Indian government passes anti-terrorism bill; opposition calls it ‘dangerous’

BJP President Amit Shah during Public Meeting at Khanpur BJP Office in AhmedabadBCCL

  • The Lok Sabha on Wednesday, passed the Unlawful Activities Amendment Bill 2019.
  • The individuals wanted for terror-related crimes or under the radar for having any terror links shall be labelled as ‘terrorists.’
  • The bill is aimed to strengthen anti-terrorism provisions in the country.
  • The bill was passed considering the votebank count, which stood at 287 votes against eight odd opposing votes.
Despite strong protests by the opposition parties including the Congress, Trinamool Congress and DMK, the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, passed the Unlawful Activities(Provisions) Amendment Bill 2019(UAPA).

The bill aims to strengthen anti-terrorism provisions in the country. Under this, individuals wanted for terror-related crimes or under the radar for having any terror links shall be labelled as ‘terrorists.’

Investigation agencies can seize properties of those labelled as terrorists.

As of now, criminal cases with terror charges are handled by senior authorities including Deputy Superintendent and police commissioner among others. However, the amendments will enable the inspector-rank officers to probe the cases.

“The bill is only to root out terrorism,” Amit Shah responded amid the session.

He also roped in ‘urban Maoists’ into the anti-terrorism bill, saying that people have been supporting Maoism, under their ‘ideologies’ — and the government has no room for it.

‘A dangerous Act’

As expected the bill faced opposition heat, who believe that it can be misused.

The Trinamool Congress is worried that those who oppose government agenda can be tagged as ‘anti-national’. “Features of the bill are anti-people and anti-Constitution...it is a very dangerous Act,” TOI reported citing TMC’s Mahua Moitra.

Supriya Sule of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) argued saying that PM Narendra Modi had in the past, ‘opposed’ the amendments in the National Counter Terrorism Centre and National Intelligence Grid.

The bill was, however, passed considering the votebank count, which stood at 287 votes against eight odd opposing votes.

It is likely to get through in the Upper House of the Parliament as well as it gets nod from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Dal (BJD) and Samajwadi Party.

See also:

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