Organizations Banned Under UAPA

In exercise of the powers vested in the Central Government under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA), the Government on being satisfied that the organizations have become Unlawful, has declared the following Organizations as Unlawful Associates during the last three years:

  • Islamic Research Foundation (IRF)
  • National Liberation Front in Tripura (NLFT)
  • All Tripura Tiger Forum (ATTF)

Under Section 35 of UAPA, the Government on being satisfied that the organization is involved in terrorism had added the following organizations to the First Schedule of UAPA during the last three years:

  • Al-Qaida in Indian Sub-continent (AQIS) and all its manifestations.
  • Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP)/ISIS Wilayat Khorasan/Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham-Khorasan (ISIS-K) and all its manifestations.
  • Khalistan Liberation Force and all its manifestations.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested 418 accused persons under UAPA during the last three years. But, the State Police also detain accused persons under UAPA, the details of which are not maintained by the Central Government.

The Government has not removed any organization from the list of banned organizations under the UAPA during the last three years.

The Government has not released any person detained under UAPA. However, the data of persons detained under UAPA and released on the order of the competent courts are not maintained by the Government.

Background:

  • National Investigation Agency: (HQ – New Delhi)
  • The National Investigation Agency was established after the enactment of the NIA Act on 31st Dec 2008.
  • Presently, NIA is functioning as the Central Counter-Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency in India.
  • NIA comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The vision of NIA

The National Investigation Agency aims to be a thoroughly professional investigative agency matching the best international standards. The NIA aims to set the standards of excellence in counter-terrorism and other national security-related investigations at the national level by developing into a highly trained, partnership-oriented workforce. NIA aims at creating deterrence for existing and potential terrorist groups/individuals. It aims to develop as a storehouse of all terrorist-related information.

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Centre constitutes high-level committees to deal with mob violence, lynching

Two high-level committees have been constituted by the Central government to suggest ways and legal framework to effectively deal with incidents of mob violence and lynching, the Home Ministry.

One of the committees is being headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the other by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba.

The move comes after a number of mob lynching incidents were reported in several areas, stemming from fake social media rumors of child kidnappers as well as cow vigilantism.

The Union Government is highly concerned about the incidents of mob violence in some parts of the country. The government has already condemned such incidents and made its stand clear in the Parliament that, as per the Constitutional scheme, ‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are State subjects.

State Governments are responsible for controlling crime, maintaining law and order, and protecting the life and property of the citizens. They are empowered to enact and enforce laws to curb crime in their jurisdiction.

Condemning mob lynching incidents across the country and the Supreme Court had urged the Parliament to enact a new law to deal with the crime. The court passed a slew of directions in this regard to dealing with the mob lynching. Here are the directions:

There shall be a “separate offense” for lynching and the trial courts must ordinarily award maximum sentence upon conviction of the accused person to set a stern example in cases of mob violence.

The state governments will have to designate a senior police officer in each district for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.

The state governments need to identify districts, sub-divisions, and villages where instances of lynching and mob violence have been reported in the recent past.

The nodal officers shall bring to the notice of the DGP about any inter-district co-ordination issues for devising a strategy to tackle lynching and mob violence related issues.

Every police officer shall ensure to disperse the mob that has a tendency to cause violence in the disguise of vigilantism or otherwise.

Central and the state governments shall broadcast on radio, television and other media platforms about the serious consequences of mob lynching and mob violence.

Despite the measures taken by the State Police, if it comes to the notice of the local police that an incident of lynching or mob violence has taken place, the jurisdictional police station shall immediately lodge an FIR.

The State Governments shall prepare a lynching/mob violence victim compensation scheme in the light of the provisions of Section 357A of CrPC within one month from the date of this judgment.

If a police officer or an officer of the district administration fails to fulfill his duty, it will be considered an act of deliberate negligence.

At present, there is no law that criminalizes mob killings. The Indian Penal Code has provisions for unlawful assembly, rioting, and murder but nothing that takes cognizance of a group of people coming together to kill (a lynch mob).

Under Section 223 (a) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), to prosecute together two or more people accused of the same offense committed in the course of the “same transaction”. But the provision falls far short of an adequate legal framework for prosecuting lynch mobs.

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Centre strengthening relations with south-east countries to develop NE region: Rajnath

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Centre is strengthening connections with south-east countries in a bid to develop the Northeastern regions.

Addressing the media at 67th Plenary session of the North Eastern Council (NEC) in Shillong, the Union Minister said that the government wants to ensure the upliftment of the Northeastern region.

The Union Home Minister also said that the NEC and state governments will have to ensure completion of ongoing projects in Meghalaya in a time-bound manner.

This was the first time a Union Home Minister presided over the plenary meet of the council.

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After two decades, 32,000 Bru refugees to be repatriated to Mizoram: MHA

As many as 32,876 displaced people belonging to the Bru community will be repatriated to Mizoram from Tripura after two decades of being away from home, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Tuesday. The decision was taken after a tripartite agreement was signed by the two state governments and the Centre.

The central government will provide financial assistance for rehabilitation of Bru community members in Mizoram and address their issues of security, education, livelihood, etc. in consultation with the governments of Mizoram and Tripura.

A bout of ethnic violence forced thousands of people from the Bru tribe to leave their homes in Mizoram. As many as 32,876 people belonging to 5,407 families are living in the refugee camps in the Jampui Hills of Tripura.

The displaced Bru people from Mizoram have been living in various camps in Tripura since 1997. In 1997, the murder of a Mizo forest guard at the Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mizoram’s Mamit district allegedly by Bru militants led to a violent backlash against the community, forcing several thousand people to flee to neighboring Tripura.

The Bru militancy was a reactionary movement against Mizo nationalist groups who had demanded in the mid-1990s that the Brus be left out of the state’s electoral rolls, contending that the tribe was not indigenous to Mizoram.

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Supreme Court extends deadline to publish final draft of Assam NRC

The Supreme Court extended by a month’s its 30 June deadline for the publication of the final draft of Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC). The bench gave the extension after the Centre and the state NRC coordinator agreed to publish it within the new 30 July deadline.

The first draft of the NRC, which was released in January, listed only 1.9 crore people as citizens out of the 3.9 crore people who had filed the NRC application.

The updated NRC will count only those as Assam citizens who can prove their residency on or before March 21, 1971. This means that all those not included in the list run the risk of being rendered illegal immigrants.

The NRC was introduced to identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and recognise the Indian citizens in Assam. It was first prepared in 1951 and Assam is the only state having this arrangement.

NRC updation basically means the process of enlisting the names of those persons (or their descendants) whose names appear in any of the Electoral Rolls up to 1971, 1951 NRC or any of the admissible documents stipulated.

The need of the hour, therefore, is for the Union Government to allay apprehensions presently in the minds of the people of Assam and take steps to contain any adverse fallout after the publication of the final draft of the NRC. At the same time, it also needs to spell out what it intends to do with the persons whose names do not figure in the final NRC.

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NGOs on ED’s radar for funding Naxals

Expanding its investigations from the Bihar-Jharkhand region to Chhattisgarh, the Enforcement Directorate has zeroed in on some non-government organizations (NGOs) that are suspected to have funded Naxal operatives in the State.

The agency is preparing a list of such NGOs to examine their financial dealings, as they are already on the radar of security and police agencies. The action is being taken following several rounds of multi-agency meetings on devising a coordinated strategy to choke funding to Naxal operatives in various States.

It is a law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India. It is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.

The prime objective of the Enforcement Directorate is the enforcement of two key Acts- the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (FEMA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 (PMLA). Other objectives are primarily linked to checking money laundering in India.

It comprises officers of the Indian Revenue Service, Indian Police Service, and the Indian Administrative Service.

The origin of this Directorate goes back to 1 May 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed, in Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947. In the year 1957, this Unit was renamed as ‘Enforcement Directorate’.

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GeoIntelligence Asia 2018

The Eleventh edition of GeoIntelligence Asia 2018 organized by GeoSpatial Media and Communication with Directorate General of Information System as Knowledge Partners and Military Survey as Co-organisers, took place at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi on 04-05 June 2018.  The theme of Seminar was ‘GeoSpatial: A Force Multiplier for Defence and Internal Security’. The seminar brought together the military, security officials including BSF and Police Forces, Government and industry together to examine the latest technology solutions and on the critical role of geospatial technology in military and security applications.

Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff, during his Keynote address, said that the Armed Forces are the repository of big data and there is a need to record and institutionalize the information and carry out predictive analytics using AI. He stressed on the need for collaboration with industry and academia to automate the Indian Army and emphasized the need to leverage the various technologies available in the Geo Spatial field to find solutions for the challenges faced by the Indian Army.

Geospatial Intelligence and its significance:

Geospatial intelligence is a critical foundation for many aspects of defense and internal security. It offers the capability of monitoring, predicting and countering threats while helping strategize and support various field operations.

It facilitates multi-source information sharing and integration across agencies and organizations by providing a common framework on which other information is based.

The use of big data, advanced geospatial analytics software and sophisticated imaging technologies from (very) high-resolution remote sensing satellites, UAVs, and other sensors, enables seamless flow of information in pre-, real-time and post-combat operations.

Real-time views and insights of impacted regions are key to improving emergency response times, especially in vulnerable areas such as a country’s border.

Geospatial data is invaluable to the border security operations, to deliver accurate situational awareness information, enabling quick and secure decision-making, while mitigating risks, and increasing national security.

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Foreigners can now travel to Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur without a permit

Foreign tourists, except those from Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, would now be allowed to visit some of the most pristine locations of the country which, so far, were out of bounds for them without a special permit, officials said on Monday.

The home ministry has decided to relax the six-decade-old Protected Area Permit regime from Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur for five years with effect from April 1, a ministry official said.

Under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958, all areas falling between the Inner line and the International Border of some states were declared as protected areas.

What is Protected area permit?

Under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958, all areas falling between the Inner line and the International Border of some states have been declared as protected areas.

The protected areas currently include whole of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim, besides parts of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. Some parts of Sikkim fall under the protected area regime while others in the restricted area.

As per the guidelines, a foreign national is not normally allowed to visit a protected or restricted area unless the government is satisfied that there are extraordinary reasons to justify his or her visit.

Every foreigner, except a citizen of Bhutan, who desires to enter and stay in a protected or restricted area, is required to obtain a special permit from a competent authority having the power to issue such permits to a foreigner, seeking it.

In cases, where the power to issue such permits has not been delegated to a subordinate authority by the Union government, the application for the special permit has to be referred to the Ministry of Home Affairs for prior approval, at least eight weeks before the date of the expected visit.

Necessary powers have been delegated to various authorities to issue such special permits without the prior approval of the Union home ministry to facilitate foreign tourists subject to the certain exceptions.

In cases of foreign diplomats, including the members of the United Nations and international organisations holding diplomatic or official passports, the special permits to visit such protected or restricted areas are issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.

In cases of the citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin, no permit, however, can be issued without the prior approval of the Union home ministry.

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AFSPA lifted in Meghalaya

The Centre has removed the AFSPA from Meghalaya, from April 1 onwards, a senior Home Ministry official said on Monday. Earlier, the Act was effective in the State in the 20 km area along its border with Assam.

In Arunachal Pradesh, the AFSPA has been restricted to eight police stations, instead of 16 earlier.

In simple terms, AFSPA gives armed forces the power to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”. They have the authority to prohibit a gathering of five or more persons in an area, can use force or even open fire after giving a due warning if they feel a person is in contravention of the law. If reasonable suspicion exists, the army can also arrest a person without a warrant; enter or search premises without a warrant; and ban the possession of firearms.

Any person arrested or taken into custody may be handed over to the officer in charge of the nearest police station along with a report detailing the circumstances that led to the arrest.

A disturbed area is one which is declared by notification under Section 3 of the AFSPA. An area can be disturbed due to differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.

The Central Government or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory can declare the whole or part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area. A suitable notification would have to be made in the Official Gazette. As per Section 3, it can be invoked in places where “the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary”.

The Act came into force in the context of increasing violence in the Northeastern States decades ago, which the State governments found difficult to control. The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Bill was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and it was approved by the President on September 11, 1958. It became known as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958.

It is effective in the whole of Nagaland, Assam, Manipur (excluding seven assembly constituencies of Imphal) and parts of Arunachal Pradesh. The Centre revoked it in Meghalaya on April 1, 2018. Earlier, the AFSPA was effective in a 20 km area along the Assam-Meghalaya border. In Arunachal Pradesh, the impact of AFSPA was reduced to eight police stations instead of 16 police stations and in Tirap, Longding and Changlang districts bordering Assam. Tripura withdrew the AFSPA in 2015. Jammu and Kashmir to have a similar Act.

It has been a controversial one, with human rights groups opposing it as being aggressive. Manipur’s Irom Sharmila has been one of its staunchest opponents, going on a hunger strike in November 2000 and continuing her vigil till August 2016. Her trigger was an incident in the town of Malom in Manipur, where ten people were killed waiting at a bus stop.

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Protected Area Permit

The Union Home Ministry is planning to relax the protected area permit (PAP) regime to enable foreign tourists to access border areas. The permit is being relaxed by the Centre following several requests by Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Nagaland, Manipur and the Tourism Ministry.

Under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958, all areas falling between the Inner line and the International Border of some states have been declared as protected areas.

The protected areas currently include whole of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim, besides parts of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. Some parts of Sikkim fall under the protected area regime while others in the restricted area.

How are these regions different?

As per the guidelines, a foreign national is not normally allowed to visit a protected or restricted area unless the government is satisfied that there are extraordinary reasons to justify his or her visit.

Every foreigner, except a citizen of Bhutan, who desires to enter and stay in a protected or restricted area, is required to obtain a special permit from a competent authority having the power to issue such permits to a foreigner, seeking it.

In cases, where the power to issue such permits has not been delegated to a subordinate authority by the Union government, the application for the special permit has to be referred to the Ministry of Home Affairs for prior approval, at least eight weeks before the date of the expected visit.

Necessary powers have been delegated to various authorities to issue such special permits without the prior approval of the Union home ministry to facilitate foreign tourists subject to the certain exceptions.

In cases of foreign diplomats, including the members of the United Nations and international organisations holding diplomatic or official passports, the special permits to visit such protected or restricted areas are issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.

In cases of the citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin, no permit, however, can be issued without the prior approval of the Union home ministry.

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