New Delhi: In an apparent attempt to reach out to the Muslim community, the government today decided to examine their demand for setting up of fast-track courts to expedite trial of "innocent" Muslim youth accused of terror acts.
"We will examine the demand," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told PTI after a delegation of political leaders, MPs met him demanding justice to "innocent" Muslim youth accused in terror charges languishing in jails.
CPI leader AB Bardhan led the team which also submitted a 14-point memorandum demanding that a clear-cut time-frame for the setting up of fast-track courts be announced immediately and release of all the accused who have been in prison for two years or more on bail.
Earlier, the team met Shinde's junior Cabinet colleague RPN Singh and apprised him of their demands on the issue.
Shinde had recently written a letter to Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan saying that his ministry strongly supported the proposal for special courts so that expeditious trials could be held in cases where "innocent" youth from the community are accused of terror acts.
He had also promised strong action against officers responsible for such cases, saying that it was a serious crime to knowingly arrest and keep innocent people in custody. Besides, the ministry has also decided to take up with the states, cases of innocents being wrongly charged, when such cases come to its notice.
Many Muslim organisations have long been demanding special courts to ensure expeditious disposal of such cases, compensation for victims and cases against officers who have falsely implicated "innocent" youth.
Several political parties too have expressed their concern over incarceration of Muslim youth in "false" terror charges.
In its poll manifesto, the Samajwadi Party had promised the release of "innocent Muslim youths who are in jail on terror charges."
Last month, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav claimed that his party government has released 400 minority youth from jails in Uttar Pradesh.
The Home Minister's letter came after Khan conveyed to him that there was a need for setting up special courts to dispose of such cases within a year's time, payment of compensation and rehabilitation of victims and action against those responsible in cases where the court has held that evidence has been concocted or misrepresented by probing agencies.