Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday assured the students of Shibli Nomani Collge, Azamgarh, he would look into the alleged fake cases of terrorism slapped on young persons of the place.
After listening to their grievances on terrorism-related incidents, Gandhi invited a delegation to New Delhi after the UP assembly elections for further discussion on this.
During the interaction, a girl raised the issue of the Batla house encounter of 2008. Gandhi said such incidents would never be allowed.
Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, who was accompanying Gandhi, told the gathering he also believed the encounter was a fake one and had demanded a judicial inquiry. But he said PM Manmohan Singh and home minister P Chidambaram overruled him.
Before leaving for a rally in Mau, Gandhi, who stayed at the Shibli guesthouse, met the students at the central hall of the college.
College manager Mirza Mahfooz Beg said Gandhi had assured the students he would take up the matter with Chidambaram and find some solution.
The students told Gandhi scores of youth from the district were imprisoned in various states on charges of terrorism. They appealed to him to help solve the problem.
Over the past few years Azamgarh has acquired an unhealthy reputation of being “the nursery of terrorism” in view of the alleged involvement of the local youth in cases of explosions. This has been causing concern among the locals.
Expressing alarm at the situation, teacher Afsar Faizan laid stress on a speedy trial of the cases. The students said they were ready to accept punishment after a fair trial.
Quoting students, Beg said in the case of inordinate delay in trial the jailed youth were forced to pass their lives in judicial custody.
The Ulema Council, a product of the Azamgarh stir on this issue, assailed the Centre for slapping “fake cases” on the city’s youth. When a delegation of the council tried to meet Gandhi, the police stopped them. Agitating council members then burnt an effigy of Gandhi.
The police registered cases against nearly 60 members for disrupting peace.
Talking to HT, council chairman Maulana Aamir Rashadi Madni said the image of Azamgarh had been sullied because of “false” accusations.
With inputs from New Delhi