani had applied for nor did anyone else from his family applied for one. What is worrisome is that they asked all kinds of objectionable questions to him and his family members.


Considering that voices of dissent have been targeted since the past five years we feel that this can be a precursor to involve him in some legal hassles, or implicate him in some case so that he is silenced.


It need be underlined here that Prof Ram Puniyani, who was a professor in biomedical engineering at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology Bombay had taken voluntary retirement in December 2004 to work full-time for communal harmony in India.


Author of many books on communal harmony and secularism, he writes regularly in different publications to strengthen voices of sanity and has consistently questioned and challenged divisive forces of various kinds and has even received the prestigious Indira Gandhi Award (2006) and National Communal Harmony Award (2007) apart from many other awards for his work.


We demand that an enquiry be ordered into this whole episode and the guilty be brought to book for their act of intimidating a widely known writer and noted activist.


(The statement was signed by hundreds of prominent citizens).

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