Lok Sabha passes Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill to designate individuals as terrorists

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The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill after a heated debate.

During a discussion on the Bill, Home Minister Amit Shah said tough laws were required to end terrorism and asserted that the amendment does not encroach on powers of states.

Congress and several opposition parties staged a walkout after the minister’s reply demanding that the Bill be sent to a standing committee.

The Bill, tabled by Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy on Tuesday, seeks to introduce a provision in the anti-terror act to designate individuals suspected to have terror links, instead of just organisations, as terrorists.

Replying to a spirited debate on the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha, Shah said the BJP-led government will never misuse its provisions.

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Shah said the BJP-led government had only brought an amendment to the law which was enacted by Congress and whose provisions were later made stringent. Shah added that what Congress governments did ‘was right and what the BJP-led government is doing is also right’.

“The law was enacted in 1967 by a Congress government and amendments made to it in 2004, 2008 and 2013 when Congress was in power. Who made the law stringent? What you did was right, what we are doing is also right,” Shah said.

Referring to the provisions of the Bill that allow an individual to be designated as a terrorist, he said that terrorists often floats new organizations if a ban is imposed.

Shah also said that the BJP-led government was against ‘urban Maoism’. “In this country, a lot of people involved in social work are working respectably, the police is not fond of catching them, but we don’t have any sympathy for those who work for Urban Maoism,” the Home Minister said.

“We have no sympathy for those who promote Maoism under an ideological shield,” he said.

(With ANI inputs)

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