Owaisi: Sad only Muslim MPs voted against NIA, UAPA bills

NEW DELHI: All India Majlise-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi is disappointed that only Muslim members in Lok Sabha chose to vote against the legislations for enhancing the powers and scope of National Investigation Agency and amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Other than Owaisi, his party MP Imtiyaz Jalil, Haji Fazlur Rehman (BSP), K Navaskani, Mohd Basheer and PK Kunhalikutty (Indian Union Muslim League), Hasnain Masoodi (National Conference) and Badruddin Ajmal( AUDF) were the other MPs who had voted against the UAPA bill which got 287 votes in favour.

Although Owaisi said one non-Muslim member also opposed the NIA bill, he expressed concern that other opponents of the two legislations refused to stand up and be counted against the two legislations aggressively moved by home minister Amit Shah. “It is true that the eight MPs who have voted against the UAPA bill are followers of Islam. But this trend is a serious issue and should be a matter of concern for all parties,” Owaisi told TOI.
Owaisi was in the forefront of the resistance to the NIA bill and pressed for a division. In the resultant headcount, other opponents of the bill refrained from translating their criticism into votes against the bill and instead preferred to walk out.

Shah had instantly accepted the demand for division on the bill which, just like the one designed to change the UAPA, has been criticised by human rights organisations. Asked to explain the reluctance, Owaisi said: “I can’t speak on behalf of all parties but I must say it was Congress which brought this legislation and they are responsible for this draconian law.”

The Hyderabad MP, who has attacked Congress’s “secular” credentials and accused the party of letting down Muslims, said, “I strongly opposed the bill and voted against it as it marks a violation of fundamental rights. As Fidel Castro had said, history will absolve me when innocents will suffer due to this draconian law.”

Owaisi reiterated Congress would realise what they have done only if their leader ends up spending several months in prison. Owaisi had attacked Congress for being the original architects of NIA and UAPA, saying “They are the culprits. When they are in power they behave like BJP, when they lose power they become big brother of Muslims.”

BJP had justified the need for the changes in NIA and UAPA by citing the threat of terrorism and subversion. The increase in the jurisdiction of the NIA and UAPA are in line with the “tough-onterror” plank the party chose to contest the Lok Sabha elections. The proceedings in Lok Sabha during the passage of the two bills saw a combative Shah challenging opposition parties to vote against them.

Source: Times of India


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