New Delhi: National Secretariat meeting of Popular Front of India in a statement asked Gujarat government to withdraw from its efforts to enact Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organized Crime Bill. The meeting pointed out that it is yet another draconian law in the making in a country where there is already a popular outcry against many existing laws like AFSPA and UAPA.
In the past we have seen how laws like POTA and TADA were misused for silencing political opponents and how they led to rights violations. They were withdrawn due to the tremendous popular protest but only to be replaced with more draconian laws like UAPA. Thousands of innocents are still languishing in jails because of the antidemocratic provisions of UAPA. In states where AFSPA is in effect people’s everyday life has become nightmarish.
The provisions of GCTOC give unlimited powers to security agencies to intercept private communications. UPA government had three times refused to clear the bill because of its obvious draconian nature. The Union Home Ministry has now recalled the Bill awaiting assent of President from his office. The Secretariat demanded Gujarat government to withdraw the bill. Chairman K M Shareef presided over the meeting.
M Mohammad Ali Jinnah
General Secretary, Popular Front of India