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Rediff.com  » News » Andhra CM rules out compensation to those acquitted in terror case

Andhra CM rules out compensation to those acquitted in terror case

November 20, 2008 01:13 IST
Even as the state's minority welfare minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir went to town admitting the lapse of the police for arresting and torturing 22 innocent youth in the aftermath of the blasts in Hyderabad last year and talked of paying Rs 30,000 each to rehabilitate them, Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy has ruled out any compensation.

Reddy said that paying compensation was not possible for the government as it will have too many ramifications. 

On the issue of the youth being subjected to third degree torture by the police, the CM said that the government will have to go in to the details at length.  "We have taken note of these reports and we will have to go in to them at length. Whatever has to be done has been done by the police. If there are excesses on the part of the police, we will definitely look in to it," he said.

The issue has assumed significance in Andhra Pradesh as the 22 youth acquitted and released by the court in criminal conspiracy and other cases have given graphic details of brutal torture by the police to get them to admit their involvement in the blasts.

US-based Human Rights Watch has also condemned the torture of the youth and demanded that the guilty officials be prosecuted. Earlier the minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir was quoted as saying that the police had picked up a number of youth for interrogation and those found innocent were released. While he did not see any thing wrong with the police, he said that in cases of terrorism where several people were killed police had to take serious action and probe the incidents.

On the other hand, in an attempt to placate the angry Muslim community, the minister said that the government was planning to pay a compensation to each of them. But the minister has turned out to be far off the mark as the youth themselves have said that they have neither sought any compensation from the government nor the government has offered them any.

"What we are trying to get is a loan of Rs 30,000 from the minorities financial corporation to start our business", said Mohammed Abdul Wajid, one of the acquitted youth.

The member of Parliament from Hyderabad Asaduddin Owaisi has also made it clear that the paltry amount of Rs 30,000 was not and can not be compensation. "Even an amount of Rs 1 crore will not be sufficient to compensate what these youth have under gone at the hands of the police", he said.

Owaisi, who is actively involved in the efforts to rehabilitate the youth said that apart from arranging Rs 50,000 for each of the youth from his side, and Rs 30,000 from minorities financial corporation, he was also trying to arrange a loan of Rs 80,000 from the banks. "We are trying to see that these youth could stand on their own feet once again through self employment. After the police branded the innocent youth as terrorist no body is ready to employ them," Owaisi said.

In a related development the Hyderabad city police commissioner Prasad Rao denied the claim of the Human Rights Watch that the youth picked up after the blast were subjected to torture. "If these youth were tortured in the police custody, they should have complained to the magistrate when they were produced before him".

The youth alleged that the police had threatened to kill them if they open their mouth before the magistrate but the commissioner dismissed as not plausible. Stating that the police had booked only 25 to 30 youth in specific cases like producing fake documents to obtain passports and SIM cards and possessing Jihadi literature. This flies in the face of the earlier claims of the police that the youth were suspected in the bomb blast cases. 

"We have followed the due procedure of law in arresting them. They were produced before the court and they did not make any such allegation before the court also. Only later they started making allegations. This issue figured before the National Commission for Minorities. We made our point that there was no such torture," Rao said

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad