A glimmer of hope, yes! But it is not enough. That’s what those wrongly implicated in the Mecca Masjid blast case think of the compensation recommended by the National Commission for Minorities (NCM). The real compensation would be punishing the policemen who tortured and subjected them to third degree methods, they feel.
Most of the 21 wrongly accused Muslim youths want the government to suspend the guilty policemen and legally proceed against them. “Payment of a few lakhs cannot make up for the suffering we underwent in the name of religion,” says Unani doctor Ibrahim Ali Junaid, who was jailed for five months.
The sentiments are shared by others. They have taken the news of the NCM recommendations with a pinch of salt. They want the cloud of suspicion hanging over them to be lifted first. Even after being acquitted by the court, they were being harassed by police, they say. “Every time there is a festival or trouble in the city, police come looking for us. We were falsely implicated in the first place and now why these tabs on us,” fumes Dr. Junaid, who runs a clinic at Hafizbaba Nagar in the Old City.
The uncalled for monitoring by police is really unnerving for the men who are trying to settle down. It is all the more surprising after the Chief Minister has apologised for their wrongful imprisonment. “Two months ago, a policeman came to my house to enquire what I was doing. Why are they after me when I have done nothing,” asks Mohammed Ali of Badabazar in Yakutpura. The 26-year-old has learnt computer hardware networking and is trying to get a job.
They are, however, happy with the Rs. 3 lakh compensation recommended by the Commission. But they are not sure when it will be paid.“So far not a single rupee is paid by the government though we have been declared innocent,” says Mohd. Raisuddin. Earlier, he used to work in a prominent jewellery shop, but after he was jailed he lost the job. “Nobody is ready to give job, though they know I have been acquitted,” he says. Now along with Masood Ahmed and Abdul Rahim, who were also wrongly implicated, he runs a fruit shop at Saidabad.
Some of them have received loans from the State Minorities Finance Corporation, while some are helped by the Majlis party and others. “I received Rs. 1 lakh from Asaduddin Owaisi, MP,” says a grateful Abdul Wajid of Tadbun.
The situation of Masood Ahmed, a graduate, is pitiable. He used to earn Rs. 15,000 a month as manager of an apparel shop in upmarket Somajiguda. But now he finds it difficult to earn even Rs. 1,500.
Retired Major S.G.M. Quadri, who took up the cause of the implicated victims, wants a sustained campaign to be launched to ensure that the NMC recommendations are implemented. “Civil society should put pressure on government as it can stall or delay implementation of the recommendations,” he said. Hindu