Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar accused the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of “terrorizing” youths of the minority community by “illegally detaining” them on mere suspicion of being associated to banned Muslim outfits.
“A 28-member delegation representing various Muslim organisations met me recently and complained that the ATS is terrorising Muslim youths in the name of ISIS and other banned organisations. This delegation strongly condemned ISIS and said the youths of their community would never support their activities,” said Pawar.
The Rajya Sabha MP claimed that there have been several instances, especially in Marathwada, where youths have been picked up by the investigation agency on grounds of suspicion and were detained illegally.
“According to the law, an arrested person has to be presented before a magistrate within 24 hours. But there have been cases where even after 120 hours the detained persons are kept in some isolated location and not let out. The government needs to take serious cognisance of this,” the former Maharashtra chief minister said.
If youth are arrested, they should be immediately presented before a magistrate, there should be an immediate chargesheet and they should be tried in a fast track court said Pawar. “A criminal has no caste or creed. A particular community should not be labelled (as criminal),” he added.
Commenting upon the government’s proposed internal security law, Pawar said these (the BJP) are the same people who took a moral high ground against the Emergency imposed in 1975 by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
“The government has changed and so the system of making law, it seems. The thumb rule has been that the CM and his Council of Ministers decide to make a particular law and ask his Secretary to frame it. Here it is reverse,” he said, referring to Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi’s contention that the proposed law had been made at the secretarial level and there were no discussions at the ministerial level.
“This is a new Emergency-like situation the government wants to impose on the people. The time is not far when the government will have to bear what we bore in 1977 post-Emergency,” Pawar said. The Maratha strongman also announced that NCP MP Tariq Anwar will represent the party in the all-party delegation that is set to visit Jammu and Kashmir to resolve the impasse in the Valley.