Derided by the media and under pressure to show results following the series of terror attacks in the country, the security establishment recently announced a number of arrests relating to the explosions in Ahmedabad and Bangalore and the earlier ones in Jaipur.
While it is praiseworthy that the police acted comparatively quickly this time in tracing the culprits, it later turned out that some of those arrested, whose names the media had readily released, had no involvement in the dastardly acts.
But the damage had already been done, as a ‘suspect’ told a newspaper after his release: “I will have to live with a ‘terrorist’ tag for the rest of my life.” Anwar Hussein, a doctor, said his family now faces abuses from neighbours and customers are avoiding his family’s business of iron work in his native village.
Rashid Hussain, an IT professional, said he was sacked by his employers following his arrest, even though he was released after eight days in detention.
Muslim organizations and rights groups have cried foul over the arrests, complaining that the detentions were ‘illegal’ and a violation of human rights. Indian law requires detainees to be provided a legal counsel and brought before a magistrate within 24 hours, which did not happen in this case, like many others before.