Committees to review cases of minority youths in jails

Committees to review cases of minority youths in jails

The Centre will ask state governments to set up special committees on the lines of erstwhile Prevention of Terrorism Act panels to review the cases of youths from minority communities languishing in jails without trial.

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said he would be writing to states soon to set up review or screening committees in a follow-up to his earlier letter asking chief ministers to ensure that no youth is wrongfully detained in the name of terror.

Shinde told a press conference that he would again write to the chief ministers to ensure that action is taken to ensure that youths from minority communities are released soon if they are innocent.

The home minister's letter in September in this regard had created a controversy, with the BJP questioning the rationale behind it and alleging that the Centre was trying to appease the Muslim community.

Shinde had clarified that he was not referring to Muslims alone but to all youths from minority communities.

He had also asked state governments to constitute special courts in consultation with high courts concerned for trial of terror-related cases, appoint special public prosecutors for trial of these cases and give priority to terror cases over other pending cases.

To a question on underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, he said the most-wanted terrorist was in Pakistan and joint efforts were being made with the United States to nab him.

“As per our information, Dawood is in Pakistan. When I went to America last year to discuss homeland security, I met the attorney general who looks after the FBI. I talked to him and we decided that we would exchange whatever information we have on Dawood. We decided we would make joint efforts,” said Shinde.

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