National Conference, PDC condemn prosecution of ex-professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain, author Arundhati Roy under UAPA

Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena on Friday, June 14, accorded sanction to prosecute a former professor in Kashmir under the stringent UAPA for allegedly making provocative speeches at an event in 2010
Roy and Hussain had allegedly made provocative speeches at a conference organised in 2010
Roy and Hussain had allegedly made provocative speeches at a conference organised in 2010(Image: EdexLive Desk)

The National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have expressed their disapproval of the prosecution sanction against a former professor in Kashmir and author Arundhati Roy under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for allegedly making provocative speeches at an event in Delhi in 2010.

According to officials, the FIR against former Central University of Kashmir professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain, as well as author Arundhati Roy, was registered following the orders of the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi.

Expressing disapproval of the move, the National Conference (NC) stressed the need to uphold the fundamental right of every citizen to free speech as guaranteed by Article 19 of the Constitution.

"The NC expresses its strong disapproval of the prosecution of author Arundhati Roy and Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain under the UAPA. The use of anti-terror laws to suppress dissent and criminalize speech is deeply concerning," it said in a post on X.

"It is also imperative to note that this permission has been granted 14 long years after the alleged speech took place. In the intervening years the speech has been all but forgotten and didn't vitiate the atmosphere in J&K," it said.

Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena on Friday, June 14, accorded sanction to prosecute a former professor in Kashmir under the stringent UAPA for allegedly making provocative speeches at an event here in 2010.

PDP chief and former chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Mehbooba Mufti, said that the Centre continues its "rampage violating fundamental rights with impunity".

"Booking a former law professor from Kashmir is also an act of frustration," Mehbooba Mufti added.

Her daughter and media adviser Iltija Mufti said author Arundhati Roy will be prosecuted under UAPA for being an "audacious voice who refuses to bend the knee".

"Equally worrying that it also includes Dr Sheikh Shoukat a former Professor of Law from Kashmir. What is becoming of India? Might as well turn this country into an open-air prison," she said on X.

Roy and Hussain had allegedly made provocative speeches at a conference organised under the banner of Azadi - The Only Way on October 21, 2010, at LTG Auditorium in New Delhi.

The FIR in the matter was registered on a complaint made by Sushil Pandit, a social activist from Kashmir, on October 28, 2010.

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