New Delhi: Noted activists and academics demanded that the government must formulate a rehabilitation policy for those who get honorably acquitted by courts in false terror cases. They also expressed deep concern over the selective justice being meted out that poses grave danger to unity and integrity of country.
At a panel discussion in University of Delhi on ‘State Repression, Human Rights and Challenges to Democracy’ was organized by the Faculty of Social Science of the University on Wednesday, they said it should be a matter of concern that in a democratic and secular country a particular community is being targeted.
The discussion was held in the context of 33 year-old Mohammed Aamir Khan’s acquittal who had spent his precious 14 years in jail and penned his horrific ordeal with the help of noted lawyer Nandita Haksar. The book is titled as ‘FRAMED AS A TERRORIST’.
Former IAS Officer, writer, human rights activist Harsh Mander, who resigned in protest to the state complicity in the 2002 Gujarat riots, said innocent Muslims were being framed in terror cases by the security agencies but most of them were acquitted by courts. He said there is hundreds of Mohammed Aamir in the country, who were falsely implicated in terror cases and got exonerated from courts but their career and life was totally ruined.
Who will return their precious years of life and shattered career?
Mander stressed the need of formulating a national policy for rehabilitation of such victims who lost everything due to biased law enforcement agencies. He also spoke on length on the selective justice prevailing in the country. Pointing out towards the execution of death sentence to Yaqub Memon in the Bombay blast case, he said Bombay riots victims still did not get justice as the culprits of this crime are roaming freely with full impunity. Same is the case of Gujarat’s 2002 pogrom, a handful of culprits were convicted with lighter punishment. He warned that targeting a particular community in the name of terror has disastrous consequences for the country.
Raising the issue of torturous delay in court trials, noted journalist Ajit Sahi said things have become so bad now that even hope from the courts seems unlikely. Going by how things presently are, Muslims can expect justice from the government or the police either he said adding that after terror, sedition law has become a new weapon to silence voice of the dissent in the country.
While chairing the discussion, Prof. Ujjwal Singh of Department of Political Science, said targeting a particular community is not good for a secular and democratic nation as it has serious repercussion on the unity and integrity of the country.
On the occasion, activist and author of Kafkaland Prof Manisha Sethi has read some excerpts from the book ‘FRAMED AS A TERRORIST’ and said criminal justice system has become biased in the country.
Mohammed Aamir Khan also spoke on the occasion who was kidnapped in 1998, tortured and framed in eighteen bomb blast cases. It took him fourteen years to prove his innocence and now he is a free man. Aamir said like him there are hundreds of Aamir who are facing lot hardships to restart the life anew as they carry the stigma of terror- taint. Narrating his ordeal, he said he lost his father during his incarceration and mother survived to see him out of jail but she was paralyzed. Thanking the secular and right-thinking non- Muslim friends for supporting him after his acquittal, Aamir said their love and support gave him lot courage and confidence that there is no dearth of justice- loving people in the country.