The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Opposition have clashed after Delhi Lieutenant Governor V.K. Saxena approved the prosecution of author Arundhati Roy and Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a former professor from Kashmir, under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The charges stem from alleged provocative speeches made at an event in New Delhi in 2010. 

On Saturday, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi criticised the move, questioning the timing of the action. The Shiv Sena leader acknowledged that Roy's statements were "incorrect", reiterating that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. She did point out the delay in taking action, stating, "But, the prime question is that this matter is from 2010 and it's Narendra Modi's government at the centre for last 10 years, why were they silent till now on this matter?"

"Suddenly, after 10 years, when a government with less majority has been formed at the centre, this decision looks political...," Chaturvedi told ANI. 

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) called the move was driven by a "fascist" agenda. In a post on X, the CPI(M) said, "Condemnable! The Delhi LG has granted permission to prosecute Arundhati Roy under the draconian UAPA for a speech reportedly made 14 yards ago - in 2010. Defies logic except the fascist kind. Timing is suspect since courts are on vacation, as are lawyers. Shameful and Condemnable!"

Congress leader Hariprasad BK added to the criticism, accusing the BJP of suppressing dissent and diverting attention from their failures. He stated, "Fascism thrives on crushing dissent, particularly from intellectuals, artists, writers, poets & activists. BJP manufacture crises daily to distract and overwhelm dissenters enabling them to divert attention from their failures. This assault on free expression & democratic values is unacceptable". 

Trinamool Congress MP-elect Mahua Moitra also supported Roy, arguing that the BJP's actions would not restore their past influence. "If by prtosecution Arundhati Roy under UAPA BJP trying to price they're back, well they're not. And they'll never be back the same way they were. This kind of fascism is exactly what Indians have voted against."

BJP Reacts

In response, the BJP accused the Congress of sympathising with separatists and terrorist organisations. BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla wrote on X, "Delhi LG approves the prosecution of Arundhati Roy under UAPA. Why is the Congress ecosystem rattled? First they support & take support from SDPI and now they cry for separatists. Does it not believe Kashmir is integral part of Bharat? From Afzal to Yakub - Congress puts Votebank niti above Rashtra niti?" 

The FIR against Roy was filed following a complaint by social activist Sushil Pandit on October 28, 2010. A Raj Niwas official announced on Friday that the prosecution had been sanctioned under section 45(1) of the UAPA. Last October, the LG had approved their prosecution under section 196 of the CrPC for offences under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 153A, 153B, and 505.

ALSO READ | What Is The 2010 UAPA Case Against Arundhati Roy?

2024-06-15T10:45:03Z dg43tfdfdgfd