The Dossier
Criminally Overbroad & Vague Allegations: The Bhima Koregaon Case

Criminally Overbroad And Excessively Vague Allegations: The Bhima Koregaon Case And The UAPA

The alleged allegations on ‘waging war’ that resulted in the arrests of several activists on the ongoing Bhima Koregaon cases raises a very important question as to what comes under the UAPA act and what kind of activities can lead to someone be labelled as a ‘terrorist’.

The Bhima Koregaon violence that had occurred in January of 2018 and the subsequent arrests of 11 persons, including Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha on April 2020, is now alleged as being part of a sinister conspiracy between members of the proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist) (CPI-M).

THE CONSPIRACY 

The invocation of anti-terror law after allegations of another ‘Rajiv Gandhi like incident’ being planned seemed justifiable to media and all those watching. The proof behind these allegations, even after 2 years is very little and what should also be noted is that the charge sheets that were ultimately filed in Court contained very little of these allegations and more of the accused’s revolutionary goals and connection to communism.

The police have alleged that all 11 persons have committed and/or conspired to commit offences such as “waging war” (Sections 121 & 121-A of the IPC), committing “unlawful” and “terrorist” acts (Sections 13, 16, 18 of the UAPA), being members of, and recruiting persons to, terrorist organisations (Sections 18B & 20 of the UAPA), and being otherwise associated with such organisations and garnering support (financial and otherwise) for their cause [Sections 17, 38, 39 & 40 of the UAPA].

“The offence provisions of the UAPA that are at the heart of the ongoing Bhima Koregaon cases are criminally overbroad, extremely vague, and nothing short of a legislative carte blanche to state-sponsored violations of fundamental rights.”- Abhinav Sekhri, says.

What acts come under Section 15 of the UAPA which can be punished with either a death penalty or life in prison demands a high degree of care and attention in determining what can amount to a Terrorist Act. The provision is so loosely drafted that acts which “threaten” or are even “likely to threaten” India’s unity, integrity, sovereignty, security or economic security can be punished as terrorism.

Therefore, any acts of violence against person or property to be perceived as threatening or likely to threaten India’s integrity, and for it to be fabricated as terror crime, will come under UAPA. This loosely drafted act is easy to manipulate and if allegations with no proof can cause the arrests of 11 people with no chance of bail, the anti-terrorism law will remain a constant concern.

Criminal law is little more than a thinly disguised veil to brutally enforce dominant ideologies promoted by state actors- Abhinav Skehri, Delhi based lawyer says.

Acts of terrorism should be taken seriously and it presents a risk to society. Proper legislation should be taken in order to stop terrorism. The current state of UAPA. The 11 activists who have been called terrorists and Maoists by the media without no proof shows that the harm done by anti-terrorist laws is greater than the good.

‘Terrorist’ is a name that follows a person throughout their life no matter what and before labelling one as a terrorist, leaving assumptions and allegations to trump actual proof, stigmatising and vilifying the accused, the country should go through a collective redemption with the government and police in the front. взять займ под залог автомобилязайм через интернет на банковский счетвозьму займ краткосрочный займ счетновый займ онлайнзайм на карту срочно без отказа 100000

Anushree J

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