Union Home Minister Amit Shah defended the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha today and said that the top priority of the Modi government is to ‘uproot terrorism.’ He said that even when the NDA was in the Opposition, it still used to back tough laws against terrorism. He said that the entire House must unite against the terrorism. “When you question us you don't see who brought the law & amendments, who made it stringent. It was brought when you were in power, what you did then was right & what I'm doing now is also right,” Shah added.
On Tuesday, moving the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019, MoS Home Kishan Reddy had also said that "this government was working against terrorism with zero tolerance." The minister said between 2004-14, a little over 40 incidents of "inter-land terrorism" took place. In these incidents, 883 people were killed. However, from 2014-19, four incidents of inter-land terrorism took place in which 91 people were killed. Of these four, three were Pakistan sponsored, he said.
The Bill seeks to allow an individual suspected to have terror links to be designated as a 'terrorist'. Stating that the entire world, including the big nations, were victims of terrorism, the minister said the steps taken by the government have resulted in decline in terrorism.
In order to put a check on terrorism, he said, "we have given a free hand to the security forces" and added that the in the north eastern states in the last five years there has been a decline in the insurgency related incidents. Due to the sustained effort of the government, the minister said, the situation has improved in the left-wing extremism affected states.
The Bill amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Under the Act, an investigating officer is required to obtain the prior approval of the director general of police (DGP) to seize properties that may be connected with terrorism. The Bill adds that if the investigation is conducted by an officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the approval of the director general of NIA would be required for seizure of such property.
(With PTI inputs)