New Delhi: Noted human rights activists, lawyers, community leaders and representatives of civil society under the banner of “People’s Movement Against UAPA” have announced that they are reviving the nation-wide campaign for the repeal of draconian law UAPA as under this law thousands of people (mostly Muslims, tribals, dalits and Sikh) were put behind bars across the country on baseless and flimsy charges.
At a meeting held on Friday at the India International Center here, the activists and leaders chalked out a strategy for the re-launch of campaign. It is to be recalled that the ‘Repeal UAPA Movement’ was launched in the last days of UPA government which had inserted a host of harsh provisions in the old act on the pretext of fighting terror.
During the meeting, it was decided that a team would meet the leaders of all political parties in Bihar, prior to the upcoming election, and would impress upon them the need for the repeal of UAPA, which has already put thousands of people in jails on cooked up charges.
A delegation would also visit West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to create the awareness among the politicians about the unconstitutional provisions in the act. A booklet will be published in English and other languages, and conventions and rallies will be organized in various states with the cooperation of different organizations.
Kamal Faruqui, the General Convener of the movement, told the meeting about more rigorous provisions being introduced in the act which will make an innocuous financial help to somebody in jail, a crime under UAPA. It is high time, he said, that the people should raise their voice against UAPA as they had done in the past against TADA and POTA.
Maulana Wali Rehmani, the chairman of the movement, who is also the Acting General Secretary of AIMPLB, stressed the need for united action against the act. Maulana Rehmani presided over the meeting.
Ravi Nair of SAHRDC, called for the deletion of the Sec.197 of the Cr.P.C, which, he said, gives unnecessary protection to the delinquent officers. He also added that the Intelligence Bureau should be put under the purview of the Parliament to monitor its activities and its expenditure should be reviewed by the CAG.
Jaskaren Singh of Shiromani Akalidal (Amritsar) observed that the ruling dispensation in the country is becoming more anti-minority and anti- poor.
Adv. Ashok Agarwal wanted deletion of harsh provisions in the UAPA and make it subject to periodic parliamentary review as it was in the case of previous terror laws. While Meharunnisa Khan from Jaipur has suggested that there should be coordinated movement against putting innocent youths in jail for long time”.
BAMCEF chairman Waman Meshram drew the attention of delegates towards the upper-caste domination of the Indian polity. He pointed that there were more than 131 Dalit MPs but they rarely protest or raised their voice against the atrocities heaped on Dalit communities across the country.