Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Friday reiterated Centre’s stand against illegal detention of youth of minority communities.
Speaking to scribes, Shinde said, “We are again writing to all chief ministers to ensure that anyone belonging to any minority community, if illegally detained, should be released immediately.”
He again clarified that by minorities, he didn’t mean any specific religion, and his statement applied to youths of all minority communities.
On the way forward, he said, “We will appoint committee like the screening/advisory committee for POTA (to enforce it).”
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) reacted strongly to Shinde’s comments and accused him of pursuing a divisive agenda.
“When talking about an accused or a criminal, where does the question of checking one’s religious affiliations arise? It is important to nab a criminal and curb crime, and not to check one’s religious certificates. We strongly oppose his stand,” said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.
In the past too, in September last year, the Home Minister had written letters to all Chief Ministers asking them to ensure that no Muslim youth is wrongfully detained or harassed in the name of terror. He had said that the Centre has been receiving various representations on the issue.
Emphasising that the government is committed to its core principle of combating terrorism, Shinde had said authorities should ensure that no innocent person is subjected to undue harassment. “Some of the minority youth have started feeling that they are deliberately targeted and deprived of their basic rights,” he wrote.