Millennium Post

Protest against arrests of innocent youth

Prominent NGOs across the country will join hands and go on a daylong token fast on 25 June, protesting against unlawful arrests of youth, mostly from the minority community.

Around 100 people from all the religions across the nation including Hyderabad, Chennai, Vijayawada, Puducherry would keep fast for the entire day to emphasise the arbitrary and unlawful arrest of Muslim minority youths.

The main participating NGOs are National Alliance of People Movement, Khudai Khidmatgar and Asha Parivar. In Hyderabad, noted social activist and winner of Ramon Magsaysay Award Sandeep Pandey, will lead the protest.

Pandey said, 'We are holding this campaign jointly to communicate our message to the masses about this sensitive issue. We also demand that the government should direct the judicial system to conduct speedy trials on the people who are arrested in these cases'.

According to NGOs, injustice towards the innocent people is reminiscent of the internal emergency declared on 25 June 1975. So, the protest has been chosen to held coincide with the date. Along with observance of fast at more than 25 places across the country, the protestors would also interact with the victims’ families.

Khudai Khidmatgar, founder Faisal Khan lamented, 'We want to create an awareness in our country so that these innocent people who are arrested in the name of fighting against terrorism can be stopped. A general call was issued to all civil rights' groups and social activists to join this campaign and the response we got is, tremendous.'

Earlier, to invite attention towards this menace, Khan sat on a three days' fast in November 2011. On the same issue, in January 2012, he observed 100 hours' fast; and people from 15 states observed 12 hours' fast, in solidarity. A petition raising the issue of violation of the DK Basu guidelines was also filed with the National Human Rights Commission.

As many as 2,500 post cards would be sent to the Prime Minister demanding rehabilitation of all those acquitted in terror cases and many more.

The NGOs are also demanding that the government should constitute a commission comprising civil society members and government representation to investigate the episodes of ' illegal' arrest in the name of terrorism.

Meanwhile, social activists are also demanding that the government should punish the officials involved in illegal arrest of youths and involved in fake encounters.
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