Left organisations, farmers want UAPA charges against Roy revoked : The Tribune India

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Left organisations, farmers want UAPA charges against Roy revoked

Left organisations, farmers want UAPA charges against Roy revoked

Farmers during a protest at Bhandari Bridge in Amritsar on Thursday. Photo: Vishal Kumar



Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 20

The members of Left organisations along with farmers staged a protest against the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre demanding withdrawal of UAPA charges against writer and activist Arundhati Roy and former professor Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain.

The protesters said that the Central government was trying to muzzle voices of dissent and that the cases against the two activists were politically motivated. Rattan Singh Randhawa, a farmer leader, said that the case against both the activists has been framed in connection with a seminar which was held 14 years ago.

He added that Arundhati Roy has been charged for making a ‘separatist’ speech in the seminar. “It is interesting to note that in the last 14 years, nothing has happened for which the speech given by Roy could be held responsible,” he added.

Balkar Singh Dudala, another farmer leader, stated that earlier the BJP government had sent 16 intellectuals to jail on false charges in the Bhima-Koregaon case. The government is using draconian laws to silence all those who speak against it, he added. Dudala said student activists like Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam and others also have been behind the bars for many years. Dr Satnam Singh Ajnala said that Prof GN Saibaba was recently acquitted by the judiciary after he spent 10 years in jail under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The protesters stated that they would participate in all future protests organised on the issue.

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