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Preventive Detention-Telangana Public Security Act, 1992

  • 30 April, 2021

  • 8 Min Read

Preventive Detention-Telangana Public Security Act, 1992

Introduction

  • The Government of Telangana, on March 30, 2021, issued a notification banning 16 organisations under the Telangana Public Security Act, 1992 (TPSA), declaring them as ‘unlawful associations’ and ‘new front organisations of the proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist)’.

Health crisis, faltering steps

  • The ban comes during a surging second wave of COVID-19, in which Telangana has fared poorly.
  • On April 19, the High Court of Telangana described the State government’s affidavit in response to PILs urging for greater transparency in control, containment and care as  ‘disappointing’ and wondered whether the State was competing for the first place in the COVID-19 surge.
  • Logically therefore, the attention of the government should be directed at managing the public health crisis and the distress caused to the people at large, demonstrating due diligence in fulfilling its constitutional obligations under Part IV of the Constitution.

Omnibus labelling

  • From workers’ collectives, to women’s groups, students’ groups, Adivasi collectives and civil liberties groups — this list trawls in anyone who is likely to resist or protest on any count by merely dubbing organisations as a ‘front’ or ‘new front’, or as ‘urban guerillas’.
    • We cannot forget that less than seven years ago, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (which governs Telangan presently) rode to power on the strength of these movements.
  • The reason for the proposed ban is the fact that these activists are ‘moving in urban area by adopting various guerilla tactics… to wage war against the state’.
  • The G.O. goes on to state that these organisations are organising protests in the ‘barren lands’ of Chhattisgarh besides demanding the release of G.N. Saibaba, Varavara Rao, Rona Wilson and other leaders of various front organisations who were arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case, and ‘repealing of UAPA Act, Farm Laws, CAA/NRC etc’.
  • The Bhima Koregaon case is ongoing (sub judice).
  • Even the investigation is as yet indeterminate. Construing support for the Bhima Koregaon accused as a crime under the TPSA is a criminal mis-reading and deliberate mis-application of an already draconian law.

Challenging UAPA

  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or UAPA, is widely challenged by everyone with a rudimentary understanding of the Constitution as being against every constitutional guarantee.
  • Protesting against the UAPA or seeking its repeal cannot in itself be construed as an unlawful activity, as this notification by the Telangana government seems to suggest.
  • There has been widespread protest against the farm laws in the State as well as against the CAA.
    • While Telangana Chief Minister, K. Chandrashekar Rao, refused to take a definite stand on the Farm Laws in the legislative debates on this issue, his stand on the CAA is clear and unequivocal.

Opinion of the state govt.

  • The Telangana Assembly passed a resolution against the CAA, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register on March 15, 2020, stating that the CAA violated the constitutional guarantees of equality, non-discrimination and secularism, and will ‘endanger the lives of vulnerable groups who do not possess adequate documentary proof of citizenship’ — and went on to state that, ‘there are serious questions as to the legality and constitutionality of the CAA, NPR and NRC’.
  • There is no indication that the State Legislature has reversed its stand on this question.

Criminalisation of Citizenship

  • Invoking draconian legislation to declare the demand for governmental accountability as an unlawful activity that is evidence of participation in an unlawful association.
  • This amounts to the criminalisation of citizenship, no less.
  • It is state repression that breaches public peace.
  • Not the demand by citizens for state accountability.

 

 

Source: TH

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