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Character certificate issued to acquitted youths turns mere formality

By Mohd Ismail Khan, TwoCircles.net,

Hyderabad: Subjecting the victims to extreme patience and long delay government of Andhra Pradesh have finally issued character certificates to the Muslim youths acquitted in the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case. But as usual tradition of errors continued as the certificates too were issued with mistakes. They weren’t the character certificates in its real sense, the certificates issued by the police commissioner office turned out to be a mere certification that these youths weren’t the one’s involved in crime number 107/07, 100/07; besides the certificates were with out the police commissioner’s signature or office stamp.

Earlier the minority welfare minister Mr. Ahmedullah gave immediate orders to the district minority welfare officer Mr. Ram Mohan Rao for issuing certificates under the wake of extreme criticism from the part of Muslim organizations. It was on this order Mohan Rao issued character certificates to 84 Muslim youths who were arrested in connection with the Mecca Masjid blasts. The irony was that the government list only had 70 youths but by now the figure rose up to 84, a nice way to accept the governmental failure in assessing the details on victims.

The mistakes seems not ending there, the certificates and even the cheques issued by the government had misspelled names of the youths. In one such case an acquitted youth’s named name was written Mohd Sattar instead of MA Sattar on both the certificate and cheque. His father’s name is MA Hameed but it is written as Abdul Hameed. Now he has to face the burden of a long procedure to correct his name on the cheque and the certificate.

Mirza Basheer Baig and Mohd Afsar are both from Nizamabad district; the Hyderabad district minority welfare officer declined their demand to issue the certificates and asked them to bring a residential proof from the district Tehsildar. When they approached the Tehsildar office for the residential certificate, he declined their application and the explanation provided was that his office is yet to receive any orders on this regard from the higher authorities in Hyderabad.

But there were cases of respire for a few youths, who were earlier denied of compensations as they were now granted with these certificates. Sheikh Abdul Kaleem was one such acquitted youth who was not awarded compensation citing other pending cases against him but anyhow he received this certificate issued by the police.

Speaking to TCN Kaleem said that “It is not a character certificate as promised by the chief minister; it is just a police certificate acknowledging that, I was not involved in cases 100/07 and 107/07, it doesn’t even have the signature or the stamp of the police commissioner”. He questioned the act of denying compensation to him with the fact that the police have now acknowledged him to be innocent in the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case, as the certificate is in a way equal to an admission that he was arrested on wrong grounds.

Mohd Maaz got converted to Islam in 2007, his earlier name before the conversion, was Manik Prakash Rao. He was arrested by the police associating him to the blast case on suspicions regarding his conversion and was subsequently let off by the police being found innocent. Now the cheque and police certificate issued contains his previous name i.e. Manik Prakash Rao.

He said he was in possession of the certificate of the religious conversion and he doubts the certificate and cheque were issued on his previous name, only because he won’t be able to open a bank account on his previous name and thus he will be denied of the benefits from the cheque and certificate.

These sought of frequent lapse from the part of government well points at the lack of serious homework before planning and executing important official orders.