Indian Muslims Protest Against Torture Of Muslim Youth

. 1/29/09

Indian Muslims are holding a massive rally here in New Delhi at Jantar Mantar to protest against the torture of Muslim youth and to demand a judicial probe in Batla House encounter.

To participate in the rally a train full of volunteers many of them Muslim ulama arrived here today morning. Several hundred people came on the train from Azamgarh district and several places that lie between Azamgarh and Delhi.

The volunteers included a number of relatives of those who have been arrested in bomb blast cases and Batla House encounter, besides in several fictitious cases.

Today’s protest march has been organized by several Muslim organizations including Uttar Pradesh Ulama Counci, Co-Ordination Committee of Indian Muslims, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Jamiat Ulama e Hind, AIMMM and several other smaller Muslim political and religious outfits.

The organisers are planning a mass demonstration, and seeking a meeting with the federal interior minister.

Indian police have been blamed by the community for torturing Muslims.

Security agencies, for example, have arrested 10 men from Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh in the past two years - all as suspects in different attacks.

One of the organisers, Maulana Amir Rashadi, said Muslim youths were being falsely targeted as terrorists.

The protestors arrived in Delhi carrying banners which said: "Let the truth prevail, bring the innocents out of jail" and "Give us security, not tears and blood".

In November, Human Rights Watch said police in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh must be prosecuted for torturing Muslims detained after bomb blasts last year.

The group warned of the risks of stigmatising and alienating "an entire community".

The state government had admitted that 21 men had been tortured and would each receive $600 in compensation.

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