NIA arrest of 2 youths for ‘IS links’ another case of demonisation of Muslims: Katju

New Delhi: Justice Markandey Katju is the former Chairman, Press Council of India. Prior to his appointment as Chairman, Press Council of India, he served as a Judge at the Supreme Court of India. Before being elevated as a judge to the Supreme Court, he had earlier served as the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Madras High Court and as acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court.

He said that “Muslims have been demonised as terrorists and fanatics, they are often falsely implicated in incidents of terrorism. When a bomb blast or such other incident takes place, the police is often unable to apprehend the real culprit.

He posted a lengthy note on his official Facebook account on 15t August, the independence day.

He wrote “In Hyderabad, the NIA ( National Investigation Agency ) has arrested two Muslim youth, Mohammed Abdullah Basith ( 24 ) and Mohammed Abdul Qadeer ( 19 ) for ” allegedly conspiring to further the IS ( Islamic State ) ideology to carry out terrorist activities in India “. It is alleged that they were in touch with one Adnan Hassan who is facing trial in the 2016 ISIS module case.

From what I could make out, this is just another instance of the doctrine ‘ guilty by association ‘ which has been rejected and held invalid by the Supreme Court of India in Sri Indra Das vs State of Assam ( see online ), following its earlier decision in State of Kerala vs Raneef ( 2011) and several decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court e.g. Elfbrandt vs Russell ( 1966 ). In Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee vs McGrath ( 1951 ) Mr.Justice William Douglas of the U.S.Supreme Court observed ” in days of great tension when feelings run high it is a temptation to take shortcuts by borrowing from the totalitarian techniques of our opponents, but when we do so we set in motion a subversive influence that destroys us from within.

Perhaps these youth will be released after spending 20 years in jail, during which they will have to undergo terrible tortures, until they are ultimately found innocent by the Court, as happened to Nisaruddin Ahmed ( who spent 23 years in jail before the Supreme Court found him innocent ), Amir ( who spent 14 years in jail before his acquittal ) and several others.”

Earlier in 2013, he lashed out at media for running a media trial right after any bomb blast. He said “Whenever a bomb blast or such incidents take place, within an hour or so, many TV channels start showing that an email or SMS claiming responsibility has come from the Indian Mujahideen or JeM or Harkatuljihad-e-Islam or some Muslim name. An email or SMS can be sent by any mischievous person. But when your start screening this on TV and next day in print, the certain message you (media) are sending is that all Muslims are terrorists and they had nothing to do except to throw bombs. You are demonising the entire Muslim community and promoting communalism.