[…] Imran’s case raises an important question: Is a ‘suspected’ terrorist the same as a terrorist? And does the media know the difference between the two?
These questions are timely because those ‘suspected terrorists’ are making headlines again. On Wednesday, the police claimed they have arrested two LeT militants who were planning attacks in Delhi. The next day newspapers dutifully reported the same: “Delhi averts terror, 2 LeT men arrested”, “Major terror bid foiled in Delhi; 2 Lashkar men arrested”, etc.
Last October, the Sunday Guardian reported that in response to an RTI application, the Delhi police admitted that between 2005 and 2010 it had “wrongfully” arrested 47,545 individuals who were later acquitted by various courts.
The report also said that the maximum number of acquittals were in cases handled by the prestigious Special Cell. Between 2005 and 2010, the Special Cell arrested 174 people on various charges, but was able to convict only 55 of them. The South Delhi police had 9,910 convictions out of 13,946 arrests. The situation was worse in the Outer District, where there were more acquittals than convictions between 2005 and 2010. […]