Lok Raj Sangathan has been vigorously campaigning for the repeal of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) along with the People’s Movement Against UAPA in Delhi.
In a number of public meetings organized in Delhi over the past few weeks, LRS activists have been creating awareness among their constituencies about the draconian nature of this law and mobilising them for a powerful campaign for the repeal of this law.
After the repeal of draconian laws POTA and TADA, the amended version of UAPA has become a new tool to falsely implicate innocent people in cases. Thousands of innocent people have been detained under this law, particularly Muslims.
The original act of 1967 was amended three times in 2004, 2008 and 2012 making it more draconian every time. By adding new clauses to the original law by these amendments, it has now become more inhuman than the previous special laws TADA and POTA. The under-trials framed in UAPA are not granted bail for a long period, in most cases till the end of trial in which their innocence is proved.
Further amendments are being proposed to this law. Under the proposed amendment in UAPA, certain sections deny bail to accused till 180 days from his/her arrest and will also enable investigation agencies to extract confession from accused and the said confession would be used as evidence against accused during trial.
The President of Lok Raj Sangathan, Delhi Secretary of LRS, and other members of the All-India Council and Delhi Regional Council have participated in these campaigns.
Activists of LRS have pointed out that these black laws are a colonial legacy. The British colonialists ruled India using their tactics of divide and rule. In order to preserve their rule they spread the notion that people are communal and that strong laws are required to punish “communalists and terrorists”. In 1947 the British colonialists and the Indian ruling class organized a blood path and partitioned India so that the struggle of the people against freedom from colonial and imperialist domination can be diverted. Since then the Indian ruling class has used the same weapon of organizing communal massacres and then blaming the people for it in order to sustain its rule and keep the people diverted from fighting for their rights and for power in their own hands.
The issue is not just the repeal of UAPA and other black laws. History shows that as long as power is in the hands of a minority and people are marginalized, the ruling establishment will bring in newer laws and amend existing ones to terrorise those who dare to question the status quo. The Indian Constitution gives sanctity to these laws. Various articles in the Constitution justify that “reasonable restrictions” can be imposed on the right to speech and right to association in order to preserve the “unity and integrity” of the country.
So, it is necessary for people to fight for power in their hands and a Constitution that guarantees that the fundamental rights of people can never be violated.