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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 July 2024

Delhi L-G nod to prosecute Arundhati Roy, Kashmir-based academic under anti-terror law

The complainant alleged that in a conference titled 'Azadi — The Only Way', organised by the 'Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners', Roy, Sheikh Showkat Hussain and others discussed and propagated 'separation of Kashmir from India' and jeopardised public peace and security

Pheroze L. Vincent New Delhi Published 15.06.24, 05:32 AM
Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy File picture

Delhi lieutenant governor V.K. Saxena has granted sanction to prosecute author Arundhati Roy and Kashmir-based academic Sheikh Showkat Hussain under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for remarks made at a seminar here in 2010.

The FIR was filed on the directions of a court after a complaint lodged by Kashmiri activist Sushil Pandit, who was described at the time as a BJP supporter.

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He alleged that in a conference titled "Azadi — The Only Way", organised by the "Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners”, Roy, Hussain and others discussed and propagated “separation of Kashmir from India” and jeopardised public peace and security.

The event at the Little Theatre Group auditorium was disrupted by the BJP. Then home minister P. Chidambaram had defended the police initially not filing an FIR against Roy and others.

Roy and Hussain are charged under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 153B (assertions prejudicial to national integration), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 505 (public mischief) of the IPC and Section 13 of the UAPA. The LG had granted sanction to prosecute them for the IPC offences in October last year.

Soon after news broke, the CPM posted on X: "Defies logic except the fascist kind. Timing is suspect since courts are on vacation, as are lawyers. Shameful and Condemnable!"

Trinamool MP-elect Mahua Moitra wrote on X: "If by prosecuting Arundhati Roy under UAPA BJP trying to prove they’re back, well they’re not. And they’ll never be back the same way they were. This kind of fascism is exactly what Indians have voted against."

When the initial sanction was granted last year, Chidambaram had tweeted: "There was no justification then to register a case against her on the charge of sedition...There is no justification now to sanction prosecution against her."

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