Bangalore: A Public Meeting was held in Bengaluru today (July 14, 2021) to pay tributes to Fr.Stan Swamy. The meeting was led by ‘Forum Against Draconian UAPA and NIA’.
Despite strict Covid-19 regulations in place, about 150 activist-leaders from various organizations and many public dignitaries attended the meeting, demanding the scrapping of the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the unconditional release of all political prisoners who have been incarcerated.
Speaking about the UAPA and the NIA, senior advocate and trade unionist K Balan noted that the UAPA came into being during the previous regimes of the Congress and that from time to time, further clauses were added that were not just cruelest but are not to be found anywhere across the world.
These laws are in stark contrast to the ideals of humanity, and the NIA was established as an Investigative Agency to be able to enforce the same without any checks and balances. The subsequent BJP-led NDA government has further expanded the jurisdiction and powers to provide it with such a draconian character that it entails today.
He further added that all these parties want to take over all the resources of our country including land-water-minerals and they needed such a draconian act to be able to suppress the the Adivasi-Dalit-Minorities, other communities and democratic organisations who oppose such blatant handing over of resources to the big capitalist, corporate powers houses.
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Speaking at the meeting, BT Lalitha Naik, former MLA from JDS mentioned that there has been a concerted campaign to name the gestures such as paying tributes to the brutally murdered saint-like Fr.Stan Swamy and to speak against such draconian laws as acts of treason. The masses in this country will have no future if we do not constantly and vehemently fight for the repeal of the UAPA which is already scrapped in its various forms. These opportunists will save nothing for the next generation. She demanded the abolition of the UPA and the NIA.
Prof. YJ Rajendra from PUCL said that it was not only the NIA officials and local courts but also the upper judiciary including High Courts which were involved in the killing of Fr. Stan Swamy inhumanly as trials were not conducted, many pleas demanding his bail were dismissed and by denying him an opportunity for proper treatment. “PUCL demands that all the guilty should be punished. The UAPA / NIA was abolished and all political prisoners should be released unconditionally,” he said.
Sirimane Nagaraj from Committee for Land and Shelter appealed to all the like-minded organizations to come together to discuss and hold a massive protest campaign until the demands are met. He also urged that people too join in with the struggles voluntarily.
Dalit leader S. Gopal, Prof. NV Narasimhaiah also condemned Fr.Stan Swamy’s institutional killing and demanded the scrapping of the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the National Investigation Agency. Human rights activist T Narasimha Murthy gave the welcome address and thanked everyone for joining in at such short notice.
Also Read: “Rage and Mourn”: Protests Across the Country in Response to Father Stan Swamy Death