The All-India Students’ Association and the Revolutionary Youth Association on Thursday organised a protest march from Jantar Mantar to Uttar Pradesh Bhavan here condemning the custodial death of the terror-undertrial Khalid Mujahid. They demanded that those behind his “illegal” arrest and custodial death should be brought to book.
Putting Mujahid’s death in the context of the witch-hunting of Muslims, Sandeep Singh of AISA said: “The so called “accused” in the 2007 serial blasts was arrested by the special task force and immediately declared, of course without any evidence, to be an ‘operative of the Harkatul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI)’. Since then, he has been languishing in jail for last 6 years.’’
He highlighted the “loopholes” in the police version regarding his arrest, which was investigated by the Nimesh Commission. “Nimesh Commission, which submitted its report in 2012, found discrepancies in the police case against Khalid. On the basis of the report, the U.P. Government was forced to file an application in the court to withdraw the case against Khalid. However, the court turned down the application but actually the government put up a weak application and now Khalid has died under mysterious circumstances, raising serious questions of cover up and conspiracy,” he added.
Regarding the death as “murder”, Mr. Singh said: “It was yet another copybook instance of killing of a so-called ‘terror accused’ against whom police never managed to provide any evidence. One has not forgotten, how just last year on June 8, Mohd. Qateel Siddiqi of Darbhanga, arrested since November 2011 on charges of ‘involvement’ in several blast cases, was strangled to death.”
“The cases also expose the duplicity and hypocrisy of the ruling regimes that never tire of swearing by ‘secularism’. During the U.P. elections, we have seen cynical competition between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress to woo support of the beleaguered Muslim community. Yet, in practice, whether it is the Congress-ruled Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh or the SP-ruled U.P., they are competing with the BJP in the false framing and custodial attacks on Muslim ‘terror-accused,” he added.
Aslam Khan from RYA said: “It is high time that this twin trend of communal politics-of State patronage to communal forces and hate-mongerers and unabated State-sponsored witch-hunt of minorities which was enacted in U.P., is exposed and resisted.”