Over 4700 People Charged For Hurting Religious Sentiments In 2 Years: Know Who All Were Booked Under UAPA

Image Credits: Parliament of India

The Logical Indian Crew

Over 4700 People Charged For Hurting Religious Sentiments In 2 Years: Know Who All Were Booked Under UAPA

Under the tag of "preventive" actions, about 4,794 people were detained between 2018 and 2020 for spreading communal hate. UP leads the list with 628 arrests made in the past couple of years, followed by Tamil Nadu and Kerala, reveals Union Home Ministry.

The Union Home Ministry said that a total of 4,794 people were detained between 2018 and 2020 under the charges of promoting enmity between different religious, racial, and ethnic groups. The information was made public during the Lok Sabha session on Tuesday (August 2) as a response to a query put forth by Trinamool Congress MP Mimi Chakraborty.

Charges Slapped Across Regions

As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data presented by Union minister of state for home affairs Nityanand Rai, around 1,716 people were arrested from different states in 2018, 1,315 people in 2019, and about 1,763 in 2020. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) alone accounted for about seventeen cases registered between 2017 to July 2022, he added.

Among these, the maximum number of arrests were carried out by Uttar Pradesh, with 628 filed cases. This is shortly followed by Tamil Nadu with 613 cases and Kerala with 552 cases within the past three years.

Falling at the end of the list with fewer cases charged are the north-eastern states, except Assam with 351 cases recorded. Furthermore, Delhi, Jammu, and Kashmir reported comparatively fewer arrests, with 31 and 34, respectively. He specified that the NCRB does not maintain any religion-wise crime data.

In regard to the data, an NIA Officer told the Hindustan Times that "Such cases registered by NIA are often those which have terror links as well". A spokesperson from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also defended the arrests by claiming that most of the arrests were "preventive" in nature.

In response to the data that was presented, the opposition Samajwadi Party refuted that the state government was utilising the Police as tools for "fulfilling political agenda". They went on to accuse the govt of politicising the police

Many Journalists Booked Under The Same Await Justice

The period of 2018 to 2022 saw the country's press freedom drop low by several numbers. Multiple media workers were among those wrongfully charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). FIR's accused them of multiple crimes under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), such as 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), 124A (sedition), section 17 (punishment for raising funds for the terrorist act), and so on.

Few among these cases include that of two editors of a Manipuri news portal, Malayalam newspaper reporter Siddique Kappan, Aaj Tak journalist Shyam Meera Singh, and The Kashmir Walla editor-in-chief Fahad Shah, and the most recent case of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair.

Also Read: Branding Innocent Citizens As Terrorists: UAPA, A Law On Loose

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Writer : Laxmi Mohan Kumar
Editor : Snehadri Sarkar
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