There has been over 72% increase in the number of persons arrested under the anti-terror law UAPA (Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act) in 2019 compared to 2015, data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the Lok Sabha shows.
As many as 1948 persons were arrested under the UAPA in 1226 cases registered across the country in 2019. Such cases registered in 2015-2018 stood at 897, 922, 901 and 1182 and the number of those arrested was 1128, 999, 1554 and 1421 respectively.
In 2019, the highest number of such cases were registered in Manipur-306, followed by Tamil Nadu-270, Jammu and Kashmir-255, Jharkhand-105 and Assam-87 cases. The highest number of arrests under the UAPA in same year were made in Uttar Pradesh- 498, Manipur- 386, Tamil Nadu-308, Jammu and Kashmir- 227 and Jharkhand- 202.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha, “cases under the UAPA are investigated by the State police and the National Investigation Agency (NIA). As far as the NIA is concerned, so far 48 special courts have been constituted across the country for the speedy trial of terror related case.”
Getting bail is rare
Under the UAPA, getting bail is rare and the investigating agency has up to 180 days to file a charge sheet.
In a separate reply, the Minister stated that “after abrogation of Article 370, the number of terrorist incidents in Jammu and Kashmir have reduced significantly.”
The data provided shows that in J&K, 244 terrorist incidents were reported and 221 terrorists killed in 2020, while in 2019, the numbers were 594 and 157 respectively. Till February 28 this year, there were 15 incidents and eight terrorists killed.
The government had declared 42 organisations as terrorist organisations and listed their names in the First Schedule of the UAPA, the Minister said and added that “terrorism in India has largely been sponsored from across the border.”
Earlier, a reply by the government in the Lok Sabha shows that only 2.2 % of cases registered under the UAPA between 2016-2019 ended in convictions by court.