Human Rights

Appeal to Release Muslim Prisoners

Coimbatore: The Tamilaga Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam has appealed to the Tamil Nadu chief Minister to consider the release of Muslim prisoners who were behind the bar for the last 10 years, on the birth anniversary of former Chief Minister, C N Annadurai. The Tamil Nadu government had pioneered the system of releasing life term convicts prior to the completion of the sentence on the occasion of Annadurai's birth anniversary, E Ummar, state secretary, TMMK told presspersons.

Earlier, a government order 1155 of Home-Prison Department had denied the chances for the release of Muslim prisoners. The order debars the prisoners arrested on charges of communal riots or Explosive Substances Act. When prisoners in other categories were able to get released on completion of serving seven years sentence, Muslim prisoners were languishing behind bars for more than 10 years, Mr Ummar pointed out. In the Coimbatore serial blasts cases there were instances of prisoners convicted for charges of conspiracy and not under provisions of Arms Act, Explosive Substances Act or communal riots being denied the chance of getting released. Even the argument that arrest of persons convicted under Arms Act, Explosive Substances Act and Communal Riots cases was against the verdict of the apex court, he said.

Citing the instances of state government withdrawing the cases relating to caste clashes in southern districts for ensuring harmony, Mr.Ummar appealed that such a humanitarian approach should be shown even in the case of Muslim prisoners.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 November 2009 on page no. 11

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