25
Jul

Farmers’ Protest: NSA

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Day 242

Toll 546+

NSA

We know that despite all odds, the Kisan Sansad, the Farmers’ Parliament has been a huge success in its first two days. Tomorrow, is Day 3 which will be fully run by women. It has been decades since women have been asking for less than proportionate representation in the real Parliament (33 per cent) but that has not happened. Now, at the Farmers’ Parliament they get tomorrow and come back again in a few days.

Last few days, in solidarity with the Kisan Sansad, other protesters, some Delhi citizens, have also been trying to reach the Jantar Mantar. Yet, the police has kept the Sansad out of the reach of people, even media. Except for farmers’ own media, rest of the media is stopped a couple of score meters away from the Sansad venue. All they gets is bytes at the end of the day.

One wishes they could relay the live feed of proceedings at the Sansad. The people of the country could see how proceedings are conducted, how decorum is maintained, how turn is awaited, how dissent is recorded. Sadly, the government of India does not want people to be inspired by a well conducted Sansad.

Now, the Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has issued a notification, granting power to the Police Commissioner to apprehend anyone under National Security Act (NSA) till 18th October 2021. Why is this permission granted? Who will it be used against? Why is it until October 18 and not just until the end of Parliament Monsoon Session?

There are no answers. This is what the textbook says about NSA:

The National Security Act is an act that empowers the government to detain a person if the authorities are satisfied that he/she is a threat to national security or to prevent him/her from disrupting public order.

Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi brought the National Security Act in on 23 September, 1980. Under this act, a person can be detained for up to 12 months without a charge. A person can be held for 10 days without being told the charges against them. The person can appeal before a high court advisory board but will not be allowed a lawyer during the trial.
The NSA Act 1980 has its roots in the colonial era. In 1818, Bengal Regulation III was enacted to empower the British government to arrest anyone for maintenance of public order without giving the person recourse to judicial proceedings.

Interestingly, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which collects crime data in India, does not include cases under the NSA as no FIRs are registered.

If NSA is for farmers, the government needs to know when farmers come for the Kisan Sansad, they are prepared to be arrested. Of course, they have the backing of the Unions but there are no guarantees. Do you think they would really be concerned about under which law they are being arrested?

Seriously, the government needs to do better. Nothing it tries works: not threats, not barricades, not hooliganism, not even laws. For the voice of the free (wo)man transcends all barriers.

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