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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Untold story of the youth behind the bars

Chennai, August 12: International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) called the police’s bluff on the arrests of Muslim youth in Tamil Nadu post-Ahmedabad blasts. In a detailed fact-finding report on the arrests made by the state police after the Bengaluru and Ahmedabad blasts, 13 advocates in the fact-finding team claimed that the arrests were made without any “evidence.”
“Police are spreading news that the arrested Muslim youth have been plotting to blast Anna flyover on Independence Day. That has created panic among the public. We, as lawyers upholding the rule of law, wanted to ascertain the truth after meeting the five Muslim prisoners, their families and the concerned police officials,” said Mr Narayanan, joint secretary of IAPL.
Thirteen lawyers from three human rights organizations including IAPL visited the Muslim youth who are imprisoned post-Ahmedabad blasts for an alleged plot. They also interviewed the family members of the arrested youth and the concerned police officials.
“The police’s claims that the youth are planning terror strikes on Independence Day are false. The false propaganda is aimed at creating Islamophobia and getting more funds for the police force,” said Mr S.Manoharan, general secretary, IAPL.
“The youth are threatened with encounter killings and are forced to give statements according to the whims and fancies of the police. Human rights of the prisoners are violated during the interrogation,” said the fact-finding report.
“Late-night hour raids in the houses of Muslim youth, intimidation of the relatives of the prisoners are clear violation of the rule of law. The state government should order a judicial probe into the recent arrests of Muslim youth to put an end to the false propaganda spread by the intelligence agencies,” added the report.
In the meanwhile, imprisoned Abdul Gafoor’s wife Zeenat Najma petitioned the state human rights commission (SHRC) that her husband was implicated in a false case and sought the commission to order a CBI probe into her husband’s arrest. She said her husband was not a terrorist. Imprisoned Heera’s father Syed Nazeem wrote to the chief minister seeking fair retrial in the case of Heera.

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