Uncivil Law

Lessons from India’s failed “anti-terror” legislation

01 October 2018
The activists arrested by the Pune police in August under the UAPA included Sudha Bhardwaj and Gautam Navlakha.
MONEY SHARMA/ AFP/ GETTY IMAGES
The activists arrested by the Pune police in August under the UAPA included Sudha Bhardwaj and Gautam Navlakha.
MONEY SHARMA/ AFP/ GETTY IMAGES

In late August, while investigating the violence at the Bhima Koregaon memorial in Pune earlier this year, the Pune police raided the homes of several well-known human-rights activists, scholars and lawyers, and arrested five among them. The arrests were made under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act—a law that has been widely criticised for its draconian nature. Amid public outcry over the arrests, the Congress too panned the government.

“There is only place for one NGO in India and it’s called the RSS,” the Congress’s president, Rahul Gandhi, tweeted. “Shut down all other NGOs. Jail all activists and shoot those that complain. Welcome to the new India. #BhimaKoregaon.” The Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi stepped up to argue in favour of the accused in the Supreme Court.

The activists arrested by the Pune police in August under the UAPA included Sudha Bhardwaj and Gautam Navlakha.. tauseef mustafa / afp / getty images The activists arrested by the Pune police in August under the UAPA included Sudha Bhardwaj and Gautam Navlakha.. tauseef mustafa / afp / getty images
The activists arrested by the Pune police in August under the UAPA included Sudha Bhardwaj and Gautam Navlakha.
tauseef mustafa / afp / getty images
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