Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde,
Honourable Home Minister of India,
Date: 1st October 2013
On behalf of Popular Front of India, I would like to sincerely congratulate you for the recent direction of yours to the State Governments to avoid the illegal arrest and harassment of innocent Muslim youths. This direction by your office is indeed a very promising step towards stopping the excesses committed by the police and other security forces in the name of fighting terror. We also hope it will reinstate confidence among the minorities especially the youths. This is the right time for the government to convince Muslim community that it has undergone a positive change of attitude towards the community. We also appreciate your steps of having series of discussions and consultations with the Muslim community leaders and organizations which has resulted in building an environment of trust.
Popular Front of India, being an organization which works at the grass root level among the Muslims and other marginalized sections of the society gets to witness the real concerns and problems surrounding them. Considering our experiences we would like to bring to your kind attention some more crucial issues which have to be addressed by the central government immediately.
One of major issues we would like to bring to concern is the plight of the incarcerated Muslim youths. As it is an agreed fact that the 21% of undertrials in Indian jails are Muslims and in few states like Maharashtra and West Bengal the Muslim percentage of undertrials are more than the population share of Muslims in those states. It has been witnessed in the past that Muslim youths incarcerated for years were found completely innocent and later released. Though released they have lost precious years of their life which should be compensated. With this background we sincerely request you to take appropriate steps to ensure the immediate release of innocent Muslim youths and provide compensation to their rehabilitation.
It is to be noted that even in cases which are proved to be done by Hindutva criminals and not by Muslim youths in jail; government prosecutors object even the bail petitions of the innocents and repeat the cooked stories of terror links. If the present move by the central Home ministry is earnest, first of all it should give proper directions to all government lawyers to take a stand favourable for the bail of these innocents.
Another major observation among the Muslim community regarding the decisions of the central government is that most of them never get implemented. The major examples will be the recommendations of Sachar Committee and also the directions to increase the representation of Muslims in Police and other security agencies. These recommendations were very solid steps towards resolving the major security concerns surrounding the Muslim community but unfortunately their implementation was not carried out with the right spirit. As a result such sincere intentions could not provide any relief to the condition of the Muslims. We request you to kindly give due consideration to the implementation process of the directions issued by your ministry. We believe that such an effort will surely bring out the much anticipated results and develop stronger bonds between the Muslim community and the government.
Empowerment of the marginalized sections of the society is the major agenda of Popular Front of India and we support all efforts by the government towards this agenda. We would like to convey our complete cooperation and assistance to the government for the effective implementation of various plans of the government for the empowerment of the Muslims and other backward sections.
O.M. A. Salam
Popular Front of India