During the last three years, Uttar Pradesh has come on top in the country for arresting people in cases registered under ‘UAPA’.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath
– Photo: ANI (File)
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The states of Jammu and Kashmir and North East also lagged behind Uttar Pradesh. In the year 2017, 109 cases were registered in UP under UAPA, in which 382 people were arrested. The following year, in 2018, 479 people were arrested in 107 cases and in 2019, in 81 cases, 498 people were arrested. Opposition parties say that misuse of this law by both Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BJP could give a major setback in next year’s assembly elections.
The case registered under the UAPA is investigated by the state police and the National Investigation Agency (NIA). As far as the NIA is concerned, 48 special courts have been set up across the country so far for speedy trial of terrorism related cases. If you talk about UP, only six cases were registered in 2015. 23 people were arrested in these. The following year, in 2016, 10 cases were registered, in which 15 people were arrested. In the year 2017, 109 cases were registered, in which 382 people were arrested and put in jail.
In its next year i.e. in 2018, 479 and 498 people were arrested in 2019. There have been 313 cases of UAPA reported during four years in UP. Of these, 1397 people were arrested. Assam has 128 arrests in 103 cases during 2015, 219 arrests in 216 cases in 2016, 374 arrests in 133 cases in 2017, 170 arrests in 308 cases in 2018 and 112 arrests in 87 cases in 2019. In Jammu and Kashmir, 876 cases were registered under the UAPA from 2015 to 2019. These led to the arrest of 505 people.
Under UAPA in Jharkhand, 516 people were arrested in 415 cases during four years. In Tamil Nadu, there were 278 cases registered in four years. These led to the arrest of 328 people. During this period, 1796 cases were registered under UAPA in Manipur, in which 2158 people were arrested and put in jail. 145 cases have been registered in Kerala. 85 people have been arrested in these. Similarly, during the four years of Bihar, 203 cases were registered in which 567 people were arrested.
Out of 5922, only 132 persons were convicted
According to the 2019 NCRB report, the total number of persons arrested in a year under UAPA is 1948. Under this law, 5922 were arrested from 2016 to 2019. The special thing is that only 132 of these people could be convicted. This suggests that UAPA is being misused. Former Director General of Police (DGP) of UP, Vikram Singh has stated in this case that UAPA is a very sensitive law. It should be applied with great caution. Any misuse of this law can have very serious consequences. Misuse of the law is enough to reduce its sanctity. There should be a compelling reason to arrest hundreds of people under this law. Former IPS VN Singh has also said that the use of such a stringent law on a regular basis is not good. This creates the possibility of abuse. UAPA should be used in very rare cases. There has been no improvement in law and order in UP due to its regular use. It is wrong to impose UAPA on innocent people.
Many celebrities have been jailed under UAPA
Many activists and social personalities including Umar Khalid have gone to jail under this act. Human rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen, Sudhir Dhawale, who works for Dalit rights, Mahesh Raut, who is involved in the well being of the tribals, and the famous poet Varvara Rao were arrested under the UAPA. Not only this, a case has also been filed against Sudha Bhardwaj and research scholar Rona Wilson, who raised their voice for tribal rights. UP Congress President Ajay Lallu says, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is misusing this law. This creepy law is being resorted to in order to extract political henchmen. In the next election, the people of UP are ready to teach a lesson to both BJP and Yogi. Cases are less registered in UP, but hundreds of innocent people are put in jails. UAPA is being heavily abused.
The amendment in 2019 makes the UAPA law ‘stricter’
This law was brought in 1967. In 2019, several amendments were made to it. Now not only institutions, but individuals can also be declared as terrorists. It is not necessary for that person to have any relation with any terrorist organization. Several very stringent provisions have been made under the UAPA with a view to curb illegal activities within and outside the country. Under this law, anticipatory bail cannot be granted in the case. A case can be taken against any Indian or foreigner under this law. It doesn’t matter where the crime happened. A case can also be filed under this case in case of crime on foreign soil. This law empowers the NIA to declare a suspect involved in any kind of terrorist activity as a terrorist. Earlier it was arranged that in any case of terrorism, attachment of property could not be taken by the investigating officer without the permission of the DGP. Now the investigating officer of NIA can take action only with the permission of the NIA DG. This law provides for imprisonment of up to seven years. If someone is killed in illegal or terrorist activity, the punishment of the accused can be life imprisonment or even death penalty.