Home Ministry intervenes in cleric arrest case

The Muslim cleric, arrested from an Emirates flight after a scare was triggered by his conversation on phone, was released on bail as the police did not press the non-bailable offence following the intervention of Home Ministry.

Updated: May 15, 2010, 20:30 PM IST

New Delhi: The Muslim cleric, arrested
on May 12 from an Emirates flight after a scare was triggered
by his conversation on phone, was released on bail as the
police did not press the non-bailable offence registered
against him following the intervention of Home Ministry.

Nurul Huda, a Deoband cleric and resident of
Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, was offloaded from the Emirates
Airways flight from Delhi to London via Dubai after a woman
co-passenger complained about his "suspicious" talk over
phone.
He was produced in court which granted him bail as the
police did not press the offence registered under non-bailable
Section 505 (creating rumour resulting in public nuisance) of
IPC. He was also charged under Section 341 (wrongfully
restraining a person) which is a bailable provision.

Home Minister P Chidambaram instructed Home Secretary
G K Pillai, who spoke to Delhi Police Commissioner Y S Dadwal
that "a wrong case" has been slapped on Huda and since there
was no reason to keep him behind bars, he should be set free,
MHA sources said.

According to Dadwal, the woman passenger had told the
cabin crew that she heard Huda saying over the phone that
"jahaz udne wala hei, ham udane wala hei" (the plane is about
to take off, we are about to blow up).
However, the cleric told the police that he was only
telling his son that "the plane is about to take off (jahaj
udne wala hai)".

Huda, who runs a madrassa in Deoband, claimed that he
was a victim of religious profiling and lamented that he had
to spend a night in Tihar Jail with no fault of his.

Asked about the incident, Minority Affairs Minister
Salman Khurshid today said that Chidambaram must be applauded
for timely intervention in the issue.

"Occurrence of such incidents from time to time remind
us that we have to improve our system and we need to be more
vigilant over such issues," he said.

The proposed communal violence bill addresses the
accountability of the officials in such matters, he added.

PTI