Congress supports legal aid to detained Jamia students (Lead)

September 26th, 2008 - 9:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Narendra ModiNew Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) The Congress party and Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Arjun Singh Friday supported the Jamia Millia Islamia vice-chancellor’s move to offer legal assistance to two students detained for the Sep 13 serial bombings in Delhi that killed 24 people.”No one can be convicted without being charged. The police are investigating the matter and charges are yet to be proved. Legal assistance is the constitutional right of these students,” Congress spokesperson Veerappa Moily told reporters here.

Arjun Singh met vice-chancellor Mushirul Hasan and also assured all help to him, the HRD ministry spokesperson said.

“The minister has advocated legal assistance to the students detained over the Delhi blasts,” the spokesperson said.

“The minister is of the view that investigative agencies cannot pass judgement against students detained in the blast case at an early stage,” the official added.

The police have detained Mohammad Shakil and Zia-ur Rehman for their suspected role in the bombings in the capital. Vice-Chancellor Hasan has come forward with legal assistance to the two Jamia students held for alleged terror activities.

The vice-chancellor also said that receiving legal assistance was the constitutional right of these students. Any citizen, he said, was entitled to get legal aid from the exchequer if he could not afford it.

The Academic Council of Jamia Millia Islamia has also decided to form a legal aid committee. The varsity will use the students’ assistance fund of Rs.650,000 to provide legal aid to students.

Hasan said the arrest of the two students was an isolated case and asserted that he would not let the university be used as an arena of politics.

“This has led to a sense of fear and apprehension amongst students. They are feeling targeted after the incident. This is not excepted,” he said.

Moily, meanwhile, hit out at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who has been given a clean chit by the Nanavati Commission in the Godhra riots of 2002.

He said: “He should be thankful of living in a country of too much democracy, otherwise any international court would have hanged him for killing innocent people.”

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