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Mecca Masjid blast: AP govt likely to withdraw cases against Muslim protestors

By Mohammed Siddique
Last updated on: December 31, 2010 19:55 IST
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After the lifting of all the 1,667 cases booked against the participants of agitations in support and against the formation of a separate Telangana state, the Andhra Pradesh government was now seriously considering the demand for withdrawing the cases booked against the Muslim youth in Hyderabad and other places in the state.

These cases were booked during the protests in the aftermath of the blast at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad in 2007.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy held a meeting with Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy, Director General of Police Aravinda Rao and police commissioner Abdul Khayyum Khan to discuss the issue.

Sources said that the government has made up its mind to withdraw the cases as probe conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation have exposed the fact that the blast in Mecca Masjid was handiwork of the Hindtu terror outfits.

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen had taken up the issue of these cases in the state assembly and outside. When Telangana Rashtra Samiti and other parties were demanding the withdrawal of cases booked against Telangana agitators, MIM floor leader Asaduddin Owaisi had demanded that the government should be even-handed and it should also withdraw the cases booked against the Muslim youth.

"Cases were booked against the Muslim youth in old city when they were protesting in anguish after the blast in Mecca Masjid. They also became the target of the police firing", Akbaruddin Owaisi said.

He again met the chief minister a couple of days ago and reiterated the demand after the government had withdrawn the cases against the Telangana agitators.

He also demanded justice and compensation for the innocent youth who were arrested and tortured on the suspicion of being involved in the Mecca Masjid blast. "Now that the real culprits from Hindu terrorist organisations have been arrested in this case, the government should tender an apology to the Muslims and pay compensation to the youth who were victimised", he said.

Sources said that the MIM president and Member of Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi had also raised the issue with the Congress president Sonia Gandhi and urged her to direct the state government to take immediate action.

Sources said that formal orders were likely to be issued soon.

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad