Anti-terror bill passed in Lok Sabha

PTI

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaks in the Lok Sabha, during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (LSTV/PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaks in the Lok Sabha, during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (LSTV/PTI Photo)

Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday defended amendments to an anti-terror law, saying they are was essential to keep law enforcement agencies one step ahead of terrorists.

Responding to a debate in Lok Sabha on a bill seeking to amend the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, he asserted anti-terror laws would not be misused and used only to root out terrorism.

He said that provision in UAPA (amendment) bill, which was later passed in the Lower House by a voice vote, to designate a person suspected to have terror links as a terrorist is necessary to root out terror.

Hitting out at the Congress for opposing the amendment, he said if the UPA was correct in amending anti-terror laws in their tenure, then so is the NDA.

He said, in the name of ideology, some people promote urban Maoism and the government has no sympathy towards them.

The government fights terrorism and it should not matter which party is in power, Shah said, referring to amendments made in anti-terror laws by successive governments.

During a division of votes, demanded by AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi for consideration of the bill, as many as 287 MPs supported it and only eight opposed it.

Amendments brought in by some opposition members were also defeated by huge numbers during the division of votes.

When the AIMIM member insisted on a division of votes over amendments, Speaker Om Birla quoted rule to say that he can ask the members supporting or opposing them to stand up for counting, if he feels it appropriate.

(PTI)