The Centre will ask the states to set up advisory review committees to assess the role of youths belonging to minority communities languishing in jails on terror charges without trial.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Friday said, “I am again writing to all chief ministers saying we will appoint a screening or advisory committee like in the case of POTA. These will be state-level committees.” Last year, the Home Minister had written to all chief ministers to ensure that no innocent youth from the minority communities is wrongfully detained in the name of terror.
Shinde said he had also asked the state governments to constitute special courts in consultation with high courts concerned for trial of terror-related cases, appoint special public prosecutors for trial of these cases and give priority to terror cases over other pending cases.
Shinde’s remarks drew fire from the BJP, which said the Home Minister was indulging in vote bank politics. “Forget the Uniform Civil Code, the Union Home Minister now advocates separate criminal law application depending on religiosity,” Jaitley tweeted. BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar tweeted, “Religion has no role to play in criminal justice and crime and religion should not be mixed. This is worst vote-bank politics.”
Shinde also said that India’s most-wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim is in Pakistan. “As per our information, Dawood is in Pakistan. When I went to America last year to discuss inland security, I met the Attorney General who looks after the FBI. I talked to him and we decided that we will pass whatever information we have on Dawood amongst each other. We decided we will make joint efforts,” he said.
He rebutted charges levelled against him by former home secretary R K Singh, who recently joined BJP. In an interview, Singh claimed that he had quarrels with the Home Minister who lodged a complaint against him with the Cabinet Secretary. Responding to a question to this, Shinde said, “One needs to run administration very well and if anybody fails to do his duty, I am bound to take action against him in the capacity as Home Minister.”
On the commission to probe alleged snooping in Gujarat, he said, “We will appoint a judge very soon. The decision will be made in a day or two.”
Speaking on the security being provided to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Shinde said, “It is the duty of any state government and the Centre to protect such VVIPs. When Kejriwal was elected as the Chief Minister he was immediately provided with security. We are now giving him security cover without his knowledge.”
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.