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
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
“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."