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India HR Minister supports legal aid for students suspected of New Delhi bombings

[JURIST] The head of India's Human Resources Development Ministry [official website], Arjun Singh [official website], said Friday that he advocates giving legal aid to two university students from the Jamia Millia Islamia [official website] who are suspects in the New Delhi serial bombings [AFP report] investigation. Singh's statement was in support of the university's Vice Chancellor, Professor Mushirul Hasan [official profile], who had said [press release] earlier this week that the students would receive legal aid. Hasan described legal aid as a constitutional right and in the interest of the nation. He was also supported by Union Minister and National President of the Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP), Ram Vilas Paswan, who described Hasan as a person with the country's best interests in mind. PTI has more. IANS has additional coverage.

The two students, Mohammad Shakil and Zia-ur Rehman, were arrested last week and are among five suspects in the September 13 bombings which resulted in the deaths of 24 people. The police said the two were members of the Indian Mujahideen, the group which claimed responsibility [Rediff India Abroad report] for the bombings. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) [official website] has criticized Hasan's decision and called for his removal.

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