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Dec 08, 2011 at 01:47pm IST

Mecca Masjid: Rs 70 lakh for wrongful arrest

New Delhi: The Andhra Pradesh government has ordered the release of Rs 70 lakh for those wrongly accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case.

Fifty youngsters who were detained, questioned and later let off will get Rs 20,000 each as compensation.

While 20 people who were chargesheeted and later acquitted, will get Rs 3 lakh each.

The government released the compensation amount on the recommendations of the National Minorities Commission, which also asked the government to consider deducting the amount from the salaries of erring police officials.

Though the commission had made several recommendations over a year ago, the government had not acted on them.

National Minorities Commission chairman Wajahat Habibullah had also written a letter to the Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy in August, asking him to take action on the recommendations, which also include legal action against the police officers involved in arrest and torture of innocent youths, rehabilitation of victims by providing employment commensurate with their qualifications and issuing good conduct certificates to all those acquitted in the case.

Nine people were killed in the blast during Friday prayers at the historic Mecca Masjid May 18, 2007. Five more people were killed in the subsequent police firing on protesters outside the mosque. Following the blast, the police arrested dozens of Muslims youths and filed cases against them. A fact-finding committee of the state minorities commission, in its report, said the police tortured the youths.

The arrested youths were acquitted by the courts during the last one year.

Last year, following the arrest of activists of right-wing Hindu groups for involvement in the mosque blast, the chief minister offered to tender an apology to all the Muslim youths who were 'illegally' detained.

(With additional information from IANS)

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