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09 July, 2012

Campaign against Politics of Terror and Targeting of Muslim Youth

A public meeting on POLITICS OF TERROR: TARGETING THE MUSLIM YOUTH was scheduled for 3 p.m. today, July 9, at the Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi . 
Below is a statement issued by the organizers of the meeting:
Steps to prevent misuse of Criminal Justice System
Over the last 11 years, hundreds of Muslims arrested on charges of terrorism across India have been declared by courts to be innocent of the allegations. In many cases, judges have openly castigated the police for framing the accused and fabricating evidence against them. 
In Maharashtra and Gujarat, several policemen face trials for killing innocent Muslim men and falsely claiming that they were terrorists.
Once an accused is arrested on charges of terrorism, he/she is typically booked under laws such as the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Section 124(a) of the Indian Penal Code, which makes it an offense to spread disaffection. Thereafter, nearly every case takes the following route. The accused is --
• Never allowed bail even if the trial doesn't start for years
• Implicated in many other cases, including past and even future cases
• Implicated in cases across various states
• Acquitted of the charges that are never proved
• Continues to be in jail in other cases
• Is finally acquitted in all cases only after many years
Despite the grave miscarriage of justice evident from the above, the criminal jurisprudence process initiates no criminal suit against the guilty policemen even in cases where the judges clearly rule that the police framed the accused. Moreover, no compensation is ever offered to the accused compounding their utter humiliation on top of the suffering and the misery of years.
It is demanded that the Government of India and Parliament bring the following changes in the criminal jurisprudence pertaining to cases of terrorism in order to ensure that Muslims are not illegally and criminally trapped in false cases on fabricated evidence:
1. Fast-Track Courts be set up to exclusively hear terrorism/sedition cases of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Section 124(a) of the Indian Penal Code
2. Daily hearings must be held in every case
3. Prosecution must file charge-sheets within 60 days against the present 180 days
4. The accused will have automatic bail if the trial is not concluded and judgement delivered within one year from the date of arrest
5. A High Court judge would evaluate intelligence reports on the basis of which arrests are made and/or charge-sheets filed must be presented, before the start of the trial. All such rulings would be classified for a period of ten years.
6. An accused acquitted in one case would have the right to automatic bail in any and every other case of terrorism/sedition
7. Once an accused has earned bail in one case, he/she would be allowed bail in other cases if he/she is able to post sureties as deemed by the court
8. Irrespective of the number of cases against an accused, he/she cannot be denied bail for more than one year
9. If an accused is implicated in more than two cases, an automatic review of the charges would be be brought before a judicial officer of no lower than a District Judge's rank who must rule on their prima facie genuineness within six weeks
10. An acquittal would automatically trigger the process for determining the quantum of compensation that Government of India would pay the former accused
11. An acquittal would automatically trigger the process of inquiry by a judicial officer of a rank no lower than a District Judge leading to prosecution of the police officials who had been instrumental in the arrests and investigations
12. Promotions, awards and rewards for policemen for any work would remain suspended from implementation until inquiry against them is over
13. The telephone call records of the policemen involved in making arrests of terror accused as well as in encounter killings would be made case property
14. Police raids to arrest the terror accused, if based on previously received intelligence inputs, would mandatorily be video recorded
15. All police officers involved in the arrest of the terror accused would have to mandatorily undergo lie detector tests before the trial of the accused begins
It is demanded the the Government of India file a petition before the Supreme Court of India following a detailed investigation of the terrorist cases brought against Muslims since 2001. Such a petition would argue before the honourable Supreme Court that the Indian police has deliberately, maliciously and criminally targeted the Indian Muslim community implicating its youths in false cases of terrorism by way of an organised campaign.

Dear Friends,
There is rising concern across the country about the large-scale arrests and harassment of Muslim youth by the security forces of the state. Young men are being picked up without explanation, taken into police custody, beaten and tortured and eventually thrown into jail awaiting trial for years on end. Several have died in custody, the latest case being of Qateel Siddiqui who died in mysterious circumstances in the Yerwada Jail, Pune. He was arrested last November and killed in a high security prison for a case in which his complicity had still not been established.
There has been silence about the disappearance of Fasih Mahmood, the engineer picked up in Saudi Arabia. Except for denying any knowledge of his whereabouts, there has been no response from the UPA government about efforts to trace an Indian citizen whose family is now running from pillar to post in search of Justice.
Urdu journalist Syed Kazmi remains in jail on charges of terrorism, with the police still to file a chargesheet against him.
These are just a few cases of hundreds, with official reports now admitting that a majority of prisoners in Indian jails are Muslims. Citizens concerned about the increasing intolerance and authoritarianism of the Indian state where the minorities no longer feel safe in their own homes have decided to come together to organize a public meeting to raise a voice against injustice and what amounts to state terror.
A resolution calling upon the state for remedial action at different levels will also be adopted at the meeting that will be addressed by Sri Mulayam Singh Yadav, Sri AB Bardhan,Sri HD Deve Gowda,Sri Sharad Yadav, Sri Prakash Karat, Sri D.Raja, Sri Gurudas Das Gupta, Sri Mani Shankar Iyer, Sri Hanumant Rao, Sri Ram Vilas Paswan and senior representatives of civil society.
We call upon you to join the program and support the initiative

With Thanks and Regards,
Mohammed Adeeb, MP, Rajya Sabha.
Seema Mustafa, Senior Journalist.
Prof.Anuradha Chenoy,JNU.
Ajeet Sahi, Journalist.
Iqbal Ahmad, Journalist
Ameeque Jamei, Activist

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