01 August, 2021

The Devil On The Beat

The new anti-terrorism act is a by word for abuse, especially in Jharkhand. Remember TADA?

Mahadeo Sen
The Devil On The Beat
Coming against the backdrop of the many cases of abuse under TADA, the numerous arbitrary arrests of innocents under the new terrorism legislation—the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA)—is cause for serious concern. There are just too many alarming stories coming in from different corners of the country. So, is POTA going the notorious TADA way?

The Centre too has been forced to change tack. Deputy PM L.K. Advani has named Arun Saharya, retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court, to head a review panel. It, he told Parliament, would ensure that POTA provisions are invoked for combating terrorism, "not used against ordinary criminals or those who are not terrorists or whose acts can't be considered terrorist acts".

The use of POTA in the last one year, especially in Jharkhand, has raised many questions. The National Human Rights Commission (nhrc) had to issue notices on its misuse to the state government. Since it was first promulgated as ordinance in October 2001 (it became an Act six months later), rights activists and ngos say that POTA is being used by...

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