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'Short on funds' AP Govt to pay compensation from Mecca Masjid Acc

Sunday December 11, 2011 01:09:50 PM, Agencies

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Rs.7 million released for Muslim youths wrongly held

Perhaps in the first instance of victims of police torture in a terror case being paid compensation in India, Andhra Pradesh has released Rs.7 million for innocent Muslim youths arrested and tortured in the 2007 Mecca Masjid  »

Hyderabad: In a bizarre move the Andhra Pradesh government has directed to debit the Mecca Masjid and Shahi Masjid Public garden accounts to pay the compensation amount to the Muslim men who were wrongly framed in the 2007 blast case.


The Andhra Pradesh Minorities Welfare Department in its order dated December o6 while sanctioning an amount of Rs 7mn as compensation to the innocent Muslim youths who were arrested and tortured in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, says the amount "should be debitable to the Administration of Mecca Masjid and Public Garden."


"....Government after careful examination hereby accord Administrative Sanction for an amount of Rs. 70.00 Lakhs (Rupees Seventy Lakhs only) towards expenditure to be incurred in connection with Confidence Building Measures and Compensation for 20 cases affected in Mecca Masjid Bomb Blasts in 2007. These orders were issued in relaxation of Treasury Control and quarterly regulation orders subject to providing funds by way of obtaining Supplementary Grants during 2011-12 at the appropriate time under the Non-Plan. The Expenditure sanctioned above shall be debitable to the “ 2225 – 80 – MH 800 – SH (08) – Administration of Mecca Masjid and Public Garden 310/312 – Other Grant-in-Aid (To be Opened)", the government order published by a web portal says.


Meanwhile, Dr. Mohd Ali Rafat, principal secretary to the government and head of minority welfare department, downplayed the whole issue, saying it is a procedural thing.


“Minority welfare department is out of funds so it had to choose any administrative department to provide compensation, administrative funds of Mecca Masjid and Shahi Masjid in public garden were just chosen from options, government will return back the amount as grant-in-aid as it was referred in G.O. sooner or later", TCN quoted Rafat as saying.


The AP government released the compensation amount on the recommendations of the National Minorities Commission, which had asked the government to consider deducting the amount from the salaries of erring police officials.

Nine people were killed in the blast during Friday prayers at the historic Mecca Masjid May 18, 2007. Five more people were killed in the subsequent police firing on protesters outside the mosque.

Following the blast, the police arrested dozens of Muslims youths and filed cases against them. A fact-finding committee of the state minorities commission, in its report, said the police tortured the youths.

The arrested youths were acquitted by the courts during the last one year.

Last year, following the arrest of activists of right-wing Hindu groups for involvement in the mosque blast, the chief minister offered to tender an apology to all the Muslim youths who were 'illegally' detained.







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