Muslim clerics in the capital urged fast-track trials to convict the guilty as the only way to dissuade youngsters from joining terror outfits.
The reaction came after police were trying to piece together the role of four Ranchi youths, allegedly Indian Mujahideen (IM) recruits, in Sunday’s Patna blasts targeting BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s Hunkar Rally, in which five persons died and over 80 were injured.
According to Shahar-e-Kazi of Ranchi, Kari Jaan Mohammad Rizvi, the names of Md Imtiyaz Ansari and three others from nearby Sithio village that surfaced during police probe “shamed our entire community”.
The registrar of marriages and one of the most respected clerics in the community, Md Rizvi said: “I don’t know how big or strong IM (Indian Mujahideen) is or how fast are they spreading. All I know is that just because of a few elements, Muslim community is once again ridiculed. My heart goes out to all those who lost their lives in the blasts.”
Advocating capital punishment to youths if found guilty, Md Rizvi said media reports about the Ranchi connection “depressed” him.
Drawing parallels with tribal-dominated Naxalism, Md Rizvi said: “Every Naxalite-related act is associated with tribals, even if it isn’t always the case. Similarly, minorities are becoming synonymous with terror. This must stop. Exemplary punishment should be meted out in all cases where social harmony or reputation of our state or nation is threatened.”
When told that investigation takes time and guilt needs to be proven in court after fair trials, Md Rizvi prescribed faster investigations.
“Take for instance, the one (Imtiyaz Ansari) who was arrested (from Patna). Finish probe in 15-20 days, get all the information you need and hang him if he is found guilty. The problem is that investigations go on for years and decades,” he said.
Agreed Haji Mukhtar, the general secretary of Ranchi’s Anjuman Islamiya, an apex unit of both Sunnis and Shias, which runs educational institutions, hospitals and welfare schemes.
“Jo jaisa karega waisa bharega. (You reap what you sow). Our community people aren’t even discussing the youths anymore. We are shunning their names,” Mukhtar said.
Youths, he added, engaged in “anti-national activities” lacked proper education and family values.
“A few rotten eggs are everywhere. The need of hour is to be extra cautious both at the level of community and security forces,” he added.
How can the youth be kept away from terror camps?