'Had the ATS not wasted its time and resources in rounding up innocent Muslims, we would have uncovered the forces trying to destroy India,' Kashif-ul-Huda, executive editor, TwoCircles.net, tells Vicky Nanjappa.
As security agencies work feverishly to solve terror cases, there is growing anger among many young Muslims that they have become easy targets for investigators.
Kashif-ul-Huda is the US-based executive editor of the TwoCircles.net site, which highlights issues affecting India's Muslims. He told Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa from his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that there is no evidence to confirm or deny the existence of the Indian Mujahideen.
How safe do you think are Muslims in India today?
India faces an increasing problem of unequal access to opportunities, resources and justice. A culture of impunity persists especially for the poor and for those who lack political power.
Security of life, property and dignity is a big concern for Muslims in India.
In addition to the threat from communal forces, the perception is increasingly law enforcement agencies are targeting and harassing Muslims under the guise of investigating terror.
Slow judicial process, where it takes years and even decades to prove one's innocence, adds to this feeling of insecurity among Muslims.
Do you feel that there is a deliberate attempt to target Muslim youth under the guise of fighting terrorism?
Muslims, without a strong political base or influence, have become easy targets for the law enforcement agencies. The Indian police have a long history of harassing the marginalised and the powerless.
Thanks to pressure from the media and the public to crack quickly terror-related cases, they arrest Muslim youth and declare a breakthrough. For them, this is an easy way out. The real terrorists go unidentified.
Are the Students Islamic Movement of India and Indian Mujahideen fiction, then?
SIMI was a real organisation till it faced a ban in 2001 for the first time. It is very difficult to find evidence to prove that its members were involved in terror activities after the ban.
Adecade on, the law enforcement agencies insist that SIMI poses a threat to the nation, but have failed to convict any members from the group.
IfSIMI continues to operate after being under the scanner for so many years, then it is a big failure on the part of the law enforcement agencies.
Wehave no evidence to confirm or deny the existence of the Indian Mujahideen as well.
Who then is carrying out the acts of terrorism in India?
Thisquestion should be asked to the ATS, which claims to arrest 'masterminds' after every terror act. Those who are carrying out these blasts are not only enemies of India, but of humanity.
Hadthe ATS investigated leads instead of framing innocents, we would have better clues about the identity of these terrorists.
Hadthe ATS not wasted its time and resources in rounding up innocent Muslims, we would have uncovered the forces trying to destroy India.
Your views on the Batla House encounter in New Delhi.
Bynot ordering an investigation, the government is giving a perception that it has something to hide.
Howdoes the Muslim community deal with incidents like the Batla House and the arrest of innocent youth?
Arethere a few who try and hit back in the form of terrorism against the State?
TheMuslim community has always been standing on the right side of the law.
They have taken the help of the Right To Information Act, the courts, democratic protests, and elections -- all Constitutional tools --to demand that justice be done.
Theyhave waited patiently for years for their loved ones to be acquitted by the courts.
Onthe other hand, the police and the ATS have used unConstitutional methods like illegal detentions, torture and false cases, which has ruined the lives and careers of many young Muslims.
Thisshows that the community that sacrificed so much for the freedom of India, continues to believe in the idea and institutions of India, even though the State and its agencies continue to fail them.