Reducing police torture against Muslim at Grass root level by engaging and strengthening Human Rights institutions in India
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Illegal arrest' of Muslim youths on terror charges echeos in Lok Sabha
New Delhi: The of "illegal arrest" of Muslim youths and their acquittals by different courts of the country echoed during Question Hour Session in Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The issue was first raised by CPI (M) MP Basudeb Acharia. It was then backed by RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, SP suprimo Mulayam Singh Yadav and others.
Acharia alleged there were many youths from the Muslim community who were languishing in jails for 10-15 years. A section of them were released as they were found to be innocent, he said.
Acharia wanted to know if the government had taken any action against investigating agencies which had “falsely implicated” innocent youths from the minority community.
Minister of State for Home Affairs (MoS) RPN Singh evaded his direct question. He said, "Terrorism has no colour or religion and if any case of prolonged incarceration of any individual belonging to any community without any charge sheet against him is brought to light, the government will take appropriate action to ensure justice."
In his reply, Singh said, “Law does not discriminate on the basis of colour or religion.” It is extremely unfortunate if some youths were in jail without any charge sheet against them, he said.
The minister said that Section 211 of IPC gave a person the right to seek compensation in case he had been falsely implicated in a case. He said under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act if a charge sheet is not filed within 180 days against an arrested person, he is entitled to bail."
Singh assured the House that if specific cases were brought to the notice of the government it would take appropriate action. He denied that no relief and rehabilitation had been provided to those found innocent after being kept in jails for long.
On this, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav cited the example of Mohammed Qateel Siddiqui, who was killed last year in Pune's Yarwada Jail, and mechanical engineer Fasih Mehmood, who has been arrested by Delhi Police Special Cell on charges of his alleged involvement in Jama Masjid and Chinnaswamy Stadium blasts cases.
"After Azamgarh, Bihar's Darbhanga, Sitamdhi and Samastipur districts are being targeted by security agencies in the name of fighting terror. “So far, 33 Muslim youths have been arrested by different security agencies from the state. This is an issue of concern and it needs to be addressed on priority basis. Otherwise, it will create the situation of anarchy," said Lalu.
Md Bashir of National Conference has given the example of one Zakaria who was acquitted by the court after spending eight years in jail.
Several other members also alleged that the government's claims were wrong and Muslim youths had been in jails for years without any charge sheet against them.
Shockingly, it was revealed in the Lok Sabha that the Union Home Ministry has not have any data on how many arrest have been made across the country while investigation of different terror cases.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav asked Speaker Meira Kumar to discuss the issue in details. The speaker agreed to do so. She asked the SP chief to move a notice in this regard so that the issue the matter can be debated in Lok Sabha.
BJP leader Yashwant Sinha asked as to how many of those arrested in criminal cases were from other religions. He also referred to comments made by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and his predecessor P Chidambaram.
In reply, MoS RPN Singh said, "The National Investigation Agency (NIA), set up after the Mumbai terror attack, has investigated 52 cases and arrested 334 people since 2009. Out of the 334, over 200 youths are Muslims. We don't have details on member of other religions who have been arrested by the NIA on terror charges."
"NIA has filed chargesheet in 29 cases while 23 are under investigation," the minister said.