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Indian police not trained in scientific investigations: Justice Katju

Says police arrest Muslims merely on suspicions who remain in jails for years

Sunday March 10, 2013 12:21:34 PM, Staff Reporter

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Malegaon: Amid continued illegal detention of Indian Muslims in the name of a crackdown on terrorists, Press Council of India Chief Justice Markandu Katju questioned the investigating teams stating that they were neither trained nor had suitable equipments to properly probe sophisticated criminal cases.


He also categorically said that the Indian Muslims were being harassed, victimised and detained by the investigating agencies.


"To find out the real culprits requires scientific investigation. Unfortunately, in most parts of our country, the police is neither trained in scientific investigations, nor has the equipment for this purpose", Justice Katju said in his response to a letter sent to him by National Minority Chief Wajahat Habibullah.


Stating that the blasts are becoming a norm in the country he said that particular persons involved in such heinous crimes should correctly be identified, prosecuted and when found guilty, given harsh punishment.


"However", he said, "In my opinion often innocent Muslims are arrested and incarcerated in prison for several years in this connection".


Comparing the style of investigations and the utmost care taken in western countries while probing a criminal case, Justice Katju gave examples of few cases that were solved only after years of investigations. "It is only by this scientific investigation that a conclusion can be reached about the identity of the culprit and the events that took place", he said.


"However", he added, "In our country most police personnel neither have training in scientific investigation nor the equipment for this purpose, and yet they have to solve the crime, otherwise they may be suspended."

Categorically stating that innocent Muslims are being framed by the investigating teams in terror related cases, Justice Katju said, "Since an impression has been created in some quarters that most Muslims are terrorists, the police often arrest some Muslims merely on suspicions."


"Once such a Muslim is arrested it is difficult for him to get bail because when he applies for bail, the Public Prosecutor tells the court that the accused is a terrorist, and consequently bail is almost always refused", he said.


"The person often remains in jail for several years, and even if he ultimately found innocent nobody can restore so many years of his life spent in jail", he added.


Recalling a recent case of Amir, who was arrested when he was 17 years old and kept for 14 years in jail until he was found innocent by the Court, Justic Kathu said, "(It) illustrates the gross injustice which is often done to Muslims in India."


"There are a large number of such cases of false implication of Muslims in bomb blast cases", he added.


Justice Katju's statement were made in response to a letter written to him by Chairman of National Minorities Commission Wahjahat Habibullah after the terrorist blast in Dilsukh Nagar, Hyderabad on the evening on February 21.


The National Commission for Minorities had noted that even before completion of investigation and on the basis of what appeared unfounded conjecture the media appears to have targeted a particular community, which seems unfortunately, also to be reciprocated in the statements of some who are in positions of authority.


Questioning the media and its way of reporting the bomb blasts, Justice Katju recalled one of his TV interviews in which he had said: "Within a hour or so of a bomb blast many TV channels start showing on their screens that an e-mail or sms has been received from the Indian Mujahidin, Jaish-e- Mohammed, Harkatuljibad-e-Islam or some other organisations having a Muslim name, claiming responsibility."


"This was irresponsible on the part of the Media because any mischievous person can send such an e-mail or sms, and it is not even necessary that the sender is a Muslim", he said.


"By showing this on the TV screens a message is conveyed to the viewers, even if by insinuation, that all Muslims are terrorists and bomb throwers", he said.


"This promotes communalism in our society and hatred against Muslims. The truth is that 99% people of all communities, whether Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Jain or Parsee are good", he said.


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