The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), an influential Islamic organisation, on Wednesday demanded that the UPA government take immediate action to release innocent Muslim youths arrested in “false and concocted” terror cases in accordance with Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s recent letter to Chief Ministers.

It also said criminal proceedings should be initiated against the police and intelligence officers who made illegal detentions on the pretext of fighting terror.

Addressing a press conference here, JIH Rajasthan unit president Khurshid Hussain said the Union Government would have to prove if it was really sincere about not harassing innocent minority youths. The trial of persons implicated in terror cases must be speeded up through fast track courts as suggested by Mr. Shinde, he added.

The Union government, Mr. Hussain said, took 10 years to realise that there was substantial amount of truth in the matter, which has been continuously raised by human rights groups, victims’ families and even some Members of Parliament. “The career and youth of innocent persons is destroyed in the long years of their incarceration, after which they are acquitted. The government needs to fix responsibility for this.”

JIH national president M. Salim Engineer said action in accordance with Mr. Shinde’s letter must be taken at least in the cases in which youths have been acquitted by courts after years of judicial and media trial and social boycott of their families. He pointed out that more than 1,000 young Muslim men, including some implicated in the Jaipur serial blasts of May 2008, were at present facing trial in different parts of the country.

A large number of these youths have been made accused in terror crimes at a number of places. With thousands of witnesses, mainly police and intelligence officers, yet to depose against them, the judicial process would not be completed in their lifetime, Mr. Engineer said.

“The prejudiced officers or the persons on whose hidden instructions these officers acted would never want the judicial process to be completed fast, as it would prove their own crime.”

The JIH president demanded that the Centre take action to resolve such cases and ensure rehabilitation of victims.