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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 02, 2013
A long campaign by Muslims against alleged wrongful arrests under dodgy terror cases is gaining wider recognition, with Press Council of India chief Markandey Katju vowing to fight for them. Katju announced forming a not-for-profit, “The Court of Last Resort”, along with Mumbai-based lawyer Majeed Memon and film-maker Mahesh Bhatt for the cause. The outfit would examine cases where accused have been jailed for extended periods without credible charges.

Critics have questioned the role of investigating agencies implicating Muslims across India, as courts have thrown out many cases against them and released the accused, such as Muthiur Rahman Siddiqui, a Deccan Herald reporter suspected of being a terrorist.

On March 23, home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde backed special “fast-track” courts for such cases, saying “arresting and keeping innocent persons in custody knowingly is indeed a serious offence”.

“In such cases, the police often fabricate evidence against them to justify their acts and secure conviction, or the cases result in acquittal of innocent accused persons after they have spent several years in jail,” Katju said.

Muslim associations, including a Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind spokesman, welcomed the move.