Forty days after journalist Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui, Mohammed Yusuf Nalband and the former DRDO junior scientist Aijaz Ahmed Mirza — arrested by the police on the charge of being part of a terror module — were released from jail, they are yet to get back their identity documents from the police, making it difficult for them to carry out their day-to-day activities.
Revealing this at a discussion, ‘Needle of suspicion: targeting Muslims in terror cases’, jointly organised by a coalition of 17 organisations, the three said it was tough for them now even to book a train ticket.
“These days we need to carry an ID card if we are travelling on a reserved ticket. One of us paid a penalty of Rs. 540 recently for not furnishing the ID. How do we explain that our identity documents have been seized by the police?” Mr. Siddiqui said.
Pointing out that the stigma of being accused as a terrorist continued to haunt them even after being let off by the court, he castigated the hypocrisy of the media in demanding an apology and compensation from the State for his illegal incarceration, when the media itself was not willing to apologise for the malicious manner in which it portrayed him.
Mr. Mirza said he had lost his dream job with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), where he was one of the very few Muslims ever to be appointed. He also narrated the trauma that his family went through in trying to contact him after he was arrested.
A report on the targeting of Muslims in terror cases in Karnataka, Permanent Suspects: Framing Muslim Youth in Karnataka, was released.
Introducing the report, V.S. Sreedhara of Peoples’ Democratic Forum said the report documents the stigma attached to persons falsely charged in terror cases, and the loss of life, dignity and livelihood.
Advocate S.A.H. Razvi spoke about the manner in which most terror cases were concocted and innocent people were framed.
“This is best illustrated by the arbitrary manner in which investigations are conducted,” he said.
Manisha Sethi from Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association spoke about her experiences in documenting the numerous false terror cases heaped on innocent Muslim youth across Delhi.