Union Home Minister’s letter to State governments urges constitution of fast-track courts

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde wrote to the State governments asking them to set up fast-track courts for speedy disposal of the cases of Muslims youths facing terrorism charges, acting as yet another reminder to the Karnataka government of its promise during the last assembly elections.

The Congress in its manifesto had said that in the wake of increasing illegal detention of Muslim youths under terror charges, a State-level committee would be constituted.

The committee would be headed by a retired High Court judge, who would be assisted by a member of State Human Rights Commission, a retired police officer not below the rank of IGP and Secretary of the Home Department to review the cases of detention of persons allegedly involved in terror-related activities.

The manifesto had also said that innocent victims in such cases will be compensated.

With Mr. Shinde’s letter to the State governments, the human right activists hope that the Congress government would meet its promises.

Convener of Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) Irshad Ahmed Desai said that many innocent youths were languishing in jails for years after being picked up on flimsy grounds.

“About 100 youths of Karnataka aged between 18 and 25 are lodged in jails of Karnataka, Pune, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Many of them are professional doctors and engineers. Most of them are from Hubli, Gulbarga, Bhatkal and Bijapur. The government should take immediate step to help them come out,” he said.

Stating that in several cases, the charges framed against the Muslims youths were erroneous and false, Mr. Desai said the government should first find the legitimacy of the charges with help of a committee.

Karnataka Komu Sauharda Vedike president K.L. Ashok said that by scrapping the anti-cattle slaughter bill proposed by the BJP government, the Congress has shown that it favoured minorities. “The government should show similar willingness for Muslim youths as the minorities have voted the Congress with enormous expectations,” Mr. Ashok said.