Sahil Malik for BeyondHeadlines
Exoneration of many youths arrested in concocted cases of terrorism by Supreme Court intensified the campaign against communal mindset of investigative agencies. Not only Muslim leaders but secular minded hindus are pledging to stand by innocent convicts of sedition through thick and thin. Keeping this in mind, a convention “Politics of Terror: Targeting Muslim Youth” was organized by People’s Campaign Against Politics of Terror (PCPT) in New Delhi where bigwigs of different political parties came on one platform to strengthen the voice against illegal arrest of Muslim youths.
“Earlier Azamgarh and Bhatkal were dubbed as nursery of terrorism, but now investigative agencies started targeting Darbhanga, Sitamarhi and Madhubani. ATS of different states barged into Bihar and picked up innocent students randomly without plausible proofs” said Former Railway Minister and Rashtriya Janta Dal Supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav. He further said, “For communal riots, ‘half Pant’ (RSS) people are responsible. As megalomaniacs, they wanted to consolidate their political position by sowing the seed of hatred. To counter them, Muslims should be united because only they are the kingmaker. All of us have witnessed the strength of Muslims’ vote; how Samajwadi Party was enthroned in Uttar Pradesh.
Member of Parliament and host of this convention Mohammad Adeeb said in his emotive speech, “We never considered Jinnah our role model but Gandhi. But it seems now the words of Jinnah are becoming reality that Muslims would not be given their due rights in this country. Day in day out Muslims are detained in fabricated cases in the name of terrorism. After spending years in jail, they are exonerated by Apex Court . But why they are forced to ruin their lives in solitary confinements.” Throwing the ball in the court of political leaders, he said “It had never been our agenda to form a Muslim political party. We have always considered you our leaders, so pull us out from the abyss of fear. Raise the voice in parliament to put check on illegal arrests.”
President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board could not attend the convention due to health reasons but he sent his massage which says “This convention is an important step organized to raise this issue and grab the attention of the government towards the injustice and violation of human rights and define ways of giving compensation to these victims. This will make our country truly a nation that safeguards the civic rights of people (and) functionally does not become a victim of incidents of forceful control and slavery. The government needs to ensure security, respect and honour that need to be awarded to minority groups thus ensuring the complete establishment of human rights without any discrimination.”
Prakash Karat, general secretary of Communist Party of India (M) said, “Like POTA, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) is being used to victimize innocents Muslims. The provisions in UAPA are more draconian than that of POTA. While a case under POTA could not be registered by a police officer below the rank of SP, whose approval was required, UAPA did not have this clause. In the same manner, POTA required sanction at the time of filing of charge sheet, which was also dropped in UAPA,” he said. In order to overcome the issue of false implications the UAPA should be repealed.” Senior Communist leader A.B Bardhan said only united Muslims can not serve the purpose, all secular forces have to be united to eradicate communalism. All guilty police officers should be given exemplary punishment which work deterrent for others. Former Minister Ramvilas Paswan said, “Communal forces in security agencies don’t care about reverberation of their injustice to common people. More than 5 lakh people are suffering from depression. One generation of Kashmiris has witnessed only brutal killings, rapes, fake encounters and other human rights violations. Across India , people hold demonstrations to get fulfill their demand but in Kashmir forces sprinkle bullets indiscriminately. This is the part of international conspiracy against Muslims to suppress them.” Leader of Congress, Mani Shankar Ayer said, “If we want to curb the terrorism, injustice to innocent people should be stopped. And being a worker of Congress, I would pass on the message of this convention to the home minister.”
Other prominent persons including D. Raja, Atul Kumar Anjan, Chairman of Naitonal Minorities Commission, Wajahat Habibullah, C.K Jafar Sharief, Kunwar Danish, Manisha Sethi and Ameeque Jami also addressed the convention.
The People’s Campaign Against Politics of Terror raises the following demands:
– Government institute an overarching inquiry by the Supreme Court into all cases of terrorism and separatism prosecuted since 2001.
– The Government of India and the various state governments where terror cases are being prosecuted ensure that speedy trials are held in all the cases so that the accused do not languish in jails for years.
– The Government gives serious considering to the option of clubbing all cases of terrorism, sedition and separatism so that they are prosecuted together to ensure transparency in prosecution and check endless delays.
– The Government immediately initiates the process of paying monetary compensation to the hundreds of innocent citizens who have been exonerated of all charges of terrorism and sedition by the judiciary.
– The Government prosecute such police officers in a court of law and, if they are convicted, be terminated from service, their pensions be withdrawn and their promotions and awards rescinded.
– The political parties and Members of Parliament apply their strength to ensure that innocent citizens do not remain incarcerated in prison for years without trial, which is a violation of their rights.