Expanding scope of anti-national crimes

:: M.Y.Siddiqui ::

Presently, there are four categories of anti-national crimes, North-East Insurgency, Naxalism renamed Left Wing Extremism (LWEs), Jihadi terrorism and other terrorism. Such anti-national crimes are charged under the four draconian laws, Indian Penal Code (sedition provision), Official Secrets Act, Prevention of Damages to Property Act, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (the most dreaded anti-terror law). Official agencies that investigate and prosecute anti-national crimes are, Police, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for all sorts of crimes like corruption, counterfeiting of currencies and financial frauds, National Investigation Agency (NIA) for terrorism and subversive activities, and Enforcement Directorate (ED) for financial frauds especially money laundering. These agencies aregrossly misused mostly as never before, by the current Union Government and its sisterly state governments (BJP ruled States) to frame up people adversarial to the governments, harass them, incarcerate them, violate their human rights with impunityand even attach their properties. Most such cases are frame-up and make-believe  to hoodwink the people.

NDA Union Government is out to subvert the rule of law based system of democratic constitutional governance further in the country by formalizing inclusion of dissension against the government, people’s right to question/scrutinize the democratically elected government, urban naxals (intellectuals, academics, civil rights activists,NGOs), TukdeTukde gang (alluded to bright students in premier universities believing in freedom of speech, free debate, diversity/plurality of ideas, spirit of inquiry, open mindedness and opposition to imposition of Sangh ideology out to impose RSS agenda on education curricula), Khan Market gang (reference to select Lutyen’s Delhi based and like minded journalists who are conscientious within their professional norms to scrutinize the government), as anti-national crimes. For this, Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has undertaken an exercise to include these as anti-national crimes to be charged under the four dreaded draconian laws, perceived to be anti-thesis of democracy, rule of law based system of governance and suppression of people’s fundamental rights (human rights) guaranteed by the Constitution of India, by blatant misuse of brutish excessive police force against the people, the government of the day derives power from.

Presently, there are four categories of anti-national crimes, North-East Insurgency, Naxalism renamed Left Wing Extremism (LWEs), Jihadi terrorism and other terrorism. Such anti-national crimes are charged under the four draconian laws, Indian Penal Code (sedition provision), Official Secrets Act, Prevention of Damages to Property Act, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (the most dreaded anti-terror law). Official agencies that investigate and prosecute anti-national crimes are, Police, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for all sorts of crimes like corruption, counterfeiting of currencies and financial frauds, National Investigation Agency (NIA) for terrorism and subversive activities, and Enforcement Directorate (ED) for financial frauds especially money laundering. These agencies aregrossly misused mostly as never before, by the current Union Government and its sisterly state governments (BJP ruled States) to frame up people adversarial to the governments, harass them, incarcerate them, violate their human rights with impunityand even attach their properties. Most such cases are frame-up and make-believe  to hoodwink the people.

To depict the scenario, Bhima Koregao case, in which 11 human rights activists, lawyers, active civil rights torch bearers, and academicsare implicated and languish in jails, that too, during a pandemic, has now become a template for similar arrests taking place in different parts of the country since 2014 under the current regime. Modus operandi being, FIR (First Information Report) is lodged in a case of violence instigated by Sangh leaders, who are left scot-free, rundown unconnected persons with a common thread of being dissenters, jailed and trapped in a web of conspiracy theories and a dreaded draconian law like the UAPA (anti-terrorism law), from which the road to freedom seems like a tunnel with no light at the end. That is how fascism works to decimate voices of dissent, voices of scrutiny and accountability of the government, thus subverting the democracy, rule of law based governance, public accountability as such by diverting always public attention from the pressing basic issues of governance, employment, food security, livelihood, health issues, education and shelter by involving people in emotive issues like divisive communal and religious opium just to consolidate majoritarian votes to remain somehow in power.

Even during the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown, the Union Government, BJP ruled States and Centrally owned and administered policein National Capital Territory of Delhi arrested leaders of peaceful anti-CAA/NPR/NRC protesters under the dreaded anti-terror law, UAPA, as inciters of violence and conspirators just to incarcerate them without bail. In all such cases, police created make-believe crimes to frame up peaceful and democratic protesters. This, viewed on facts and circumstancescompared to similar non-violent massive anti-CAA/NPR/NRC protests in non-BJP ruled States where no protester was arrested, implicated, much less jailed,  proves the point that the Sangh governments are out to serve its professed agenda by creating atmosphere of panic, fear, insecurity and uncertainty and above all, divide the people and rule, leaving them(people} in lurch gasping for loss of jobs, loss of lives and livelihood, while targeting a particular community as super spreaders of the Covid-19 pandemic, arresting young and bright among the community under the anti-terror law.

All public institutions like the judiciary, Election Commission, Central Vigilance Commission, Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate, National Investigation Agency, Comptroller and Auditor General of India etc., created to play checks and balances on the government and safeguard people’s basic rights in the scheme of the Constitution of India, seem to have abdicated their intended role.  As a result, there is Hitlerian blitzkrieg strategy all around where power is centralized in one man, who acts undemocratically, arbitrarily and authoritarian without forethought, by awe, shocks and surprises, while apparently manipulating that all is well, democracy and rule of law based constitutional governance are safe and thriving through controlled and regimented media, sustained propaganda, always hiding the truth from the people. This is the way how fascism works, democracy is undermined, rule of law decimated, without formal promulgation, emergency like situation prevails in the country, leaving people to fend for themselves!

About the Author

M Y Siddiqui

Mr M Y Siddiqui is the former Director (PR&S) at Government of India, as Spokesman of various Ministries (New Delhi). After his retirement he is now a well known columnist and critic. He writes on government plans & implementation and issues of deprived segments of India.

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