//NCHRO welcomes the acquittal of 21 individuals in Chhattisgarh who were booked under UAPA: Calls for repeal of the draconian law

NCHRO welcomes the acquittal of 21 individuals in Chhattisgarh who were booked under UAPA: Calls for repeal of the draconian law

New Delhi
July 17, 2022

NCHRO welcomes the acquittal of 21 individuals in Chhattisgarh who were booked under UAPA: Calls for repeal of the draconian law

“It is a law that has no place in a democracy, and must be done away with if we are to call ourselves a democracy“: NCHRO

Recently, a special court of the National Investigation Agency in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh acquitted 121 Adivasis. These people were arrested an attack on security forces killed 25 soldiers and injured seven. The incident had taken place in the Sukma district.

The incident dates back to April 2017, when the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) collided with the Maoists in the area. There was resistance to the construction work of Dornapal-Jagarguna road in the area, and the CRPF was there to curtail the resistance.

Following the attack, the police arrested 121 people and booked them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Now, the special court has acquitted them all, questioning the police investigation and stating that the prosecution failed to prove that the accused were present at the spot of the ambush and that they had recovered arms and ammunition from the accused.

This is a positive news, especially when seen in light of the growing repression on resistance that is mounted by the Adivasis. The displacement that happens in the lives of Adivasis in the name of development has seen ample resistance. Many Adivasis are routinely harassed, litigated, and sometimes even killed, in the name of combating the Maoists.

Human rights organisation the National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) welcomes the court’s verdict, acquitting the people booked under UAPA.

However, we hereby restate that many people are languishing in jail who have committed no crime, and have been booked under the stringent UAPA. The UAPA gives undue powers to the

government to arrest, detain, search premises, etc. with little to no basis, simply citing suspicion. The people currently in jail who have been booked under UAPA includes academics, activists, journalists, etc.

We demand that the UAPA be repealed entirely. It is a law that has no place in a democracy, and must be done away with if we are to call ourselves a democracy.

Sincerely,
Advocate Ansar Indori,
National Secretary,
NCHRO