(Pervez Bari): Popular Front of India, (PFI), chairman E.M. Abdul Rahiman has strongly condemned the amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, (UAPA), made in the current winter session of the parliament. The hasty passing of the amendment with a voice vote makes it clear that the government wanted to avoid any sort of debate in making the act more draconian.
"We strongly believe that this Act before new amendments itself is a threat to the judicial rights of the citizens. The previous amendments of 2008 to this act were steps to re-introduced lapsed POTA and TADA with new clauses to a general law. The government was well aware that the amendments made to the UAPA act in 2008 were opposed and criticized by various political parties, human rights activists and intellectuals", Abdul Rahiman said in a statement.
Abdul Rahiman said the attitude of the government to ignore these voices against this controversial amendments and adding more dangerous amendments to it is indeed an unfortunate and shocking decision. It is a well-known fact that black laws have always acted as a shield, which protects and empowers police and security forces to commit extreme atrocities in the name of fighting terror.
He said it was for this very reason previous laws like POTA and TADA were repealed. But by making dangerous amendments to the UAPA act such as including economic offences, as terrorism and raising the period of ban on a terrorist an organization from two to five years the central government has once again given unnecessary powers to the police and security forces.
PFI urged the civil society to vehemently oppose these draconian clauses and pressurize the government to repeal all previous and current amendments to UAPA. (firstname.lastname@example.org)