Concern over illegal imprisonment of Muslim youth

If two Indian Police Service (IPS) retired officers are to be together to address an issue as sensitive as terrorism then fissures are bound to be made. The same happened, on Jan 27, at UP Press Club, Lucknow, when Manzoor Ahmed (IPS) and former Vice Chancellor of Agra University and Sarwan Ram Darapuri (IPS) voiced their grave concern over the branding of Muslim youths as terrorists, whereas, the reality, had been altogether different, particularly after the confession of RSS Pracharak Aseemanand.

“There had been broad daylight evidences of RSS role in the blasts in Nanded, Jalana, Usmanabad, Kanpur and Goa. There were all orchestrated by students, conditioned into terrorism, by mentors like Colonel Purohit and Major Uphadhaya. On the contrary, Muslim youth were to languish in jails. So what is the report card of United Progressive Alliance? Where is the progress? Progress is to bludgeon Muslim youth into the dark dungeons. Is this what UPA had stood for? Where is the vow for secularism? Even if it was to be spurious and crony in its order and content?” lambasted Manzoor who has recently joined Muslim Majlis.

Lucknow Meet Indian Muslims

Echoing the same sentiment, SR Darapuri refered to his own erstwhile department and rued its working. “I am afraid the police have appallingly and abysmally lost every credibility. The weapon by the waist is now only to intimidate and suppress the masses on the orders of power echelons, and there is hardly an event which inspires. Police is now an instrument as well as a medium to control anarchy and also to perpetuate it. At times I feel ashamed and my head hangs down,” he said. He further said that the fact of the matter is that there is no redressal. Judiciary too is slipping into a smelly cesspool. The democracy is signing its own obituary. The signs can easily be read.

Ilyas Azmi, for member of Parliament, described Digvijay Singh’s love-lorn concern for Muslims as nothing but a desperate effort to anyhow bring the Muslim constituency into the Congress fold, with an eye on the West Bengal polls. Madhya Pradesh too will soon go to the polls. “Singh wants to earn his brownie points, from his master Rahul and then sit pretty with no policy change. Now, there is an effort to dish out full-page coverage of bunching RSS and SIMI together as a balancing act. Digvijay Singh had banned SIMI much before NDA was to ban it after Sep 11, 2001. Should we forget this? And, as a mark of his chameleon politics, he had suggested government employees to not to join RSS shakhas, when he was the CM in MP. What happened to his suggestion? Only a testified fool would buy such out-of-the box-hoaxes,” he said.

Akhlinder Pratap Singh expressed his serious outburst by claiming that there is a systematic planning to throw educated Muslim youth into jails, and involve them into so many cases that their hair would become grey if and until they are ever to be released. Their whole lives, their families and their kith and kin, are made such scapegoats that the only future they can aspire for is mental asylum! Why are the Muslim youth not being released when Aseemanand confession has spilled the beans?” he asked.

Muhammed Shoiab Advocate, who was murderously assaulted by Balaji Brigade, a supremacist Hindu lawyers group in Lucknow, for taking up the cases of framed up Muslim boys, said that the intelligence agencies have become unilateral and holier than thou and seem to have become an autonomous organisation with no accountability whatsoever. They are having a free hand more severe than Savak of Iran or Gestapo of Germany. “The big question is who will compensate the dozens of Muslim youths who are counting their days in prison with no end to their woes. Will the judiciary step up to ensure justice? What is the worth of our democracy if can’t ensure justice?” he questioned.

Khalid Sabir, a journalist, said that the fascist and saffronite police officers are solely responsible for stuffing innocent Muslim youths into jails, and there ought to be an immediate action for their release. “I wonder if democracy has become demonocracy for minorities and underprivileged classes in the country. There is an urgent need for some decisions to reinstate the confidence of the masses in the rule of law or else I believe even a jungle law would be much better,” he said bitterly. Maulana Fazlur Rehman Waizi expressed his agony over the pathetic state of affairs where a dread seems to have enveloped the Muslim youth and there is a permanent gloom of darkness and a perpetual siege mentality around them, coupled with the victimisation syndrome as its natural corollary.

The charter of demands issued by the conference called for the unconditional release of Muslim boys from jails and compensation for their ordeal. The police officers who framed false charges to associate such boys with LeT, HUJI, JeM and IM should be tried by fast track courts.

However, missing was the point as to what would be the future of such Muslim boys, who even after their releases, would face the uphill tide for sustenance, as even private sector would be wary of offering a job to someone once tainted with a “terrorism” charge. It would, therefore, be the government’s responsibility to offer them jobs and to enable them lead a dignified life.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-28 February 2011 on page no. 6

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