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AP: Cell to be set up for detention-related info
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | October 28, 2007 16:43 IST
The Andhra Pradesh government will set up a special cell in Hyderabad to provide information to the public on detentions in connection with the recent bomb blast cases.
"Anyone could represent to the officer heading the cell about any arrests or allegations of detention for questioning. This cell will provide all information," he said.
The chief minister warned police officers against indulging in harassment of innocent Muslim youth in the name of recent bomb blasts.
"The government will not tolerate harassment of youth in the name of questioning. Stringent action will be taken against officers, who are found guilty of such allegations," he added.
However, Reddy justified the detection of people against whom there was evidence. Referring to reports on the alleged torture of many Muslim youth in the aftermath of Mecca Masjid and twin blasts later in the city, he said, "The fact was that only about 60 people were questioned based on valid information and, of them, 32 were let off and cases were charged only against 28 people."
"When bomb blasts of international ramifications killed as many people, questioning people based on valid information is absolutely essential," he said.
The chief minister said that the government had shown utmost restraint on the issue and the police was very careful in detaining and questioning the people. He made it clear that the government always wanted to protect minorities and their interests and hence gave clear instructions following the blasts to the police not to detain anyone without valid information.
He expressed serious concern over the misinformation campaign by vested interests and also a section of the Press, particularly Urdu media, about the alleged torture of many Muslim youth.
Decrying the misinformation campaign and untrue reports being carried on the issue by vested interests and parties who wanted to gain political mileage out of the issue, he said they wanted to provoke a section of the people.
He regretted that the police failed to counter the misinformation campaign and to convey the real facts to the people.
Director-General of Police M A Basith and City Police Commissioner Balwinder Singh faced the Chief Minister's ire for the "sorry state of affairs." He said that public perception was important.
"When the government and the police have shown utmost restraint in dealing with the issue and want to protect the interest of the minorities, this kind of misinformation campaign does lot of harm," he said.