15 June, 2021

Just Contagion

The Farooq Abdullah regime is under fire for the many reports of POTA misuse

Just Contagion
Farooq Abdullah's National Conference government in Jammu & Kashmir had fiercely resisted the anti-terror law, the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), when it was initially introduced as an ordinance last year. Ironically, it now finds itself enjoying the dubious reputation of having charged more people under this Act than any other state. In six months, 432 cases have been registered under various sections of POTA (earlier POTO) in Jammu & Kashmir.

The state's record, in fact, contrasts sharply with the use of POTA in the rest of the country. According to Union home ministry figures, the next highest is 36 cases which have been registered, surprisingly, in Jharkhand. In the capital Delhi, 18 persons have been charged under POTA, including those involved in the December 13 attack on Parliament.

Even before POTA was ratified by a joint session of Parliament on March 26, chief minister Farooq Abdullah had given the state police a carte blanche to use it. Hence the allegation that POTA is being misused against Farooq's political adversaries, in the run-up to the assembly...

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