Gargi Parsai

NEW DELHI: The All-India Congress Committee on Saturday condemned the “culture of violence and the cult of armed cadres” in Nandigram in West Bengal, as also the 2002 Gujarat riots exposed by the media.

A resolution, which was part of an omnibus document on the economic, political and foreign affairs situation, noted with concern the grave situation in Nandigram where, it said, the writ of the State government appeared to have ceased to run.

“Natural outcome”

“All this is the natural outcome of a system where the interests of party cadres are placed above the interests of the people at large and the law and order machinery is not allowed to function properly.”

Expressing shock at the latest expose on the Gujarat riots by “an alert media,” the resolution said, “The well-documented details have outraged the conscience of every civilised person. It is the darkest chapter in post-Independence India, where all civilised norms of behaviour were thrown to the winds. What is most condemnable is that those who were responsible legally and constitutionally to protect the lives and property of peaceful citizens became the actual perpetrators of these atrocities.”

The resolution appealed to the government to enforce the principles of accountability, which was the “very breath of democratic governance.”

Although Nandigram was not mentioned by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, general secretary Margaret Alva said the episode pointed to the demand by those who prized the land to be protected from those who wanted to take it away. She said violence would spread unless it was realised that farmers had their own rights.