Govt introduces bill to criminalise vandalism in IoK

Any person involved in protest where property is damaged is subject to imprisonment


News Desk February 07, 2018
PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

The Indian-held Kashmir Public Property (Prevention of Damage) Act was labeled “most draconian” by the Opposition party on Monday when it was introduced by the government, reported the Greater Kashmir.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Abdul Rehman Veeri introduced the draft on behalf Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. However, the bill has been disputed by the home department.

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Speaking about the bill, MLA of Kulgam, MY Tarigami said, “It is the most draconian legislation.” Ali Muhammad Sagar, Senior National Conference leader demanded the bill should be directed to a selective committee.

“I have submitted an amendment in this regard,” he added. The legislation was submitted to replace the bill that was declared last year by Governor NN Vohra on the instructions of the Indian-occupied government.

Any person endorsing a shutdown, involved in a protest or demonstration, where property is damaged is subject to imprisonment or a fine, according to the bill.

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“Whosoever calls for a direct action, whether he participates in such an action directly or indirectly which results in damage to private and public property, shall be deemed to be guilty of abetment,” reads the draft.

The rights groups have critisised the bill saying it criminalises all methods of protest. “Even if the violence during the protest has been carried out by anti-social elements, who have nothing to do with the protest, the leaders or organisers of the protest will be held guilty,” they stated.

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