By Aleem Shaikh
The platform called “People’s Movement Against UAPA” was launched by a representative group of concerned citizens in a meeting held at New Delhi on 23 rd January 2014 for campaigning to repeal UAPA [Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, later amended thrice till 2012].
Within the short span of time, the central delegation of the Movement visited the following state
capitals namely Trivandrum, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bhopal, Jaipur, Lucknow and Patna and interacted with top political leaders and government functionaries. Public programmes and press conferences were also held at the above places and also in other cities like Varanasi and Ludhiana.
On 21 st February 2014, the Night Vigil Day, public gatherings holding lit torches and candles were
held in 355 places across the nation. As per the available reports, more than 2 lakhs post cards were sent to the then Chairperson of United Progressive Alliance as part of the campaign. The campaign posters, booklets, pamphlets, handbills etc were published in most of the Indian languages such as Hindi, Urdu,Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali and Manipuri. The street dramas and corner meetings were arranged in different localities of Delhi. During the campaign in many places, the victims of UAPA and their relatives shared their sufferings.
The People’s Conference in the national capital, which was attended by 5,000 people and activists at
Talkatora stadium on 5 th March 2014, was concluded with a firm declaration that the movement will be further strengthened across the country till the inhuman law UAPA is removed.
Representative groups of UAPA victims from different places participated in the conference and also
shared their woeful experiences under police custody and jail. The meeting was addressed by prominent political party leaders, human rights activists, marginalised and minority community representatives.
Moulana Muhamed Wali Rahimani was elected as the chairman of the movement in the conference, E, Abubacker as Vice Chairman and Kamal Faruqui as Convener.
The former repressive laws like TADA and POTA were withdrawn when people stood up and acted
against the severe and drastic abuses under those laws. According to various leaders who addressed the audience, in spite of the frequent and large scale persecution of innocents by administration and police under UAPA, most political parties have not yet taken a strong stand in favour the victims.
The Conference resolution alleged that governments at the Centre and States have so far ignored
the demand for the repeal of UAPA.
After the conference, two meetings of central committee were held at New Delhi and decided to
collect the data of UAPA cases and the data collection is going on through RTI and other sources.
Seminar at Mumbai
As the follow-up of the movement, we decided to conduct a “Seminar on Repeal UAPA Now” at Mumbai on 11th March 2017, Saturday between 7.00 pm to 9.45 pm in Birla Matushri Sabhagar (Bombay Hospital Trust), #10, Marine Lines, Mumbai – 400 020.