The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Centre to clear terror law air

New Delhi, Feb. 17: Scared of a shrinking upper-caste base in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP-led Centre is likely to announce that the anti-terror law should be strictly applied to terrorists and not criminals and others.

The likely move would also be prompted by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayavati’s adamant stand on not dropping the anti-terror case against Independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya.

Informed sources today said the Centre would make its stand clear when anti-terror cases come up for hearing, but it would not back demands for changes in the controversial law.

According to BJP sources, the case relating to MDMK chief Vaiko is more serious than that of Raja Bhaiyya. Raja Bhaiyya’s possessing an AK-56 was not ground enough to paint him a terrorist, a senior BJP leader said.

“An AK-56 can be obtained from any criminal gang,” the leader said.

At a National Democratic Alliance meeting yesterday, Union environment minister T. R. Baalu of the DMK had talked about Vaiko’s imprisonment in Vellore jail under the anti-terror law. The DMK, the MDMK, the PMK are demanding amendments to the controversial law, which the parties say is being misused.

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader in the Lok Sabha Raghuvansh Prasad Singh alleged that some Central ministers from Bihar were patronising gangs which kidnap and kill. The Bihar government, he said, has so far desisted from taking action to avert a constitutional crisis like the one in Tamil Nadu.

The “constitutional crisis” referred to the arrest of Union ministers Murasoli Maran and T. R. Baalu by the Jayalalithaa government.

In a veiled warning to Union ministers and Samata Party leaders George Fernandes and Nitish Kumar, Singh alleged they were giving protection to criminals in the state.

Reacting to NDA leaders’ remarks that they would raise Bihar’s law and order situation in Parliament, Singh alleged the recent killing of seven persons at Nawada occurred after Fernandes’ and Kumar’s visits to Bihar.

The RJD leader also launched a scathing attack on BJP general-secretary Pramod Mahajan for his “derogatory” remarks about the crowd in Bihar trains during his recent visit to Patna. Singh said his party would not tolerate such “insults” to the state.

Email This Page