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More teeth to POTO
|The law was re-promulgated after the government faced stiff resistance from all opposition parties and several NDA partners in the last Parliament session.
New Delhi: In an attempt to further its terrorism agenda, the BJP government has proposed to give more teeth to Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO). The law was re-promulgated after the government faced stiff resistance from all opposition parties and several NDA partners in the last Parliament session. Even after the terrorist attack on the Parliament on 13 December, opposition parties did not allow the government to get the ordinance passed.
The home ministry wants to further empower law enforcing agencies and the police to proceed against organizations and entities imparting weapons and other training to terrorists and terrorist organization. Though the government says that the immediate necessity to amend POTO is due to pressure from the US which wants all countries to ban, impose restrictions and freeze accounts of 158 organizations which it believes have links with Al-Qaeda, it it more to do with BJP governments’ own agenda. The home minister has been trying to give unlimited freedom to security agencies. He even tried to convince the country to scrap cases against security personnel who were charged with violating human rights.
An important clause which is being sought to be included in the new POTO, is the law’s extra-territorial jurisdiction. This new provision will give the government power to declare organizations indulging in terrorist activities abroad as foreign terrorist outfits. There is no law in the country under which India can take action against the 158 organizations sought to be banned by the US. That can only be done if POTO is amended and a provision empowering the government to declare a foreign outfit as terrorist organization is added.