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Rajnath questions human rights activists batting for terrorists

india Updated: Sep 18, 2015 21:48 IST
Rajnath Singh

File photo of Union home minister Rajnath Singh.(ht photo)

Home minister Rajnath Singh on Friday questioned the tendency of human rights activists to bat for rights of terrorists and convicted prisoners instead of security forces, referring to the hue and cry raised over hanging of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon.

He said India has a healthy democracy but it does not mean that someone can hold the nation to ransom with guns in hands.

Addressing a conference of National Human Rights Commission in New Delhi, Singh said Memon was executed after completion of all due judicial processes.

“He was convicted by the highest court of the country -- the Supreme Court -- yet people tried to raise the issue of human rights. For a person like me, I failed to understand why such things are raised,” he said in the presence of representatives of state human rights commissions.

Memon was executed on July 30 after his mercy plea was rejected twice. Some activists approached the Supreme Court chief justice late at night on July 29 seeking postponement of the hanging and in an unprecedented development, the apex court heard the matter at 2am on July 30, before rejecting it.

Singh also said he was worried by such trends.

“I get worried when some people raise the issue of human rights of terrorists and extremists when security forces resort to self defence action. These people consider the acts of terrorists and extremists and their human rights more important than that of security forces.”

“I have no hesitation in telling those people and organisations that in the democracy.. in India we have a healthy democracy, where there is a healthy democracy, how can we allow people place their demand with guns in their hands,” he said.

The home minister asked legal luminaries and human rights experts to give suggestions on how to deal with this tendency.

“If someone can give any suggestion, they may be legal luminaries or human rights experts; we can act only after your recommendations. It is your responsibility,” he said

Rajnath Singh also expressed concern over some prisoners languishing in jails for a period longer than the actual term they are supposed to be in jail.

“It is a serious matter and we all have to address it. We have already written to state governments to take necessary action,” he said.

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