Stop terrorising Muslim youth in the name of ISIS: Pawar

Mumbai: Sharad Pawar, Rajya Sabha MP and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president, condemned the recent illegal arrests by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Muslim youth from the Marathwada region and other parts of the country on the pretext of working for ISIS. He termed it as random and arbitrary and announced that he may take up the issue with the prime minister.

Speaking at a press conference here on 30 August, Pawar said, “A 28-member delegation representing various Muslim organisations met me recently and complained that the ATS is terrorising Muslim youth in the name of IS and other banned organisations. This delegation strongly condemned IS and said the youth of their community would never support its activities.”

He added, “according to law, an arrested person has to be presented before a magistrate within 24 hours. But there have been cases where even after 120 hours the detained persons are kept in some isolated location and not produced before a magistrate. The government needs to take serious cognisance of this. A criminal has no caste or creed. A particular community should not be labelled (as criminal).”

Referring to the Maharashtra government’s proposed “internal security law”, Pawar said, “These (the BJP) are the same people who took a moral high ground against the Emergency imposed in 1975 by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.”

Taking exception to Pawar’s stand, AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan said, “Pawar is suffering from ‘selective amnesia’. Why Pawar didn’t do anything when Malegaon blasts happened during his government and Muslim suspects were kept under illegal detention.”