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UP Government’s Controversial UPCOCA Bill Passed in Assembly, Opposition Walks Out in Protest

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, while discussing the bill in the House, said that this bill will be an important contribution towards improving investment and also the law and order situation in the state.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:December 21, 2017, 6:07 PM IST
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UP Government’s Controversial UPCOCA Bill Passed in Assembly, Opposition Walks Out in Protest
File photo of UP assembly (Getty Images)
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Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Thursday passed the controversial UPCOCA bill amid walk out by the opposition parties.

The bill has a provision of stringent punishment for people engaged in organised crime with capital punishment accompanied by stiff penalty up to Rs 25 lakh and jail terms ranging from three years to life for other crimes, including possession of unaccountable wealth and harbouring of criminals. The bill is patterned on the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, while discussing the bill in the House, said that this bill will be an important contribution towards improving investment and also the law and order situation in the state.

The UP assured the opposition leaders that this bill will not be used to counter political opposition. He also appealed to everyone to support this bill in the interest of the state.

The opposition, on the other hand, strongly opposed the bill and called it a ‘black bill’. The opposition also gave an amendment resolution, which was dismissed, after which the opposition walked out of the Assembly. They termed UPCOCA as a tool to suppress the voice of opposition and against the interest of the common man.

Samajwadi Party leader Ram Govind Chaudhary alleged that UPCOCA will be used particularly against minorities and that is why Azam Khan was not allowed to speak by the BJP leaders. He also alleged that UPCOCA will be used against Muslims if they went to vote.

Former chief minister and national president of the Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh Yadav, had said that UPCOCA is a tool to threaten the voices against the government. He said, “BJP used to say that encounters of the criminals will improve the law and order situation in the state but nothing has changed. Nothing will change until the government gives charge to able officers. UPCOCA will be used to suppress the voice of the opposition and to threaten them.”

Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati also raised concerns against UPCOCA and said that this would be used against Dalits, the poor and minorities. In a statement issued on Wednesday, Mayawati said, “BJP is using such laws against Dalits and the poor in the BJP-ruled states for their vested interest. Hence, UPCOCA which is made on the basis of MCOCA will also be misused to suppress the voices against the ruling party.”

Congress MLA Lallu Singh also raised concerns over the misuse of UPCOCA.

“This government is bringing UPCOCA to threaten people who speak freely in a democracy. Why this sudden need to bring such a law, already there are enough laws. When the government should be bothered about law and order situation in state, the government wants to bring its own law and have no confidence in CrPC and IPC. We oppose such move by the government,” he said.
| Edited by: Ananya Chakraborty
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