The Rajya Sabha, today, approved the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act (UAPA) 2019 with a vote margin of 147-42. The Lok Sabha has already cleared the bill- also called anti-terror bill on July 24.

The bill has the provision of declaring an individual a terrorist if he participates in terrorist activities, aids those indulging in such activities, propagates the ideology of terrorism and is a member of known terrorist organizations.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, while presenting his reply, said that terrorist acts are committed not by organizations but individuals. He added, declaring an organization as a terrorist organization will not stop the individuals behind it. Not designating individuals as terrorists would allow them to circumvent the law and they would simply gather under a different name and keep up their terror activities.

The Amendment gives powers to DG, NIA to attach properties acquired from proceeds of terrorism. The NIA, no more, will need the permission of the respective state DGP to attach proceeds of terrorism.

On this issue, Shri Shah said that this law does not take away powers of the state police as he added that when NIA takes up a case having international and inter-state ramifications, all the facts pertinent to the case are with the NIA, and not with the state police.

Currently, the law requires that NIA take prior permission from the respective state DGP to attach the proceeds of terrorism. This delays the process as often such properties are in different states.

Shri Amit Shah, replying to the debate on the Bill, appealed to the House to pass the bill unanimously to send a strong message to the world that terrorists are the enemies of humanity and India is committed to finish terror from its soil.

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The Home Minister said that those who are opposing this bill now must remember that the original law was not brought by the current Government. “We have always supported a strong law against terrorism and have been committed to any amendment in this direction, in the past also. A tough law is required to uproot terrorism from India and we would always support that.”

In addition to this, Shri Shah said that terrorism has no religion and individuals of one religion must not be victimized. He further assured the House that Government is committed to protecting the fundamental rights of all citizens.

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