‘Set up special courts with time-bound procedures for settling cases’

A CPI(M) delegation on Saturday called on President Pranab Mukherjee and handed over a memorandum, outlining how scores of Muslim youth were targeted and persecuted in terrorism-related cases and seeking his intervention to rectify the situation.

It demanded that the draconian provisions in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act be removed, and sought compensation for and rehabilitation of the innocent persons implicated in such cases and provision of special courts with time-bound procedures to settle cases within a year.

Action must be taken against those responsible where the court has held that evidence has been concocted or misrepresented by the investigating agencies to implicate innocents.

Three young men who were jailed for long periods and then acquitted by courts — Mohammed Aamir from Delhi, Maqbool Shah from Srinagar (both incarcerated for 14 years) and Syed Wasif Haider from Kanpur (8 years) — were part of the delegation led by CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat.

Listing 22 examples of discharge of youth who were wrongfully charged and incarcerated, the memorandum lamented that in some cases young men had been jailed for 10-14 years as undertrials before being acquitted by courts which found them innocent.

Several reliable groups of concerned citizens and organisations, which collected details of these cases, have revealed how the court judgments strongly indicted the investigation agencies for bias against Muslim youth and, in several cases, for manipulation and presenting concocted evidence against innocent young men, the memorandum has pointed out.

It would appear that the investigation agencies are driven by the requirement to show “results” rather than ensuring that the actual culprits are caught, says the memorandum.

The delegation included CPI(M) Central Committee members Subhashini Ali and Mohd. Yusuf Tarigami and Delhi State Committee member Sehba Farooqui.

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