Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Arresting innocent Muslims in UP & failure of Lucknow Conference

The "Allegation on Muslims and Terrorism" conference in Lucknow, had raised expectations among Muslims that their voice would be heard.

And though the event could be considered successful in terms of the participation of over a hundred Ulema and Muslim intellectuals, the desired objectives couldn't be achieved.

Firstly, it failed to make any impact on State politics. The decision not to invite any politician was laudable but the event didn't make any headlines in the media. The fact is that situation is UP is quite bad at the ground-level.

Everybody wants sternest possible action against terrorists but it is unacceptable the way police implicate innocent (of course, poor) youths in false cases, just to show their success in cracking a case.

But this is happening in UP regularly. The arrest of Aftab Alam Ansari was one such incident. There have been several such cases. Ironically, those arrested are immediately branded terrorists and even the lawyers refuse to fight their case.

This is the perhaps the most unique situation where a person who gets framed, has no option, but to accept the verdict. The cops are forced to make such arrests because of the politicial pressure after any major strike.

In the case of Aftab, who was subjected to torture for over two weeks, and later DGP Brij Lal had to admit that his arrest was a mistake and he was innocent, the government didnot take action against erring cops and nobody apologised.

What they fail to realise is the extent of anger among Muslims, who feel leaderless and voiceless. The communalisation of policemen in UP is an old story but the lawyers have now taken the lead, and branded the community as radical, giving no option of justice to the arrested person.

It is bad for the psyche of any community. And it was in this backdrop that the seminar-cum-national conference was held. Maulan Rabe Hasan Nadwi and leading Islamic scholars spoke at the conference, which was organised by All India Milli Council. Unfortunately the organisers failed to draw attention towards the state machinery's brazen bias towards Muslims.

Two reports in the Hindu about this conference here and here.