Amended UAPA is menace to democracy: Tharoor on Siddique’s release

New Delhi: The amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) is a “menace to democracy”, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said on Friday, a day after the release of Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan.
Kappan walked out of jail on bail on Thursday, over two years after he was arrested for allegedly trying to instigate violence after the death of a woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras.
Reacting to the development, Tharoor said, “The release of Siddique Kappan after 28 months in jail reminds us that UAPA allows the government to detain people indefinitely without charge.” It took the Supreme Court to finally reaffirm “bail not jail”, the former Union minister said on Twitter.
“The amended UAPA is a menace to democracy, as I warned when opposing its introduction in LS (Lok Sabha),” Tharoor said.
In another tweet, he said, “A footnote: when Siddique Kappan asked for reading material in jail he was offered only books in Hindi, a language he does not know, and denied books in English or Malayalam, the only languages he can read.” In the land of Mahatma Gandhi, “is this the level of our humanity”, Tharoor asked.
Kappan’s release came almost six weeks after the Allahabad High Court granted him bail in a money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate.
In September, the Supreme Court granted him bail in another case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

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