Special Reports

Enough is Enough, Stop Arresting Innocent Youths

SIO statement
New Delhi: Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) is deeply concerned over the continued chain of kidnapping and arresting of innocent Muslim youths in the name of counter-terrorism across the country since long time. On one side, the police and the security agencies arrest innocent Muslim youths under serious charges and on the other side, media projects them, much before their trial in courts of law, as “masterminds” and “terrorists”. As a result, their careers and the lives of their families are ruined. When these cases are heard in courts of law, the police and investigating agencies fail miserably to prove the allegations they had levelled against them. After suffering incarceration and ignominy for as long as 20 years in some cases, the courts declare them innocent and acquit them.

 In the past decade, hundreds of Muslim youths arrested under charges of hatching or executing terror plots have been declared innocent and released from jail. In many cases, courts have castigated the police and intelligence agencies for filing false cases and fabricating evidence. But during this period, the best years of their lives are ruined, their homes and families are shattered, and their relations and friends shun them. In these circumstances, the acquitted Muslim youths face a dark future ahead.

 SIO believes that infiltration of communal elements into police and intelligence agencies is responsible for all the agonies faced by innocent people in terror-related cases. It is bringing shame to the law enforcement agencies of the country while the real culprits of most terror-related cases roam freely, thanks to the self-deceiving approach of the concerned authorities.

 SIO thinks that there is a tendency among investigative agencies to search and fix some suitable ‘scapegoats’ and declare a case solved, in order to cover someone else’s crime, directly or indirectly, and to willfully target educated Muslim youth in terror-related cases.

 SIO views with concerns the way Police level false charges against innocent people, adopt illegal ways and character-assassination using baseless claims. There is enough evidence now to show the bid to arrest youths under concocted charges in different parts of the country which seems to be part of a planned conspiracy to defame Muslims and tarnish their image before the masses.

It is reported that many youths working abroad are on the hit list of security agencies. The well-qualified and professional Muslim youths go abroad in search of jobs but there, too, the long arms of our security agencies reach out to grab them for harassing and ruining their peace by levelling concocted charges.

 SIO feels that now it is time for the Union government and justice-loving citizens in the country to think how long this atmosphere of terror against Muslims and the ongoing move to defame them will continue.

Moreover, it has been seen that the sensational stories floated in media quoting ‘intelligence’ and ‘police’ sources and the self-boasting, smart police work in the field hardly stands to reason and legal scrutiny and courts generally find the police investigation nothing but ‘concocted’. In this context, SIO made the following demands for the urgent consideration of the Prime Minister of India:  1. Free and fair investigation and end of bias in law enforcement agencies. 2. Stop custodial torture and use of third degree methods by police and intelligence agencies. 3. Compensation and rehabilitation to the innocents who have been wrongly booked under terror charges. 4. All terror-related cases must be tried on a day-to-day basis so that the innocents get released soon. 5. Strict action must be taken against police personnel and investigation agencies who are responsible for fabrication of evidence against innocents. 6.    Repeal all draconian laws including Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), MCOCA, sedition laws and Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). Any law for curbing terrorism must conform with International human rights standards. 7.    Intelligence Bureau must come under the audit of the Comptroller and Auditor General.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 December 2012 on page no. 13

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