The Congress plans to approach the government with a plea to set up a special court to fast-track all terrorism cases involving youngsters from Azamgarh which in recent years has been dubbed as a “nursery of terror.”
Unfazed by the criticism of his Azamgarh visit last week, Congress general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, Digvijay Singh, told reporters here on Monday that he would be submitting his report to party president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday or Wednesday.
“We want a free, fair and speedy trial,” Mr. Singh said; making it amply clear that he had visited Azamgarh with the full knowledge of Ms. Gandhi and after discussing the issue with fellow general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
Unsure about whether the visit had the sanction of the Congress high command, party spokespersons last week had hemmed and hawed on the issue. It was only when Mr. Singh went on record stating that he had discussed the visit with Ms. Gandhi and Mr. Gandhi that the Congress began defending him.
His report will summarise each of the cases in which youngsters from Azamgarh and adjoining areas were charged with involvement in terrorism cases. Some of the youngsters are facing multiple cases in as many as four States. About 25 to 30 families from the area are affected by this. Not only do they have to live with the taboo, fighting the cases in various courts was proving to be a harrowing experience for the lower middle class families, Mr. Singh said.
As to whether the families wanted a judicial probe into these cases including the Batla House encounter, Mr. Singh said during the visit he had managed to convince the families that a fresh investigation could mean further delay and the best option would be a speedy trial.
Referring to the criticism he has drawn from the Ulema Council and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad – Mr. Singh said: “This should not be seen as minorityism. If these boys – most of them products of Shibli Inter College — feel alienated because of injustice, it could lead to a problem.”