SC verdict shows not all lost for minority community: Left

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New Delhi, Oct 21 (UNI) Hailing the Supreme Court's verdict dropping POTA charges against all the 134 accused in the 2002 Godhra train incident, Left parties today observed that the order will go a long way in restoring the confidence of the minority community.

They said the apex court's verdict had vindicated their viewpoint that POTA had been misused on a large-scale in the so-called anti-terrorist campaign targetting the minority members.

The top leaders of the CPI(M), CPI and Forward Bloc told UNI that the verdict had to be welcomed as it would definitely send a positive message.

The SC today dropped POTA charges against all the 134 accused in 2002 Godhra train burning incident in Gujarat in which 59 Kar Sevaks were burnt alive. Out of 134 accused in the case 83 are still are in jail.

CPI leaders S Sudhakar Reddy and Shamim Faizi said the anti- terrorist campaign targetting the minority community had shattered their confidence in the police and civil administration. ''The verdict will give some hope that still everything is not lost,'' the CPI leaders said adding that the '' Jamia Nagar killings generally condemned as a fake encounter and the government's refusal to hold a judicial probe had alienated the community.'' ''Hunderds of educated youth have been arrested under POTA as a part of pre-planned and well conceived attack on the minority community by the state administration,'' they added.

CPI(M) senior leader Rup Chand Pal said the verdict corroborated the Left's viewpoint that a deadly law like POTA had been misused in Gujarat to the extent that even children belonging to a particular minority community were not spared and booked under this law.

Mr Pal suggested that Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act could be amended to tackle the problem of terrorism ''as a law like POTA cannot be operationalised in a democratic country like ours.'' Forward Bloc National Secretary G Devrajan demanded a thorough inquiry into ''the misuse of POTA in the Godhra incident.'' ''The Supreme Court's verdict shows that it is not the lack of stringent laws to deal with problem of terrorism but the politcial will on the part of the government,'' he added.

UNI KSA SP RP KN1412

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