NEW DELHI – Demanding immediate release of young Muslims ‘falsely’ implicated in terror charges in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, a leading Indian Islamic organization has launched a nation-wide agitation against the police practices as ruining young Muslims’ lives.
“We are not going to sit in silence if innocent boys of the community are targeted and arrested on false charges,” Mufti Abdul Razzaq, the National vice president of the Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind, told OnIslam.net.
“We are planning to organize protest marches and demonstrations all over the state against police action.”
Earlier this week, Mufti Abdul Razzaq led a delegation that submitted a memorandum to the State Governor Ram Naresh Yadav. The memorandum demanded immediate release of young Muslims arrested on false terror charges in the state.
It has already been established that the police in different Indian states for years have been targeting young Muslims by labeling them as being involved in terrorism.
Reports from different states show that many youths were arrested only because they belong to a particular community and charged with sedition and terrorism.
“You cannot arrest anyone just because he is following a particular religion. Almost all state governments are least bothered to care about the problem the Muslims face,” said Mufti Abdul Razzaq.
“It is easy for the police to accuse any youth as member of banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and arrest him.”
Almost all Muslims in the area opine that those arrested were framed wrongly by Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) without any reason.
“He was sitting inside the house, when the police came and took him,” Abdul Khaleeq, father of one of the accused person Adil Nagori, told OnIslam.net.
“Later police claimed to have recovered a bomb from him. I know my son. How can you arrest someone like this just because he is a Muslim?”
Aslam Siddiqui, a resident of Khandwa, a city often dubbed as hotbed of SIMI by the state police, shared a similar opinion.
“The government and the police concoct baseless allegations against innocent youths and implicate them,” Siddiqui said.
“I think Muslim youths do not feel secure now because of these incidents.”
Demanding an enquiry on the arrests by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s premier investigating agency, Muslim scholars in the city of Ujjain accused the ATS of falsely implicating Muslim youths in the name of their involvement in terrorist acts.
“We still want the state government to order an enquiry by CBI so that innocent youths should get justice and we are opposed to the arrests in such a manner,” Shehr Qazi (City head of Ujjain) told Onislam.net.
“If they are involved then they must be punished, but arresting anyone is against the law of the land.”
In most cases all over the country, Muslim youths arrested have been acquitted later by courts.
Muslims have been arrested in states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and other places by the police on false charges.
Aquil Ahmed, a lawyer who had fought cases of youths implicated in terror charges, said, “We have seen that in a number of cases youths have been acquitted of terror charges and the court has rapped the police.”
“It is really difficult for a youth to lead a normal life because of the terrorist tag,” he told OnIslam.net.
“I think the government should understand the fact that they make life very difficult for a Muslim youth after he is arrested on false charges,” he added.
Last year, Union Home Minister Sushil kumar Shinde wrote a letter to Chief Ministers of all states, asking them to ensure that no innocent Muslim is wrongly detained and charged with terror cases. Yet, the arrests continued all over the country.
Last year, a Delhi-based civil and democratic rights group had claimed that large number of Muslim youths in Madhya Pradesh had been implicated in false terror cases just because of their religious belief.
A report prepared by Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (JTSA) titled ‘Guilt by Association: UAPA cases in Madhya Pradesh’ documents the large number of cases registered under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) across the state between 2001 and 2012.
The report claimed that there are scores of ‘terror’ cases, which have resulted in the incarceration of hundreds of men, mostly on the basis of alleged ‘seized literature’.
Despite the fact that there have been no incidents of terror attacks in the state, the number of cases in which the accused were charged with furthering the activities of an unlawful association under UAPA is relatively high.
These cases, according to the report, were registered against Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) members, their friends and acquaintances.
Talking to OnIslam.net, Rahil Khan, a student of a madarsa situated in Tajul Masajid mosque, said, “If there is any terror activity in the country, then we Muslim youths have to prove our innocence.”
“This is something which is creating a sense of insecurity among us.”
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