Staff Reporter

KOLKATA: A section of Kolkata’s intellectuals held a peace congregation on Monday condemning the Mumbai terror attacks and urged the people to stand united against such “inhuman atrocities against humanity.”

In the gathering were renowned film-maker Mrinal Sen, authors Mahashweta Devi and Sunil Gangopadhyay, actor Aparna Sen, singer Usha Uthup and painter Suvaprasanna, among others.

“The death of both the innocent people and the terrorists is meaningless. Such violent actions cannot stall the pace of development in the country. Neither can it hamper the ongoing peace process between India and Pakistan,” said author Sunil Gangopadhyay.

Mr. Mrinal Sen said such destructive actions were the handiwork of some uncivilised people who do not belong to any religion.

The congregation mourned the death of innocent lives by lighting candles, reciting poems and singing songs.

Lauds martyrs

Ms. Aparna Sen lauded the bravery and sacrifice of the security personnel. Upgrading the intelligence system was necessary to combat such menace, she said.

Pointing to the former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, R.R. Patil’s remark that such incidents were inevitable in big cities like Mumbai,

Ms. Usha Uthup said: “It was a horrible comment and the Minister is expected to be sensitive towards the killing of so many innocent people.” She sang a song that she had exclusively composed in remembrance of those killed in the attacks.

Mr. Suvaprasanna concurred with Ms. Uthup, saying it was the responsibility of politicians to “allay the fears of the people” by doing whatever they can to “eradicate terrorism from the country.”