The Union government is considering a proposal to help rehabilitate the many Muslim youths who were wrongly arrested on charges of taking part in various acts of terrorism, which have now turned out to be the work of hardline Hindu groups.
The sworn confession of Aseemanand, from a fundamentalist group, after being stricken by remorse on his actions and the innocents jailed, led to the realisation in this regard.
Official sources said the proposal to provide financial, legal and other help to the Muslim youths put in long detention on the suspicion of being terrorists but later found to be innocent, was being considered. “The Government of India will do whatever possible for rehabilitation of the youth and for the relief of their families,” a source said.
If the proposal comes through, the relief will be given only to those youth found innocent and “wrongly” incarcerated for long periods.
These youths were arrested by various security agencies in connection with the Malegaon, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Dargah and Samjhauta Express blasts. The total number could be around 50.
The security agencies had blamed the Harkat-ul-Jihad- al-Islami, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Students Islamic Movement of India. Later investigations pointed to Hindu groups instead and Aseemanand, now prime accused in the Mecca Masjid blast, has confessed that he and several others were responsible. He has given a detailed description on three years of organising such attacks.
After each such blast, several Muslim youths were arrested and kept in detention, even though evidence was lacking for framing an indictment.