Nod to prosecute Arundhati Roy under UAPA ‘misuse of power’: Sharad Pawar

Besides Arundhati Roy Delhi LG had also given green signal for action under UAPA against former professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain.


Published Jun 15, 2024 | 9:32 PM Updated Jun 15, 2024 | 9:32 PM

Sharad Pawar on UAPA case against Arundhati Roy

NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday, 15 June, described as a “misuse of power” the Delhi Lieutenant Governor’s sanction to prosecute author Arundhati Roy under the stringent UAPA for an alleged provocative speech in 2010.

He was speaking to reporters during a joint press conference with Maha Vikas Aghadi allies Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan.

Asked about Delhi LG VK Saxena’s sanction to prosecute Roy under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or UAPA, for an address at an event 14 years ago, the former Union Minister said, “This is nothing but misuse of power.”

Besides Roy, Saxena on 15 June also gave the green signal for action under UAPA against former Central University of Kashmir professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain. Roy, a Booker Prize-winning author, and Hussain had been named in an FIR registered on 28 October 2010.

Related: Author Arundhati Roy to be prosecuted under UAPA after sanction from Delhi LG: Officials

The two had allegedly made provocative speeches at a conference organised under the banner of ‘Azadi – The Only Way’ on 21 October 2010, in New Delhi. “The issues discussed and spoken about at the conference propagated the separation of Kashmir from India,” an official said on Friday.

Last October, the LG had granted sanction to prosecute them under section 196 of CrPC for commission of offences punishable under different sections of the Indian Penal Code: 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief).

Those who delivered speeches at the conference included Syed Ali Shah Geelani, SAR Geelani (anchor of the conference and prime accused in the Parliament attack case), Roy, Hussain and Telugu poet and Varavara Rao.

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