Shinde to CMs: No Muslim must be wrongfully held on terror charge
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has written to all chief ministers asking them to ensure no innocent Muslim youth is wrongfully detained on charges of terror.
"Some of the minority youth have started feeling that they are deliberately targeted and deprived of their basic rights," Shinde said. While the government remained committed to combating terrorism in every form and manifestation, Shinde said, it has to also "ensure that no innocent person is subjected to undue harassment".
The home minister asked the state governments to set up special courts in consultation with the concerned high courts to try terror-related cases, appoint special public prosecutors, and prioritise these cases over other cases.
"Strict and prompt action against erring police officers where there is mala fide arrests of any member of minority community, wrongfully arrested, person should not only be released immediately but they should be suitably compensated and rehabilitated to join the mainstream," Shinde said.
In May, the central government set up 39 special courts under the NIA Act to take up terror-related cases. Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan had written to Shinde expressing concern over "wrong arrests" of Muslims in terror cases.
The BJP reacted sharply to Shinde's letter, accusing him of trying to divide the country on communal lines.
"If Shinde had issued the letter without associating the religion of the person it would not have been an issue. Had he used the word Indian — of any religion — then it would have been better. Shinde should be sacked with immediate effect for dividing the country on communal lines," BJP general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.