Delhi: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs R P N
Singh was on Tuesday cornered in the Lok Sabha during question
hour by a large number of members on the issue of arrests and long
period of incarceration of innocent Muslim youth on concocted
The issue was first raised by the
CPI (M) group leader Basudeb Acharia. He was then quickly
supported by many members, both from opposition and allies,
including Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Sharifuddin
Shariq (National Conference), Prof. Saugata Rai (Trinmool
Congress) and Mohammad E.T. Basheer (Muslim League).
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.
He repeatedly asked whether the government had contemplated any
plan for resettlement and rehabilitation of the families of such
“There has been miscarriage of
justice to scores of Muslim youths who were arrested and charged
in cases related to terror attacks. In some cases, these young men
have remained incarcerated for more than 10 to 15 years. Later,
they were acquitted by the courts,” he said.
Seriously questioning the junior
home minister’s assertion that terrorism had no colour, Acharia
asked, then why innocent youth, particularly Muslim youths were
Continuing the assault, he said it were not one or two or three
cases but there are a large number of such cases.
“Even today, youths are being
arrested not in one or two parts but in different parts of the
country,” Acharia said.
He wanted to know any action taken
against the investigating agencies for implicating the Muslim
youths in false cases that fall in the courts.
“Why can't you constitute a special
court which will look into such cases in a time-bound manner,”
Calling Unlawful Activities
Prevention Act (UAPA), more dangerous than POTA, Lalu Prasad Yadav
said, "Muslims are being targeted. 35 youth from Darbangha,
Madhubani districts of Bihar have been arrested and taken to
Banglore jail. One of them Qateel Siddiqui has been killed."
Demanding a debate on the issue, he said, ”These youth from
Darbhanga, Madhubani and Sitamarhi have been taken by police
calling them as terrorists as a eagle takes away a bird.”
Trinamool Congress leader Saugata
Roy dismissed the government’s claim that the accused in a case
automatically gets bail if the charge sheet was not submitted to
the court within the stipulated time frame of 90 or 180 days.
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.
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.
Taking note of Acharia’s claims, Minister of State for Home
Affairs R P N Singh said it was “extremely unfortunate” if anybody
was chargesheeted on concocted allegations. “The law does not
discriminate against any caste or religion.” he said.