Special Reports

Muslim leaders ask government to stop arresting Muslims on ISIS pretext

New Delhi:  Leaders of top Muslim organisations in the country demanded the Union government to immediately stop arresting Muslim youth on the pretext of ISIS. They termed the fresh campaign of detention and arrests as “an organised conspiracy to malign Islam and Muslims, suspect their patriotism, terrorise them and to get political benefits by creating hatred between Hindus and Muslims.”

While addressing a press conference at Press Club of India here on 8 February, Muslim leaders expressed deep concern at the nationwide arrests of Muslim youth and clerics on suspicion of having links with ISIS and Al-Qaeda days before the Republic Day.

They said that in the last one year both Prime Minister and Home Minister have categorically said that Indian Muslims are patriotic, that ISIS has failed to attract Muslim youth and has little influence over them. But just before this past Republic Day, agencies started arresting Muslims across the country on suspicion of having links with ISIS and Al-Qaeda. “This gave an impression as if Muslim youth are not only in contact with ISIS but are also actively engaged in preparation for terror attacks in the entire country just before the Republic Day and are busy recruiting and radicalising youth to join ISIS ranks.”

They said these youths “will also be acquitted of terror charges in the same manner as th ose innocent Muslim youths arrested in similar cases in the past. But until they get justice, 10-15 years of these innocent youth’s lives will be lost and they will face difficulties in restarting their social life.”

The Muslim leaders put across seven demands before the government:
(1) The chain of arresting innocent Muslims merely on suspicion should be immediately stopped. Cases should be withdrawn from those against whom no substantial proof was found and they should be immediately released.
(2) Those against whom terror charges could not be proved and have consequently been acquitted by the courts should be awarded ample compensation and stringent action should be taken against the police officers who implicated them.
 (3) Draconian laws (UAPA, MCOCA, etc.) enacted to counter the so-called terrorism should be annulled immediately because they run contrary to basic human rights and are used by police and intelligence agencies as a weapon against innocent people. It has already been proved that charges against most of the people prosecuted under these laws were not proved. Its living example is TADA whose rate of conviction was just one percent. In the year 2014, only 18 out of 141 people apprehended under UAPA could be charge-sheeted while 123 people were found innocent - it means charges could be framed only against 12% of the accused. It is most possible that these people will also be acquitted by higher courts.
(4) A new law should be formulated in the country to ensure ample compensation to the persons acquitted of terror charges and to prosecute under the same terror charges the officers of police and intelligence agencies who falsely implicated them, so that the lives of innocent people could be saved.
(5) A core group should be formed comprising human rights organisations working in terror cases, civil society groups and community organisations. Every such case should be referred to the panel. This core group would work as a watchdog. This alone will help establish mutual harmony, contact and cooperation between police and public and will shut the door of misunderstandings.
(6) A high-level probe should be conducted to fully expose the Hindutva terror network uncovered by slain ATS chief Hemant Karkare and also the cases brought to light by admission and revelations of Swami Aseemanand.
(7) Hindutva terror-accused should not be released on bail by weakening their cases; rather their cases should be fast-tracked in order to ensure judgment.
The press conference was addressed by Maulana Ashhad Rasheedi (Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind/Arshad Madni), Salim Engineer (Jamaat-e-Islami Hind), Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani (Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind/Mahmood Madni),  Navaid Hamid (Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat), Dr Shees Taimi (Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadees), Musharraf Hussain (Milli Council) and Mohammed Ahmad (Jamaat-e-Islami Hind).    

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-29 February 2016 on page no. 13

We hope you liked this report/article. The Milli Gazette is a free and independent readers-supported media organisation. To support it, please contribute generously. Click here or email us at sales@milligazette.com

blog comments powered by Disqus