Hyd blasts: CBI probe sought into pending cases

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New Delhi, Feb 21: The National Commission for Minorities(NCM) has demanded a CBI probe into the remaining two cases of Hyderabad bomb blasts of last year in view of allegations that the Andhra Pradesh police indulged in physical and mental torture of Muslim youths detaining them illegally.

''The youths were picked up at random, held in farm houses and private lodges for several days without informing relatives, stripped naked, severely beaten and administered electric shocks on various parts of the body,'' the complainants told a four-member NCM team led by its Vice-Chairperson M P Pinto, who visited Hyderabad in the first week of February to investigate the allegations.

The report of the team was presented at a meeting of the Commission here yesterday, officials told to the sources.According to the complainants, which included a fact finding commission set-up by the State Minorities Commission, the suspects were produced before a magistrate often late at night and prevented from recording the injuries sustained during the interrogation. The habeas corpus pleas of relatives went unheeded.

The Report said though police officials denied all the charges in their meeting with the team, and on the contrary claimed that the ''so-called civil liberties groups, known to have links with certain jehadi elements have been orchestrating the campaign against the police,'' they could adduce no evidence to substantiate their charges.

The police officials also could not explain why the letters ISI figured alongside the names of the detainess in Charlapalli prison where the Police Commissioner of Hyderabad had himself admitted that the evidence gathered so far had not established their complicity in the blasts, the Report said.

On further questioning, the police official, however, agreed to delete this reference, it said.

''While the team took note of the efforts of the Andhra Pradesh police to curb jehadi and terrorist activities in the state, it was of the firm view that such efforts must not be at the cost of jettisoning the due process of law since this would inevitably lead to the alienation of the Muslim community and push their youth to engage in activities detrimental to national interest,'' the Report said.

It may be pointed out that the CBI is at present investigating the bomb blasts of May 18 last year at Mecca Masjid, while the other two blasts--at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat eatery that took place on August 25, were being investigated by the state police.


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