New Delhi, Jul 23 : Questioning the government for bringing the UAPA Bill, Congress on Tuesday said whenever strict laws have been enacted, they have been misused and urged that the country should not be made a police state.
Initiating the debate on Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha, Congress member Manish Tewari said there is a false notion that strict laws were required to fight terrorism, adding that solutions should be sought through talks.
Political initiatives were required to solve the menace of terrorism, he stressed.Piloting the Bill for consideration and passing, Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said the government wants to work with Zero tolerance for terrorism in the country.
The state-sponsored terrorism by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir has been dealt with firmly and security forces have been given a free hand to act, and the result is in front of the world to see, he added.
Insurgency in the north east region of the country has decreased by 66 per cent, which is a major achievement of the Narendra Modi government, he said, adding that with sustained efforts, the Left Wing Terrorism has decreased in various states.'Properties of terrorists can be seized, but if properties exist in different states, we have to go to the DG states, but this Bill provides that if the investigation is conducted by an officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the approval of the Director General of NIA would be required for seizure of such property,' he explained.
Replying to Union Home Minister Amit Shah's assertion made on July 15 that POTA was repealed by the UPA regime for 'vote bank politics' and not due to its abuse, Tewari said as for humanising POTA, LK Advani, the then Minister of Home Affairs in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government, had said POTA was being misused and a review committee was constituted.
"If the terrorist organisation is banned, then the financier, the logistics planner and the executor of the crime are automatically banned,"he added.
BJP member Meenakshi Lekhi said she dedicated the Bill to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the nation. "Till you control an individual, how will you control the organisation," she asked.
The Bill amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, which provides special procedures to deal with terrorist activities, among other things.
Under the Act, the Central government may designate an organisation as a terrorist organisation, if it commits or participates in acts of terrorism, prepares or promotes terrorism. The Bill additionally empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorists, on the same grounds.
Under the Act, investigation of cases may be conducted by the officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police or above. The Bill additionally empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases.(UNI)