NGO slams police for parading terror suspects

A human rights organisation on Monday approached the Election Commission against the Delhi Police for conducting a press conference to announce the arrest of four Indian Mujahideen terror suspects, saying such briefings could be utilised by vested groups during elections.

In two letters on Sunday and Monday, the Delhi-based Citizens For Democracy asked the commission to prohibit holding such press conferences by the police during election times.

The complaint came following the briefing by Delhi Police Special Commissioner (Special Cell) S N Shrivastava on the arrests of four youth, including a Pakistani national Waqas who is wanted for his alleged involvement in a series of terror attacks in the country.

N D Pancholi, the secretary of Citizens for Democracy, claimed that the police besides taking the names of four suspected terrorists, who were apprehended, also mentioned other names of suspected terrorists.

“All such names (of the accused) are from the Muslim community and were prominently highlighted by Shrivastava in a manner likely to promote communal resentment against the community. All the TV channels, as well as print media, have followed the story with similar relish strictly as police version,” he alleged.

The letter said the police are entitled to arrest suspects and investigate the case but is not entitled to hold press conferences and parade such suspects as guilty persons, especially during election times when communal passions are likely to be utilised to gain electorate advantage on communal polarisation.

“There was no reason or occasion for the Delhi Police to hold press conference yesterday (Sunday) in the manner as it did repeatedly highlighting Muslim names except that its purpose seems to be to enable certain political parties to utilise it to instigate sentiments against the Muslim community and polarise communities for electoral gains,” the letter said.
 

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