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Opposition Unites Against Yogi Adityanath Government's 'Draconian' UPCOCA

The opposition in UP have termed UPCOCA as a tool to suppress the voice of opposition and against the interest of the common man.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:December 21, 2017, 5:59 PM IST
Opposition Unites Against Yogi Adityanath Government's 'Draconian' UPCOCA
File photo of Yogi Adityanath. (PTI)

Lucknow: The opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh have decided to stand united against the UP Control of Organised Crime Act (UPCOCA) tabled by the Yogi Adityanath-led government during ongoing winter session of the Assembly.

They have termed UPCOCA as a tool to suppress the voice of opposition and against the interest of the common man.

Former chief minister and national president of the Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh Yadav, 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.”

“The government should instead focus more on Dial 100 and 1090 emergency numbers, then only law and order situation can improve,” he added.

Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati also raised her 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.”

BSP MLA Mukhtar Ansari said, “My leader Mayawati has opposed UPCOCA and even I oppose such law which might be used against Dalits, OBCs and will also be used by the ruling party to threaten the opposition. I demand Yogi Government to take back this bill immediately; our CrPC has enough law and is capable to handle any kind of crime.”

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 their sudden need to bring such law, already there is 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.

The BJP-led government defended the act and said it will curb organized crime and to break the nexus of mining and land mafia in the state.

UP Power Minister and Government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma said, “UPCOCA will break the spine of criminals involved in organized crime in the state. Once this law is made then there would never be any such event like the one happened in Mathura’s Jawahar Bagh.”

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.

Apart from this, violent demonstrations against the government have also been included in it. The government will not only provide security to the witnesses but the testimony will also be held in closed rooms and the court will not reveal the name of the witness. Under this law, the accused will not have the right to know who has testified against him.

| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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