Hyderabad, Sept 17 (INN): Congress MLC and former minister Mohammad Ali Shabbir on Tuesday assured that the State Government would challenge the order of Andhra Pradesh High Court setting aside the compensation paid to innocent Muslim youth who were wrongly arrested in 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blasts case.
Talking to reporters here, Shabbir Ali said that the government would file a review petition in the High Court against the order. He said that the government would also approach the Supreme Court, if required, to ensure that the innocent Muslim youth gets compensation.
Earlier, Shabbir Ali called on Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Chief Secretary Dr PK Mohanty, Advocate General and other senior officials to discuss the follow-up action to be taken on the High Court’s order. The Chief Minister has assured that the Congress Government was firm on its stand that the Muslim youth who were wrongly booked in the blast case be paid adequate compensation, he said.
Defending the payment of compensation, Shabbir Ali said that the government only tried to heal the wounds of innocent youth who became victims of wrong investigation. He said that Andhra Pradesh Government has set an example for the entire country and compensation should be paid in all such cases irrespective of the religion the victims come from.
It may be mentioned that it was Shabbir Ali, who as the then Minorities Welfare Minister, convinced the YS Rajasekhara Reddy Government to announce compensation after it was proved during the NIA’s investigation that nearly 70 Muslim youth arrested or detained by the Hyderabad Police were innocent and the blast at Mecca Masjid was carried out on May 18, 2007, by the right-wing Hindu extremists. The youth were also acquitted by the court. While tendering an apology in the State Legislative Assembly, the Chief Minister also announced that the innocent Muslim youth would be given Character Certificates.
However, delivering its verdict on a Public Interest Litigation filed by S Venkatesh Goud, a division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Kalyan Jyothi Sengupta and Justice KC Bhanu set aside the government order issued to pay compensation. As per the order, the government awarded Rs 3 lakh each to 20 persons and Rs 20,000 to 50 youths, who were wrongly arrested in the blast case.