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GUEST EDITORIAL: Batla House Verdict a Slap on the Face of Patriotic Muslims

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By Kaleem Kawaja

The judgement of a New Delhi court convicting Mohammad Shahzad as a terrorist and branding him and his two friends who were killed in the police-staged false encounter, is one more travesty of injustice. The court judgement totally disregarded the evidence and the facts and instead pasted the pre-conceived police allegation that the few Muslim young men living in the alaprtment were planning a terrorist attack.

How could Shahzad have escaped from an apartment on the sixth floor of a building which had no exit other than the front door that was guarded by several heavily armed policemen? Was Shazad a bird who flew out of the apartment at such a height in the building that had no escape route? The false allegations of the police, prosecutor and their acceptance by the the judge boggles common sense.


By its bizarre judgement the said New Delhi court seem to confirm the slandering and stereotyping of the North Indian Muslim youth, especially the youth of Azamgarh. The U.P. police unable to solve a string of terrorist attacks in the last few years have found it convenient to paste the terrorist label on the Muslim youth from Azamgarh.

The harassing of Muslim youth from UP, Maharashtra and Hyderabad under the label of being sympathetic to terrorists is a flagrant violation of the fundamental rights of these patriotic citizens of the nation. Police brutality against Muslim youth has taken a much more viscous turn in the last five years. In fact today it is the number one issue in the democratic and secular Indian nation that many Indian human rights organizations are focusing on.

The Muslim citizens of the nation should launch a campaign against this awful and unjust harassment of the youth by the brutal police.
Citizens' lobbies should appeal against the New Delhi court judgement and fight all the way to the Supreme Court to get this judgement overturned and Shahzad freed from jail and the good name of Muslim youth reinstated.

[Kaleem Kawaja is a community activist based at Washington DC. He can be contacted at kaleemkawaja@gmail.com]
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