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23 August 2013

Home Ministry to provide legal assistance to jailed Muslim youth

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New Delhi: Amid demand for expeditious trial of terror cases involving Muslim youth, the Home Ministry is contemplating providing legal assistance to those jailed in connection with such cases.

The move comes after the Centre set up 39 special courts across the country to take up terror cases registered by National Investigation Agency (NIA), in which most of the accused were Muslims.

"There is a genuine concern that some of the jailed Muslim youth could be innocent. So, we are considering the option of providing legal assistance to them to get a fair trial," a senior Home Ministry official told PTI.

Early this year, Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan had expressed his concern to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde over "wrong arrests" of Muslim youth in different parts of the country in terror-related cases.

Apprising the Home Minister the apprehensions expressed by various Muslim bodies that the "draconian" provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act can be misused against minorities, Khan had proposed setting up of special courts to ensure speedy trial of all terror cases.

Fully backing the Minority Affairs Minister's suggestion, Shinde wrote back to him saying, "You have my assurance that this will happen."

Proving legal assistance to incarcerated Muslim youth could be termed as UPA government's another step to allay the apprehensions of the minorities and also to provide fair justice, sources said.

(Courtesy: India Today)

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