Parliament on Friday approved the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill that allows the Centre and states to designate individuals as terrorists and seize their properties.
The Rajya Sabha passed the Bill with 147 votes in favour and 42 voting against it. The Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party supported the Bill. The Congress said it was against some of the amendments in the Bill, but would fight that battle in the SC.
The Trinamool Congress and the Left parties, along with some others, opposed the Bill. While the Trinamool criticised the Congress’ support to the Bill privately, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) went public. “The Congress betrayed the people of India by voting in favour of the draconian UAPA Bill,” CPI (M)’s Elamaram Kareem, a Rajya Sabha MP, tweeted.
The Trinamool said the Bill was akin to the Rowlatt Act of 1919, which allowed indefinite preventive detention and imprisonment without trial and judicial review. This year marks the centenary of the law and of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that happened when people protested arrest of two Congress leaders under that law. Replying to the debate, Home Minister Amit Shah said the law, which will be used only to tackle terror, will help agencies remain four steps ahead of terrorists.