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Muslim youth selectively being targeted: Parliament told

Wednesday February 27, 2013 03:13:47 PM, Agencies

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 New 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 terrorism charges.


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 youth.


“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 being harassed.

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,” Acharia asked.


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.



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