Prakash Karat, General Secretary of the CPI(M) led a delegation to meet President Shri Pranab Mukherjee regarding targeting and persecution of scores of Muslim youth in terrorism related cases. The memorandum submitted to the President has demanded that:
1.Compensation and rehabilitation for the innocent persons implicated in such cases.
2.Provision of Special Courts with time bound procedures to settle cases within a year.
3.In cases where the court has held that evidence has been concocted or misrepresented by the investigating agencies to implicate innocents, action must be taken against those responsible.
4.The draconian provisions in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act must be reconsidered and removed.
The other members in the delegation were Subhashini Ali, member of the Central Committee of CPI(M), Mohd. Yusuf Tarigami, MLA, Jammu & Kashmir and member of the Central Committee of CPI(M), Sehba Farooqui, member of the Delhi state committee of CPI(M) and three young men who were jailed for long periods and then acquitted by the courts. They are Mohammed Aamir from Delhi (in jail for 14 years), Maqbool Shah from Srinagar (jailed for 14 years), Syed Wasif Haider from Kanpur (in jail for 8 years).
Following is the Text of the Letter Addressed to the President
November 17, 2012
The President of India
Dear Rashtrapati ji,
I write to draw your attention to the grave miscarriage of justice to scores of Muslim youth who were and are being wrongly arrested and charged in cases related to terror attacks in different parts of the country. In some cases these young men have been incarcerated for ten to fourteen years as undertrials and then finally acquitted by the courts as being innocent. Several reliable groups of concerned citizens and organizations who have collected the details of these cases, have revealed how the court judgements themselves have strongly indicted the investigation agencies for the biased mentality against the Muslim youth and in several cases the manipulation and presentation of concocted evidence against innocent young men. It would appear that the investigation agencies are more driven by the requirement to show “results” in their investigation rather than to ensure that it is the actual culprits who are caught.
Muslim youth are the most vulnerable targets today. The draconian provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act are used to deny the normal processes of justice, while there is no time bound procedure for the judicial processes. There is a growing feeling of fear and apprehension on the one hand and anger on the other that innocents are being implicated. Young lives have been destroyed, families stricken, forced into social isolation, driven into debt to pay the huge expenditures in legal fees—the terrible conditions caused by State led injustice.
As an illustration, the cases of the four young men Md. Aamir from Delhi, Syed Maqbool from Srinagar, Wasif Haider and Mumtaz Ahmed from Uttar Pradesh are presented before you. They were arrested arbitrarily when they were just eighteen or nineteen years of age, implicated in dozens of cases, incarcerated for over ten years and each one of them was, as held by the courts, innocent. They are today without jobs, considered unemployable, with dark and uncertain futures.
While no quarter can be given to any individual or group which is responsible for dastardly terror attacks, the arrest of innocent Muslim youth has reached serious dimensions which requires immediate attention. It is a blot on the principles of secular democracy. At the same time, the arrest of innocent people means that the actual culprits go free. There are three aspects, which require to be looked at:
1. Compensation to and rehabilitation of the innocents. While in some cases, with the intervention of the Minority Rights Commission and other agencies, some monetary compensation may have been given in a few cases, by and large most of the victims of State injustice are in a terrible condition. It is essential to ensure justice by providing compensation as well as the means towards a livelihood through provision of employment or any other avenue suggested by the victim.
2. The provision of Special Courts with time bound procedures is essential so as to end the sometimes deliberate prolonging of the cases. All such cases should be settled in a year.
3. In cases where the Court has held that evidence has been concocted or misrepresented by the investigating agencies to implicate innocents, action must be taken against those responsible. This will act as a deterrent in the deliberate implication of innocents.
We believe also that the draconian provisions in the UAPA must be reconsidered. At the time of the passage of the Bill in Parliament the CPI(M) had warned of the consequences of keeping such provisions on the Statute book akin to TADA and POTA. Experience has shown the legitimacy of the apprehensions expressed at that time.
We request you to take up these issues urgently with the Government of India. We also enclose relevant information and documents with further details.
Examples of some of the cases of acquittal and discharge of youth wrongfully charged and incarcerated
01 – Mohd Marouf Qaamar (Delhi), …. Acquitted on 11.11.2008, Tis Hazari Court Delhi
02 – Tariq Ahmad Dar (Kashmir), Discharge 2006 Case of Tis Hazari Court, Delhi
03 – Tasleem (Muradabad – UP), Discharge – Release on 1998, Tis Hazari Court No. 19, Delhi
04 – Najeem (Muradabad – UP) Discharge – Release on 1998, Tis Hazari Court No. 19, Delhi
05 – Shamim Akhtar (Kolkata), Discharge – Release on 1998, Tis Hazari Court No. 19, Delhi
06 – Syed Maqbool Shah (Kashmir) Acquitted on 08.04.2010, Patiala House Court, Delhi
07 – Mohd Aamir Khan (Delhi) Acquitted - 17 Cases (Delhi & NCR), Release on: 09.01.2012
08 – Haroon Rashid (Bihar), Acquitted on Jan – 2010, Tis Hazari Court, Delhi Case
09 – Dilawar Khan (Orissa), Acquit on Jan – 2010, Tis Hazari Court, Delhi Case
10 – Salman Khurshid Kori (Manipur)Acquitted on 14.12.2011, Tis Hazari Court, Delhi Case
11 – Syed Mubarak (Sitapuri – UP) Acquitted ………….Case of Bareli Dist Court – UP
12 – Abdul Mubeen (Sidhard Nagar) Acquitted ……………Case of Agra Dist Court – UP
13 – Ghulam Mohd (Kanpur), Acquitted on 12.08.2009, Case of Kanpur City – UP
14 – Sajjad-ul-Thman, (Kishtuwar) Discharge on 14.04.2011, Case of Lucknow – UP.
15 – Mumtaz Ahmad (Sopur) Acquitted on 06.08.2003 Case of GRP – Kanpur, UP.
16 – Faheem Ansari (Maharashtra) Acquitted case of Mumbai, 26.11.2008, Session Court & Supreme Court
17 – Saba uddin (UP), Acquitted Case of Mumbai, 26.11.2008, Session Court to Supreme Court!
18 – Jogeshvari Rly st Case, 2 Persons Acquitted Mumbai Maharashtra Case
19 – Tilak Nagar Rly st Case, 2 Persons discharge & 2 Acquitted. Case of Mumbai,
20 – Ghaat – Kopar 2003 Case 9 Persons Acquitted, Case of Mumbai, Maharashtra
21 – Gateway of India Case, 2 Persons Acquitted, Case of Mumbai, Maharashtra
22 – Rehmana Farooqui Acquitted by Delhi High Court in 2007 in 2000 Red Fort Case.