“Act has become a tool of abuse for the State”: Shashi Tharoor demands scrapping of draconian UAPA

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Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has demanded the scrapping of the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, widely known as the UAPA, saying that the Act had become ‘a tool of abuse for the State.’

शशि थरूर
“The idea of bringing private members’ bill is to have an Act that’ll repeal UAPA. This Act has become a tool of abuse for the state where 66% of arrests don’t involve any kind of violence at all. The conviction rate is a measly 2.4%,” Tharoor was quoted by ANI as saying.

The former union minister added, “The law should be scrapped. It should deal with real criminals & terrorists but we can’t have a blanket law that presumes guilt, defines conspiracy loosely, arrests people left & right, doesn’t charge them & then discovers they shouldn’t be convicted.”

BJP governments across India have had face criticism for abusing the UAPA to harass its critics. Police under BJP governments have been quick to invoke the Act against those perceived to critical of the government headed by Narendra Modi in India.

Last year, Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai had informed the Rajya Sabha that as many as 4,690 people were arrested in different parts of the country under the UAPA in the last three years. Of these, only 149 had been convicted, according to the minister.