NC, PDP disapproves of prosecution sanction against Arundhati Roy, ex-professor under UAPA

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Srinagar, Jun 15:(CNI) The National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party have expressed their disapproval of the prosecution sanction against author Arundhati Roy and a former professor in Kashmir under the stringent UAPA for allegedly making provocative speeches at an event in Delhi in 2010.

 

According to officials, the FIR against Roy and former Central University of Kashmir professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain was registered following the orders of the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi.

 

Expressing disapproval of the move, the National Conference (NC) stressed the need to uphold the fundamental right of every citizen to free speech as guaranteed by Article 19 of the Constitution.

 

“The NC expresses its strong disapproval of the prosecution of author Arundhati Roy and Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act). The use of anti-terror laws to suppress dissent and criminalize speech is deeply concerning,” it said in a post on ‘X’.

 

“It is also imperative to note that this permission has been granted 14 long years after the alleged speech took place. In the intervening years the speech has been all but forgotten and didn’t vitiate the atmosphere in J and K,” it said.

 

The NC said this prosecution would serve no purpose except perhaps to show that the “hardline stance of the BJP/Union Government won’t change despite the electoral setback they recently faced”.

 

Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena on Friday accorded sanction to prosecute author Arundhati Roy and a former professor in Kashmir under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly making provocative speeches at an event here in 2010.

 

PDP chief and former chief minister of the erstwhile state of J-K, Mehbooba Mufti, termed the sanction “shocking”.

 

“Shocking that Arundhati Roy, world-renowned author and a brave woman who has emerged as a powerful voice against fascism, has been booked under the draconian UAPA,” she said on ‘X’.

 

The PDP chief said the Centre continues its “rampage violating fundamental rights with impunity”.

 

“Booking a former law professor from Kashmir is also an act of frustration,” Mehbooba Mufti added.

 

Her daughter and media adviser Iltija Mufti said Roy will be prosecuted under UAPA for being an “audacious voice who refuses to bend the knee”.

 

“Equally worrying that it also includes Dr Sheikh Shoukat a former Professor of Law from Kashmir. What is becoming of India? Might as well turn this country into an open-air prison,” she said on X.

 

Roy and Hussain had allegedly made provocative speeches at a conference organised under the banner of ‘Azadi – The Only Way’ on October 21, 2010, at LTG Auditorium in New Delhi.

 

The FIR in the matter was registered on a complaint made by Sushil Pandit, a social activist from Kashmir, on October 28, 2010.–(CNI)


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