More than 35% cases registered under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) were recorded in Manipur, as per the National Crime Records Data (NCRB) provided by the Home Ministry in the Rajya Sabha last week.
The State registered 330 cases in 2017 in which 352 persons were arrested.
With 156 cases, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) recorded 17% of such cases, followed by Assam (133) which reported 14% of all cases registered under it in 2017 in the entire country. Uttar Pradesh (109 cases) recorded 12% and Bihar (52 cases) accounted for 5% of total cases.
Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a chargesheet in maximum 180 days after the arrests and the duration can be extended further after intimating the court. The anti-terror act has death penalty and life imprisonment as maximum punishment.
The NCRB is yet to publish the crime report for 2018.
The data reveals that though U.P. has recorded only 12% cases, it topped the States in the number of arrests made under the Act. Of the 1,554 persons arrested across the country, nearly one-fourth — 382 — were made in it alone, followed by Assam-374, Manipur-352, J&K-35 and 57 in Jharkhand.
Under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) (Recommendation and Sanction of Prosecution) Rules 2008, the competent authority in the Home Ministry or the State government has to give sanction to file a chargesheet in seven days after being approached by the investigating agency.
Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Redy told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply, “As per information received from the NCRB, 1,128, 999 and 1,554 persons were arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA) during 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively.”
He was responding to a question by CPI(M) MP Elamaram Kareem.
The Minister evaded reply on how many of the undertrial persons were still in jail for more than five years under the UAPA. He said, “The government has zero tolerance policy towards terrorism and it does not analyse data of terrorism-related cases registered or persons arrested based on the religion.”
In August, Parliament cleared the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 to designate individuals as terrorists. The UAPA, enacted in 1967 was first amended in 2004, then 2008 and 2013. The 2004 amendment was to ban organisations for terrorist activities, under which 34 outfits were banned and the number has gradually increased to 42.