Stigma continues to haunt

Stigma continues to haunt

Haunted by the stigma of being accused in the Mecca masjid blasts in Hyderabad in 2007, Mohammad Riyasuddin and Mirza, who were later acquitted of the charges, became fresh suspects in last month’s twin blasts at Dilsukhnagar in the same city.

The reason, their presence at the blast site, and more obviously, the continuing stigma of 2007.

Riyasuddin was picked up for questioning from an apartment in the old city by National Investigation  Agency. He was identified as one of the persons who had visited the blast spot few minutes before the explosion, from the video footage of Dilsukhnagar CCTV.

On the other hand, Mirza Abdul Wasey, who lost a leg in the Mecca masjid blasts, was injured again at the Dilsukhnagar blasts. For a second time in his life he became one of the suspects in a terrorist plot. Police grilled him at the hospital even as the doctors advised complete rest for the fragile Mirza. After day-long grilling, the police declared that he is no longer a suspect in the Dilsukhnagar case.

Initially, police were not convinced with the divergent versions of Mirza and his parents. Mirza’s father told police that his son was selling garments at the time of the blast, while Mirza said that he had gone there to have a cup of tea. However, his father rubbished the allegations. “He has done nothing wrong. He is hardworking and God fearing. He will never hurt anyone and we have been cooperating with the investigation,” he added.

AP govt pays back

However, in what is billed as the first such case in the country, the Andhra Pradesh government released Rs 70 lakh compensation for the innocent Muslim youths who were falsely implicated in 2007 Mecca masjid blasts, in place of some activists of right-wing Hindutva groups who were arrested last year.

The state Minorities Welfare Department issued a GO, sanctioning the amount to be distributed among 70 Muslim youths who have been acquitted of all the charges, as a confidence-building measure.

Significantly, the National Minorities Commission (NMC) had recommended that the money be raised by deducting from the salaries of the policemen who made the arrests and tortured the victims.