‘Nod to prosecute Arundhati Roy under UAPA misuse of power’

Those who delivered speeches at the conference included Syed Ali Shah Geelani, SAR Geelani (anchor of the conference and prime accused in the Parliament attack case), Roy, Hussain and Telugu poet and Varavara Rao…reports Asian Lite News

NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday described as misuse of power the Delhi Lieutenant Governor’s sanction to prosecute author Arundhati Roy under the stringent UAPA for an alleged provocative speech in 2010.

He was speaking to reporters during a joint press conference with Maha Vikas Aghadi allies Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan.

Asked about Delhi L-G VK Saxena’s sanction to prosecute Roy under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or UAPA, for an address at an event 14 years ago, the former Union minister said, This is nothing but misuse of power.

Besides Roy, Saxena on Friday also gave the green signal for action under UAPA against former Central University of Kashmir professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain.

Roy, a Booker Prize-winning author, and Hussain had been named in an FIR registered on October 28, 2010. The two had allegedly made provocative speeches at a conference organised under the banner of Azadi – The Only Way’ on October 21, 2010, in New Delhi.

The issues discussed and spoken about at the conference propagated the separation of Kashmir from India, an official said on Friday.

Last October, the L-G had granted sanction to prosecute them under section 196 of CrPC for commission of offences punishable under different sections of the Indian Penal Code: 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief).

Those who delivered speeches at the conference included Syed Ali Shah Geelani, SAR Geelani (anchor of the conference and prime accused in the Parliament attack case), Roy, Hussain and Telugu poet and Varavara Rao.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi on Saturday condemned Arundhati Roy’s statement on Jammu and Kashmir, adding whatever Arundhati Roy has said is totally wrong and Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.

Chaturvedi questioned the timing of the Modi government’s prosecution of Arundhati Roy under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, given that the matter is from 2010 and Modi’s government has been in power for the last 10 years.

“Whatever she (Arundhati Roy) has said is totally wrong. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. We will protest if anyone wants to create a gap. But, the question is that this matter is from 2010 and it’s Modi’s govt at the centre for the last 10 years, why they were silent till now on this issue? After 10 years, when a govt with less majority has formed, this decision looks political,” Chaturvedi told ANI.

Delhi LG, VK Saxena, has sanctioned the prosecution of Arundhati Roy and former Professor of International Law at the Central University of Kashmir, Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain for allegedly making provocative speeches at a conference organised under the banner of “Azadi – The Only Way” on October 21, 2010 at LTG Auditorium, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi.

The LG sanctioned the prosecution of Arundhati Roy and Sheikh Showkat Hussain under IPC Section 45 (1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The FIR in the matter was registered on a complaint made by Sushil Pandit on October 28, 2010.

Earlier, the LG had granted sanction under IPC Section 196 to prosecute the above accused for the commission of offences punishable under Sections 153A, 153B and 505 of the IPC in October 2023.

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