The Hyderabad police has detained six local youth for questioning in connection with the twin blasts which killed 16 people on Thursday evening in a crowded market area in the city.
These young men had earlier been arrested in connection with the Mecca Masjid blast of 2007 and tortured by the city police. They were later acquitted by the courts.
Mohammed Rayeesuddin, a resident of Malakpet, was among those who were picked up by the police on Sunday.
Others detained include Mohammed Shakeel, Abdul Raheem and Azmath. Two young men -- Arshad and Abdul Kareem -- were allowed to go home after questioning. One Dr Ibraheem Junaid has also been asked by the police to come to the police station.
When asked about the detentions, Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma claimed he didn’t know about them.
“They may have been called for questioning by our officers but we have not arrested anybody,” he said.
When asked why the men -- who have been found innocent of wrongdoings in the past -- have again been picked up, he said he needed to verify the facts before commenting on the issue.
It may be recalled that the Hyderabad police had picked up nearly hundred local Muslim men after the bomb blasts in Mecca Masjid on May 18, 2007.
The young men were subjected to torture and forced to confess to their involvement in the blast. While 26 were later booked on terror related charges, others were released.
When the investigations were handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation, it was found that the blast was the handiwork of some right-wing elements.
All the local youth were later acquitted by the court but some of them had to languish in jail for more than one-and-a-half years before being exonerated. On the recommendations of the National Commission for Minorities, the state government had to pay a compensation and issue a good character certificate to these men.
“But the way the same men have been picked up, there seems to be no change in the police’s behaviour; they are still looking at us with suspicion”, said Dr Junaid, who had received a compensation of Rs 3 lakh and a certificate from the police.
“What is the reason for picking up these innocent young men,” said Lateef Mohammed Khan of the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee.
Mohammed Rayeesuddin, who has been detained by the police after the recent blasts, earlier lost his job and his fiance when he was wrongfully accused of being involved in the Mecca Masjid blast.
“I could never recover from the stigma of being arrested in a terror case. Why they did it to me I could never understand. Maybe because I had taken part in a protest against police firing in Hyderabad, in which one my friends had died,” Rayeesuddin had said earlier.
Rayeesuddin and Junaid were subjected to third degree torture by the police and coerced into signing a confession for a crime which they had not committed.
“I was arrested because I had prayed in Mecca Masjid on that day and helped carry the injured to the hospital,” said Dr Junaid, who was studying at the Unani Medical College opposite Mecca Masjid at the time.
Even after his acquittal, he could not find a job for a long time. Today, he runs his own clinic in Hyderabad.