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Maintain communal harmony: HRW

July 06, 2005 12:19 IST

The United States-based Human Rights Watch has asked political and religious groups in India to take urgent steps to prevent outbreak of communal violence in the aftermath of the attack on makeshift temple in Ayodhya.

"Political and religious leaders should urge Indians to remain calm and use responsible language in their public pronouncements at this delicate moment," Brad Adams, Asia Director of the rights group, said.

Noting that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as also several Hindu and Muslim groups have condemned the attack and called for communal harmony, it, however, expressed concern over Vishwa Hindu Parishad's demand to suspend talks with Pakistan, which it had blamed for the attack.

The organisation praised the response of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who said that the government should focus on investigating the attack and had rebuffed suggestions that the incident will spoil relations with Pakistan.

"Otherwise, political or religious manipulation could inflame the situation and lead to the kind of violence that has engulfed whole communities in earlier riots."

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