No further amendment; Repeal UAPA: Popular Front

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New Delhi : Popular Front of India Chairman E Abubacker  in a statement has called on the Union Home Ministry to abandon the attempt to further amend the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, instead repeal the law immediately. 

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill 2019 introduced in Parliament by Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy seeks to empower the governments to designate individuals as terrorists. This law has been so far misused by successive governments to ban opposing organisations after putting terrorist tag on them. Now due to the proposed amendment the scope of this threat has been extended to even on an individual whom the government considers a threat to it.  Such an amendment can lead to all kinds of misuse.

The 2008 amendment of UAPA has already made it highly controversial. It provided the governments ample powers to act against citizen’s fundamental rights. As it was feared by civil right organizations from the very beginning, law was widely misused predominantly to target Minorities, Dalits, Human Rights Activists and People with dissenting voices. Several cases have been reported in recent years that innocents implicated in false cases had to spend years behind bars because of the provisions of UAPA charged on them and to be acquitted later. Thousands are still languishing in jails as under-trials without bail. Amending the law again by adding more draconian provisions will only make it an even more dangerous for a democratic country. He appealed opposition leaders and human rights activists to convince the parliament members and put pressure on the central government to refrain from bringing more draconian amendments.

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