Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: Leading human rights activists of the country have denounced the Rajasthan Police Act, 2007, passed by the State Assembly in September, describing it as a “draconian law which gives more powers to the police against the people”.

They have also expressed concern over “victimisation” of social and political activists by the State authorities.

“We strongly condemn the attempts by the Rajasthan Government to replace the 1861 Police Act by a new draconian law which gives more powers to the police against the people,” a statement from Medha Patkar, Aruna Roy and nine others said.

“We further take serious exception to the Rajasthan Government’s attitude of victimisation of several social-political activists belonging to progressive organisations and the minority community,” they said.

The activists victimised included Kavita Srivastava of PUCL, Nisha Sidhu of NFIW, Mohammed Haroon Rashid, Mohammad Imran, Ayaz Siddiqui, Abid Mohammed, Abdul Majid, Ghiyas Anwar and Mazar Beg, some of whom are also associated with the Jamat-e-Islami Hind, they pointed out.

“We believe these steps are against the democratic spirit and must be immediately reversed. We also believe that keeping dossiers and profiling of activists and people’s organisations which is presently happening in Rajasthan is illegal. It is a violation of the right to expression,” said the activists, who include Harsh Mander, Sunilam, Arvind Kejriwal, Anand Patwardhan, Prashant Bhushan, Colin Gonsalves, Anil Choudhary, Arundhati Dhuru and Sandeep Pandey.