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Hundreds march to Parliament protesting arrests of Muslim youths

Friday November 23, 2012 11:40:38 PM, Special Correspondent

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Nationwide protest, Parliament march against arrests of Muslim youths

New Delhi: Protesting against what they termed as the 'illegal arrests' of Muslim youths and demanding fair and speedy trial for those who are already in jail, hundreds of students and activists belonging to half a dozen NGOs on Thursday marched to the Parliament.


The protesters including students, activists and leaders gathered at Jantar Mantar and then marched towards Parliament. They however were stopped at the end of Jantar Mantar road by the police.


Besides protest and march to parliament in Delhi, nationwide protests were also held across the country including Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Bihar. Symposium and press conferences on the same issue were held in Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.


The protesters demanded from the government action against police personnel and investigation agencies personnel responsible for fabrication of evidence against innocents. They also demanded repeal of all draconian laws including Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), MACOCA, sedition laws and Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), saying, "Any law for curbing terrorism must confirm with International Human Rights Standards."


The protest march to parliament which was led by Students Islamic Orgainsation of India (SIO) was backed by Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, (JIH), Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR), All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), Welfare Party of India (WPI), Jamia Students Solidarity Forum (JSSF) and Alliance for Social Justice, Delhi University.


“India cannot become super power if 20% of its minority population is behaved in such way and targeting its innocent youths, students, professionals, engineers and journalists. If this injustice will not stop, we will make here Tahrir Square for protesting peacefully against all injustices", Mohammed Azharuddin, all India president of Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) while addressing the protesters.


“Thousands of lives have been ruined because of targeting of the Muslim youths. Youths are kept in illegal custody, tortured, stripped and humiliated. They spend 10 to 15 years in jail after which the court accepts their innocence. By that time, they've lost their youth, education and career. It not only ruins one's life, but also ruins families,” said Mohammed Ahmad, all India secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.


Meanwhile, in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, the organisers said, "We are deeply concerned over the continued chain of detaining and arresting of innocent Muslim youths in the name of counter terrorism across the country since long time."


"Infiltration of communal elements into police and intelligence agencies is responsible for all the agonies faced by innocent people in terror related cases. It is bringing shame to the law enforcement structure of the country while the real culprits of most terrorism related cases roam freely due to the self-deceiving approach of the concerned authorities", they alleged.


"There seems to be a tendency among investigative agencies to search and fix some suitable ‘scapegoats’ and declare a case solved, to cover someone else’s crime directly or indirectly and to willfully target educated Muslim youth in terror related cases", they said.


"These are enough to show the bid to arrest youths under concocted charges in different parts of the country seems to be part of a planned conspiracy to defame Muslims, tarnish their image before the masses", they claimed.


"It is reported that many youths working abroad are on the hit list of security agencies. The well-qualified and professional Muslim youths go abroad in search of jobs but there too, the long arms of our security agencies are out to grab them for harassing and ruining their peace by leveling concocted charges", they said. 


"On one side, the police and the government agencies arrest innocent Muslim youths under serious charges and on the other side, the media projects them, much before their trial in courts of law, as masterminds and terrorists", they said.


"In the past decade, hundreds of Muslim youths arrested under charges of terror plots have been declared as innocents and released from jail. In many cases, courts have castigated the police and intelligence agencies for filing false cases and fabrication of evidence", they wrote.


"However", they said, "During this period, the best years of the life – of arrested youths – are ruined, their houses and families are shattered, and their relations and friends are estranged. In these circumstances, the acquitted Muslim youths face only a dark future ahead."




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