UAPA Bill: Digvijay Singh Alleges 'BJP Targeting One Religion', In Rajya Sabha Debate As Congress Opposes Amendments

Politics

Claiming mistrust over Union Home Minister Amit Shah's intentions, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Digvijay Singh, on Friday pointed out three terror cases- Ajmer, Mecca and Samjhauta in which the accused were declared not guilty after the prosecution stated pressure from superiors, while debating the UAPA Amendment Bill (2019) in the upper parliamentary house

Written By Suchitra Karthikeyan | Mumbai | Updated On:

Claiming mistrust over Union Home Minister Amit Shah's intentions, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Digvijay Singh, on Friday pointed out three terror cases- Ajmer, Mecca and Samjhauta in which the accused were declared not guilty after the prosecution stated pressure from superiors, while debating the UAPA Amendment Bill (2019) in the upper parliamentary house.

"In Ajmer Dargah Sharif, Mecca Masjid and Samjhauta Express blast case, the accused have been pronounced not guilty. NIA Special prosecutor Rahinin Salian has stated in her affidavit that she was pressed by Suhas War to take her time in these cases. We do not trust your character, Home Minister," said Singh.

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Congress alleges BJP targetting one religion

Alleging that the BJP government has created misconceptions targetting a 'particular religion' deeming them all terrorists, Singh questioned who were the most wanted people on the NIA's list.  

"Why has the NIA not appealed the judgment in these cases? If defence and prosecution become one, then how can we expect justice? We believe that terrorism has no religion but you people have created an atmosphere against one particular religion that those people are linked to terrorists. But who are the three most wanted listed on NIA?" added Singh.

Earlier last week, the Lok Sabha passed the Unlawful Activities Prevention Amendment (UAPA) Bill on July 25 with a ratio of 287:8 MPs voting on it. While the Congress staged a walkout after the Assembly rejected a Parliamentary Standing Committee to review the bill, the BJD and SP voted for it.

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What is the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019?

According to PRS, the bill amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 providing special procedures to deal with terrorist activities as follow:

  • Who may commit terrorism: Under the Bill, the central government may designate an individual as a terrorist if he: (i) commits or participates in acts of terrorism, (ii) prepares for terrorism, (iii) promotes terrorism, or (iv) is otherwise involved in terrorism.
  • Approval for seizure of property by NIA:  The Bill says if the investigation is conducted by an officer of the NIA, the approval of the Director General of NIA would be required for seizure of such property.  
  • Investigation by NIA:  The Bill empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases.
  • Insertion to schedule of treaties: The Act defines terrorist acts within the scope of any of the treaties listed in the Act. The Bill adds  the International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2005) to this list.
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