British fund launched for Gujarat terror victimsAugust 20th, 2008 - 7:23 pm ICT by IANS
London, Aug 20 (IANS) A prominent ruling party MP in Britain has launched a fund for the families of those who were killed or wounded in last month’s bombings in Gujarat, calling it a “resounding message against terrorism”. “This is a very strong and resounding message against terrorism from both India and Britain,” Barry Gardiner said as the fund was launched Tuesday night.
At least 55 people were killed and scores wounded in 22 synchronised bomb blasts in Ahmedabad on July 26 evening.
The fund is to be administered by Sewa International, a British-based charity, and will go directly to the families of the victims, Gardiner said.
Representatives of a large number of faith groups - including Hindus, Muslims, Catholics, Jewish, Sikhs and Protestants - turned up for the launch at Brent Town Hall in the northwest suburbs of London Tuesday night, Gardiner told IANS.
“We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with the families of the victims. Many of the people who live here in Britain will ether know or have family members caught up in this,” he added.
Gardiner said there was “a commonality” between India and Britain in their “refusal to be bowed” by the threat of terrorism.
“I’ve always been very conscious that we in Britain need to recognise and understand that the terrorist threat we face is something India has already suffered more than any other democracy,” said Gardiner who set up the Labour Friends of India - a body of MPs - in 1999.
Gardiner was a junior minister under former premier Tony Blair and is Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s special representative on forestry.