Mangalore, September 14: Though Indian constitution guarantees equal rights to all citizens, hundreds of innocent Muslim youths have been unjustly detained and imprisoned for no fault of them in this democratic country, lamented PFI Karnataka State unit president Ilyas Mohammed Thumbay.
He was delivering the presidential address at a public awareness meet organized by Popular Front of India at Town Hall, Mangalore on Thursday, as part of its nationwide campaign demanding the release of innocent Muslim youths illegally detained in prisons across India.
Mr Thumbay said educated Muslim youths are deliberately being targeted by cops under the pretext of anti-terrorism operations.
PFI State Convenor Abdul Razzak expressed concern over portrayal of members from a particular community in relation to terrorist activities. Such a thing needs to be opposed. PFI was legally fighting against such acts, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Advocate Hamzat Hejamady said that police had not been following the norms laid down by the National Human Rights Commission during “encounters”.
Mr. Hejamady said the norms, among others, lays down the way police should investigate and also the way autopsy of the victim should be video recorded. “You do not see many policemen following these norms,” he said. It was the responsibility of law abiding citizens to ensure that police follow all the norms that has been prescribed.
Mr. Hejamady said police have been taking shelter under the provision granting the right of self defence while defending killing of a person in an encounter. The right of self defence can be used only when the attack would lead to death. “We generally see policemen surrounding a person and claiming that they fired only after the firing from the other side,” he said.
Mr. Hejamady said it was important for people to book policemen who are involved in fake encounters. A relative or friend of the person, who is taken away illegally by the police, should write letters to senior police officers immediately about the incident. They can follow it up with a petition to the High Court. People can also collect details such as the First Information Report, inquest and panchnama and file a private complaint before local court. “Do not be afraid of threats by police of slapping criminal cases,” he said.
Suresh Bhat Bakrabail from the Komu Souharda Vedike was also present.