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
"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
"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
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.