NEW DELHI: Historian Romila Thapar asserted on Friday that she and her colleagues had moved the Supreme Court for drawing the judiciary’s attention to the gross misuse of draconian anti-terror laws such as the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
“The history of our republic shows that unchecked misuse of draconian anti-terror will endanger the civil liberties of the citizens,” Thapar said at a press conference, after the Supreme Court extended the house arrest of five activists in the Bhima-Koregaon case.
Thapar was accompanied by activists Maya Daruwala, Satish Deshpande, political commentator Prabhat Patnaik and advocate Vrinda Grover. All four had moved the apex court. At the same event, Daruwala argued while the police and the state were claiming a victory and vindication, it was important to look at what Justice DY Chandrachud wrote in his judgment.
“We approached the court not only to draw its attention to the gross injustice meted out to five individuals but also to highlight the pattern which was coming to the fore due to police actions,” she said, adding that the arrest of an individual should be the last step taken by the police after the completion of an investigation, and not the first step of a “fishing expedition”.
Two types of terrorism
In a joint statement, the activists claimed there were two types of terrorism — one in which individuals resort to acts of violence, and other is the illegal or unjustified misuse of power by the state.