The Whip of UAPA and NIA Unleashed on the Andhra and Telangana Activists to Crush the Voices of Dissent !

Dr. Lakshmi Prasanna Komara (Guest Faculty in English, Madurai Kamaraj University college)

The reminiscences of known fascists like Hitler and Mussolini and the female prime minister Indira Gandhi, who declared emergency in India during 1975 to 1977 can be heard and seen in India now. The current condition is that; the society is undergoing the phase of undeclared emergency under Modi’s (the fascist in the guise of Prime Minister) regime.

With the aid of the draconian law UAPA, the government is crushing the voices of the voiceless i.e. the Women’s, Civil and Human Rights activists throughout India with the help of the bootlicker NIA (National Investigating Agency). How draconian is UAPA means, a person can be incarcerated up to 180 days without a charge sheet been filed.

Arresting the activists under this law is only to target and suppress them. The government intends to terrorize the common people in the society by criminalizing the acts of the rights activists and threaten the very existence of public debate that leads to questioning in the form of movements and struggles. The government is orchestrating a plan by intervening the NIA to normalize and to make the society accept the arrests in the name of UAPA.

The unleash of the terror law UAPA first started in the year 2018 in Andhra Pradesh, where the government included the names of the women’s rights activists of CHAITANYA MAHILA SANGAM (CMS), a 25-year-old Women’s Movement based in Andhra and Telangana. Three Women activists were arrested and later many other people’s rights activists were included in the list saying they supply books, medicines and literature to Maoist party. The A1, A2 and A3 are top leaders of Maoist party. The addition of the names of the people’s rights activists with the Maoist party leaders is only to terrify the common people in our society.

Later, there sprouted one more UAPA case in the span of two to three months and that case was lodged against the Maoist party for murdering an MLA and his Aide. Selected women’s movement activists were included in that MLA murder case saying that they have helped in conspiring and plotting the murder. The NIA took charge of the MLA murder case, they filed a charge sheet and then took it back from the court. Both the UAPA cases were located in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

Now again in the end of the year 2020, the police have booked a new UAPA case in Munchingput, Visakhapatnam by arresting one Pangi Naganna said to be a reporter in a newspaper. The police unlawfully arrested him and took his confession while in their custody and included a list of 64 names in the Munchingput case. Now the list got extended to 84 and among them there are a few activists from Telangana.

The cooked up story in this case is that Pangi Naganna takes all the leaders of open democratic mass organizations to meet the Maoist leaders. Even in this case the A1 and A2 are top leaders of Maoist party and the names till A38 are some unknown names. The police are trying their best to cook a story to substantiate the cases filed against the activists. The Munching case FIR No.47/2020 dated 23.11.2020 was registered at Munchingput PS under sections 120B, 121, 121A, 143, 144, 124A r/w 149 of IPC, sections 10, 13, 18 of UA(P) Act, section 25 of Arms Act and section 8(1) and 8(2) of Andhra Pradesh Public Safety Act.

While filing this Munchingput case, the Andhra Pradesh police has also filed a new UAPA case in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. The police bifurcated and included a few activists’ names in it.

The Munchingput case has been handed over to NIA on 28.03.2021 and they in a planned way conducted raids on 01.04.2021 at 31 locations spread across Eight districts of Andhra Pradesh namely Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Prakasam, Srikakulam, Kurnool, Krishna, East Godavari & Kadapa and four districts of Telangana namely Ranga Reddy, Hyderabad, Medchal-Malkajgiri and Medak. They seized Books, Mobiles, Laptops and huge amount of cash from the raided houses. The NIA has also given notices to specific activists and called for interrogation on 02.04.2021.

The penalizations in the UAPA act shows that it is very draconian and terrorizing act. The punishment if proven is five, ten or life imprisonment and sometimes it can be death. Section 43 (D) of the UAPA prohibits the court from giving bail to the person arrested under UAPA. To get bail in UAPA, the accused himself has to prove that the allegations made against him are prima facie not true. That means that “Jail is the rule and bail is the exception now”.

The society has missed the opportunity to learn from the tragic tales of misuse of laws like TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act) and POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) Act). While TADA and POTA are temporary acts, UAPA is a permanent act. The government has cleared the road for UAPA to not get repealed, but only to get amended any number of times. Section 35 of the UAPA was amended in 2019. The act specifies no procedures that the government must follow before arriving at its belief. Which means anyone from any field can be branded as a Maoist (Urban Naxal) and terrorist.

Hence, it is clear that this law can be used as an instrument against the questioning voices and attack the very importance of speech in a democracy in the name of threat and security. Time has arrived that all the forces in this society should fight against such draconian laws like UAPA and demand for repealing such Black laws.