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Cartoonist Aseem’s arrest – Center and states misusing sedition law

September 12, 2012 | By

cartoonist Aseem’s arrest

Jalandhar, Punjab (September 12, 2012): Sharing the concerns raised by country’s intellectuals, human rights activists and eminent personalities against the booking of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi under sedition charges by Maharashtra police, the Dal Khalsa has rued that the Indian civil society never spoke in strong voice when this law was being discriminately invoked in Punjab.

Dal Khalsa President H S Dhami and secretary for human rights Pritpal Singh said that the arrest of Trivedi under sedition charges was ridiculous and hailed his ‘principled’ stance for not seeking bail till the sedition charges against him was not dropped.

Hailing editorials of prominent dailies in which authors have dubbed 124-A of the IPC as “outdated section” and “objectionable and obnoxious”, they said the misuse of sedition clause by centre as well as states to silence ‘right to speech’ have forced people for rebellion.

They reminded that in the wake of the arrest of Binayak Sen, the then Law minister Veerappa Moily announced that there was a need to review the sedition law. With the continuing misuse of the law, the Sikh leaders urged the Parliamentarians to scrap this law at once.

They said that in Punjab from moderate Akalis to hardliner Khalistanis, numerous Sikh leaders had been framed under sedition law since 80’s, but ironically there had never been widespread protest against this injustice which encouraged the system to misuse this colonial law. Civil society should have reacted then also when this law had become a tool to stifle dissenting voices in Punjab, they said. This outdated law was also being used by government of the day in Punjab, they said.

Though charges under this law against dissenters rarely withstood scrutiny of courts but it was used by police to keep people behind bars for long time at the instructions of the political masters.

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