Shinde to write to CMs on cases against minorities

Bhubaneswar: After his recent advisory to state governments on release of minority youths allegedly wrongfully booked, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today said he would soon write a second letter asking state chief ministers to set up committees to scrutinise such cases.

“I will write a second letter to the states which will be sent in two to three days. Chief ministers will be asked to form committees to scrutinise cases of detention of accused belonging to minority communities and take expeditious decisions,” Shinde told reporters on the sideline of the 9th Raising Day function of NDRF at Mundali near Cuttack.

The committees should be different from the ones that come under the provision of POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002), the Home Minister said, pointing out that minority does not mean only Muslims and that there are other communities which come under the definition of minority.

The chief ministers would be advised to scrutinise expeditiously the cases pending against youths of various minority communities who were languishing in jails for about 5-10 years, he said.

He said the Ministry of Home Affairs received a number of representations from different people which claimed that their kin were in jails for years without facing trial in the court.

“That is why I had written to chief ministers to get matters inquired and those who would be found not guilty should be released from jails immediately,” he said.

Asked if the BJP would not take political benefit out of it, Shinde said, “If Bharatiya Janata Party wants to fight elections in the name of religion and caste, let it do so. We are not interested in it. We are concerned about all communities and our intention is very clear and sacred.”

In response to a query on Maoist violence, Shinde said the concerted, coordinated and integrated efforts by both the Centre and the states had started showing results.

“As a matter of fact, the number of violent acts by Left wing extremists is steadily decreasing. Their top leaders are being trapped one by one,” the Home Minister said.