Clerics move to get lawyers for innocents labelled terrorists

March 10th, 2008 - 2:55 pm ICT by admin  

Lucknow, March 10 (IANS) At least 200 lawyers from different parts of Uttar Pradesh will be convening here March 16 in response to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s (AIMPLB) initiative to get legal representation for innocents framed as “terrorists”. “We have approached some well known Hindu lawyers too to support the cause of those languishing in jails simply because of the decision taken by some lawyers’ associations to boycott anyone and everyone labelled as a terrorist by the police,” said Maulana Khalid Rasheed, AIMPLB member and head of Lucknow’s oldest Islamic seminary, Firangi Mahal.

“I am all for waging a war against terror and that is why I took the lead in holding an anti-terror conference here on Feb 2, well before the larger meet on the same lines in Deoband,” Rasheed told IANS, giving details about the March 16 meet.

The country’s oldest seminary in Deoband had last month passed an edict at a gathering of Islamic experts denouncing all forms of terrorism as un-Islamic.

Questioning the decision of bar associations in places like Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi, where there have been blasts targeting courts, not to defend anyone charged with involvement in a terror act, the cleric asked: “How can you be guided by a police theory? If that were the case, would there be any need for courts to hold trials?”

“I am sure our initiative will boost the morale of all those lawyers who could, so far, not muster up courage to urge the bar associations to review their decision,” said Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) convenor and AIMPLB legal adviser Zafaryab Jilani.

“Such a move was essential in the larger interest of natural justice,” he said.

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