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Arbitrary use of UAPA, PSA violates civil liberties of people: Tarigami

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‘Reports of people booked under UAPA being shifted to outside jails a huge worry’

SRINAGAR: Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, on Wednesday said that the “rampant” and “arbitrary” use of  UAPA and PSA in Jammu and Kashmir is atrocious, undemocratic and violates civil liberties of the people.

In a statement issued here, Tarigami said: “People, especially youth, are being indiscriminately booked under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA) which has sent shock waves among the people across the region. There are also reports that people booked under UAPA are being shifted to outside valley jails which is a huge worry.”

“In bone chilling cold, they were kept in jails in Kashmir and now as harsh summer is about to begin outside the Valley, they are being shifted to jails in other states. Also hundreds of people, who are already languishing in jails outside the valley are facing tremendous hardships as their relatives are unable to meet them. They don’t have enough resources to visit their kin in jails outside Kashmir,” he said.

Tarigami further said: “On one side the administration claims normalcy while on the other arrest spree continues unabated and those already in jails are reportedly being shifted to outside jails. In some cases, even after courts quashed the PSA, detainees remain in prison as the police book them under the UAPA.”

“The right to personal liberty provided in the Constitution has been trampled upon.  The UAPA is a monstrous law which makes getting bail extremely difficult. The misuse of the UAPA and PSA needs immediate review and the cases of those who have been detained under these draconian laws need to be examined. Arrests without any solid legal grounds do not augur well for the state. It has been done before as well in the state, but it has never yielded anything,” he said.

“On the other hand, it just exacerbates the anger and gives rise to further uncertainty. We have always maintained that dissent should always have a place in a democratic society. Curbing the dissent and those holding a contradictory viewpoint is not democratic at all,” he added.

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