NCP supremo Sharad Pawar today accused Maharashtra ATS of "terrorising" Muslim youths on "mere suspicion" and detaining them illegally, sparking criticism from BJP and AIMIM that he is taking "opportunistic stance" for political gains.
NCP supremo Sharad Pawar today accused Maharashtra ATS of “terrorising” Muslim youths on “mere suspicion” and detaining them illegally, sparking criticism from BJP and AIMIM that he is taking “opportunistic stance” for political gains.
Addressing a press meet here, Pawar said a delegation of various Muslim outfits met him recently and aired their concern over the youths from the community being “terrorised” on mere suspicion of having links with ISIS and other banned organisations.
“A 28-member delegation representing various Muslim organisations met me recently and complained that the ATS is terrorising Muslim youths in the name of ISIS and other banned organisations. This delegation strongly condemned ISIS and said the youths of their community would never support their activities,” Pawar said.
He claimed that there have been several instances, especially in Marathwada region, where youths had been picked up by the Anti-Terrorism Squad(ATS) on grounds of suspicion and detained “illegally.”
“According to the 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 let out. The government needs to take serious cognisance of this,” the former Maharashtra chief minister said.
The arrested should be immediately produced before a magistrate, there should be an immediate chargesheet and they should be tried in a fast track court, he said.
“A criminal has no caste or creed. A particular community should not be labelled (as criminal),” he said.
Reacting to Pawar’s statement, BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said the NCP leader has often played “communal and casteist politics” and has “no moral right to give sermon.”
Waris Pathan, AIMIM MLA, said Pawar was suffering from “selective amnesia” and sought to know what he had done to protect innocent Muslims implicated in cases when he was in power in the state.More.