Some persons from Malakpet, Saidabad and Akbarbagh behind blasts, Stating that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) was raiding houses and making arrests, CLMC general secretary Lateef Mohammed Khan demanded that the government immediately release all those who were illegally detained

Old city is tense. Four days after the bomb blasts at Dilsukhnagar that snuffed out 16 lives and left 117 injured, reports of Muslim youths being picked up for questioning are doing the rounds.

In August 2007, following the twin blasts at Lumbini Park and Gokul chat bhandar, police rounded up several youths and allegedly subjected them to third-degree methods, a charge that police had denied. Later, some of them were booked in terror conspiracy charges.

However, the youths were later acquitted of the charges, and the government paid them compensation and issued character certificates.

But since Friday, some youths, including a few who were arrested in the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case, have been detained, it is said.

Ibrahim Ali Junaid, who was arrested in 2007 on terror charges and later acquitted, alleged that police were repeatedly telephoning him. “I am ready to cooperate with them (police), but the procedure should be legal,” said Dr. Junaid. A sense of fear has also engulfed areas close to Dilsukhnagar, with reports that some persons from Malakpet, Saidabad, Akbarbagh and Moosarambagh were behind the blasts.

“I am worried over reports of plainclothes policemen moving around to nab youths on mere suspicion. I have advised my children to go out only if necessary. We all are aware of what happened to those arrested in 2007,” said a parent from Malakpet.

Azampura Corporator Amjedullah Khan feels that police should take community elders into confidence before picking up youths lest the 2007 episode should repeat. He demanded a fair and unbiased probe into the blasts.

The Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee too claimed that Muslim youths were once again being targeted. Stating that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) was raiding houses and making arrests, CLMC general secretary Lateef Mohammed Khan demanded that the government immediately release all those who were illegally detained.

“If the NIA does not have the required manpower, the government should provide a team of honest police officers to arrest the real culprits,” Mr. Khan said.

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