A Muslim federation of over dozen organisations Friday sought a quick and fair investigation into the arrest of 11 youth suspected to have links with banned terror outfits LeT and HuJi and plotting to carry terrors attacks in the city.
"We demand a quick and fair investigation of the case, adherence to rule of law and reiteration that innocents will not be harassed," federation convener Masood Abdul Khader told reporters, a day after police revealed that the accused were arrested Wednesday from Bangalore and Hubli.
Of the 11 youth, six are from Bangalore, including a scientist with a state-run defence organisation and a journalist with a leading English daily and five from Hubli town, about 430km from here.
"In this context, we would like point out that LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) and HuJi (Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islam) are at war with each other and no person can work for both the terror outfits. We have reason to doubt the police version," Khader asserted.
Expressing grave concern over the sudden arrests without prior intimation or arrest warrants, the federation appealed to Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and Home Minister R. Ashoka to ensure the investigation, including interrogation of the accused, was held in a transparent and lawful manner without any undue influence.
"We are of the view that the youth are innocent and their arrest is a case of mistaken identity. The principle of a person being innocent until proved guilty should be upheld by all so as to protect the honour and dignity of their families and friends," Khader observed.
The federation has decided to petition the governor, the chief minister, the home minister, the state police chief Lalrokhuma Pachau and the Bangalore Police Commissioner Jyotiprakash Mirji Saturday to complete the investigation at the earliest and release the accused on bail till charges against them were proved in a court of law.
"As responsible citizens of this great country, we share the same concerns as our fellowmen and like peace and harmony to prevail among all the sections of the people," the federation said in a statement later.
All the accused have been remanded to 14-day police custody for further investigations, including interrogation after they were produced before a local court late Thursday.
The arrests were made by the Karnataka Police for allegedly plotting to assassinate leading state politicians, high profile journalists and a media baron in collusion with their handlers in Saudi Arabia and Dubai.