Govt Fails To Placate Mujahid Kin
According to the Special Task Force (STF) report, Qazmi of Azamgarh and Khalid Mujahid of Jaunpur were arrested on December 22, 2007, from near the Barabanki railway station. They were shown as members of the Harkat-Ul-Jehad-e-Islami (HuJI) and accused of triggering serial blasts
All is not well between the Uttar Pradesh government and the Rihai Manch, an umbrella organisation of different political and social fronts supporting the ‘release of innocent Muslims imprisoned on charges of terrorism.’ Last Tuesday, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s cabinet accepted Justice R D Nimesh Commission report that had probed into the arrests of two terror accused- Khalid Mujahid and Tariq Qasmi. The 1000 pages report, along with the action taken report is slated to be tabled in next assembly session. The same day the cabinet also issued a government order (GO) withdrawing cases against 16 accused in the 2007 serial blasts in district courts of Lucknow, Faizabad and Gorakhpur. Sixteen persons were killed in these explosions.
According to the Special Task Force (STF) report, Qazmi of Azamgarh and Khalid Mujahid of Jaunpur were arrested on December 22, 2007 from near the Barabanki railway station. They were shown as members of the Harkat-Ul-Jehad-e-Islami (HuJI) and charged of being behind the serial blasts. But the families of the two had alleged that they were arrested separately from their home cities, kept in illegal detention and after five days they were forced to admit their role in the crime. It was only on the complaint of Mujahid’s uncle Zahir Alam Falahi, that a case was registered against 42 police officers, including former DGP Vikram Singh, ADG Brijlal and others, who were on duty during the time of the arrests.
The Mayawati government, then in power had constituted the Nimesh Commission to probe into the case. The Commission report which was submitted to the present government on August 31, 2012 raised fingers over the STF’s claims. But the government chose to sit over it. The demands of Rihai Manch to make the report public were met with stony silence. It was only the custodial death of Khalid while he was returning after an appearance in the court last month that raised a storm. Khalid died under mysterious circumstances on his way back from Faizabad near Ram Sanehi Ghat. He was declared brought dead by doctors at district hospital in Barabanki.
The angry Rihai Manch members went on an indefinite protest, at the dharna sthal just opposite the Vidhan Sabha. They charged the government of being hand in glove with police and insensitive to the minority issues. The government efforts to buy peace through some Muslim clerics and by sending a cheque of Rs 6 lakh to the kin of Mujahid only backfired. The clerics were shooed off as stooges of the government and the cheque was returned by the bereaved family. They want justice.
The BJP has been watching the move of government as an appeasement of the community. It, however, is saying that this move to withdraw cases against the terror accused will endanger the security of the state.
“We will take this to the masses and expose the designs of the Samajwadi Party,” said Dr Laxmikant Bajpai, state president of BJP.
Pushed against the wall, the government was forced to accept the report in the cabinet. But the forum demands the immediate arrests of the policemen and justice for Mujahid.
“We want immediate action on the recommendations of the Nimesh Commission, otherwise, we are determined to continue our agitation,” said spokesperson of forum Rajiv Yadav while speaking to Uday India.
“The government cannot say that Mujahid’s death was natural. The bruises on his body will act as proof that it was not a natural death and that he was brutally tortured. It was pre-mediated murder,” said Yadav.
Asserting that the recent happenings have raised serious doubts about the intentions of the government which took nine months just to accept the report, Yadav added, “Actually it is these policemen who are the real terrorists for it was they who managed all the explosives which they showed as recovered from these two innocent youths. Now, they will have to account from where they procured it all. It is sad that the government is shielding them.”
“We demand speedy action, not mere acceptance of the report. Arrest of guilty police officers is a must for law and order. It will send the right signals to the masses that nobody is above the law,” said the chairperson of forum, Mohammad Shoaib.
Some of the recommendations made in the report include
■ To ensure that a gazetted officer, other than a police officer, should stand witness for any recoveries made.
■ The report recommends that the entire questioning of the accused must be videographed.
■ Special courts to try terror accused.
■ Maximum limit of two years fixed to decide the case.
■ Compensation must be paid to the person falsely charged.
■ Provision of action against
those who have falsely implicated them.
Shoib said that had the government been really serious in punishing the guilty, it would have taken it on priority when the Commission submitted its report in August 2012. The report had stated very clearly who the real culprits were. The fact that the cabinet only accepted the report and no action taken report was submitted only shows the ill-intention of the government. He alleged that the government was only buying time and will eventually put the whole matter in cold storage.
“The government has power to call a special session, but in the case of the Muslims, it seems it is not keen to use this power. It just wants to mislead the Muslims by projecting itself as a well wisher of the minority when the truth is just the opposite,” he said.
It may be mentioned here that the Samajwadi Party which claims to be the messiah of the Muslims had in its election campaign promised to withdraw all cases against the Muslims languishing in jails on terror charges if it comes to power.
By Kulsum Mustafa from Lucknow