Delhi begins new journey to wipe out militants, terror as LS passes new law | KNO

Delhi begins new journey to wipe out militants, terror as LS passes new law | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, August 02 (KNO) : Just a week after the both Houses of Parliament passed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) bill; the Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill 2019, in a move that gives a big push to India’s internal security machinery.

According to the KNO monitoring desk, with the bill being put to vote in the Lower House, 287 members voted for the bill while eight members dissented, with Congress Members of Parliament (MPs) walking out of the Lok Sabha, demanding that the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act bill be sent to a Standing Committee for review.

The UAPA Bill was introduced in the Lower House by Union home minister Amit Shah on 8 July, just two weeks after the Union cabinet had cleared it. The Bill amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, providing special procedures to deal with terrorist activities, and individuals and groups that foster militancy in India. It will now be tabled in the Rajya Sabha, where it awaits passage.

Speaking in the Lower House, Union home minister Amit Shah said, “The law is just to finish militancy in the country and not to misuse it. I assure the house that it will not be misused. The toughest laws are needed to root out terror from its roots. I have merely brought in amendments."

While Congress party Member of Parliament (MP) Karti Chidambaram raised questions about the law being eventually “misused" by governments “in future," he also added that such a law would not be able to prevent any terrorist attacks in the country.

“This is the trend of every government – every government wants to centralize power. But what if there is not an enlightened government? Is this government assuring us that the law will not be misused in future? Are you putting processes in place under which misuse will not happen? Had it (the law) been there earlier, would you have been able to prevent Pulwama or Pathankot? Can they prevent terrorist attacks because there are tougher laws?" Karti Chidambaram said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

While Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule also raised the point about the law “unfairly targeting social activists," Shah gave a scathing rebuttal in the Lower House saying, “The police are not interested in nabbing social workers, but those who work to foster Urban Naxalism, do not have our sympathies and we will not tolerate it. They need to be stopped, they misguide the poor and let them pick up arms against the state."

What the Bill proposes

The proposed amendments to the existing Act redefines “Who may commit militancy", establishing that under the Act, the Centre may designate an organisation as a terrorist organisation if it commits or participates in acts of militancy, prepares for militancy, promotes militancy, or is otherwise involved in militancy.(KNO)