Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that Central laws such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) had given an impetus to the system in a decisive fight against terrorism.
The Prime Minister said the police should be equipped to face not only those Naxals who hold a gun but also those who wield a pen and mislead the youth by exploiting their emotions. He said such forces who get “international support” should not be allowed to take roots as they were detrimental to the unity and integrity of the country.
Mr. Modi’s statement on the anti-terror legislation UAPA comes at a time when the Supreme Court is examining a petition that has challenged the validity of the law. The Opposition on several occasions has accused the government of misusing the UAPA against political opponents. On Friday, AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted that in 2018-20, as many as 4,690 people were arrested under the UAPA but only 3% were convicted. “PM is right, UAPA gives his govt power to jail anyone without accountability. UAPA is an evil law, it does nothing to stop terrorism,” Mr. Owaisi said.
Addressing the two-day State Home Ministers’ meet at Faridabad in virtual mode, Mr. Modi said one should not be limited to social media as the only source of information. He said a piece of single fake news had the capability to snowball into a matter of national concern. He expressed concern about the losses that India had to face due to fake news about job reservations in the past. He stressed the need to educate people about analysing and verifying any piece of information before forwarding it to others. “We have to come up with technological advancement to face a fake news-driven society,” he added.
He said India’s progress at global stage had also posed many challenges. “First, attempts will be made to belittle your achievements, then the rivals will come in a competition mode.... many world powers will not want that India occupies the market. They think they have the expertise and certain markets are their fiefdom, when you challenge the arrangement, enmity creeps in. It is human nature, so we must be equipped to face such challenges,” the Prime Minister said.
He said law and order was not limited to any particular State and crime was now inter-State and even international.
Need for technology
Mr. Modi said the 5G technology, along with its benefits, brings the need for a heightened alert. He requested the Chief Ministers and Home Ministers to seriously assess the need for technology, going beyond the constraints of the budget as this technology would percolate the confidence of security among common citizens.
Earlier, speaking at the conference, Home Minister Amit Shah said discussions were held on digitisation of birth and death registration certificates and the inertness of States to send Indian Police Service (IPS) officers on deputation to Centre.