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Northeast will oppose new terrorism

?Northeast will oppose new terrorism bill?
Centre will try and impose draconian bill: AGP leader

By Manoj Anand

The Asian Age (New Delhi)
May 24, 2000

Guwahati, May 23: The legal experts, student bodies and intellectuals in
the Northeast have started an exercise to register strong opposition to
the proposed Prevention of Terrorism Act 2000 recommended by the Law
Commission of India.

Charging the commission of completely ignoring the Northeast in
preparing the draft, former students? leader Sabananda Sonowal termed
the proposed act a ?super Tada? in making and said: ?Like the earlier
practices, the Northeast states were completely left out by the Law
Commission of India while preparing the draft bill which preparing the
draft bill which we shall oppose tooth and nail.?

?I have already apprised our concern to the Law Commission chairman,
Justice Jeevan Reddy, and Union home minister Lal Krishna Advani as this
has also created a lot of resentment among the legal luminaries and
intellectuals of the Northeastern states,? he said.

?The Centre?s unilateral decision to frame a law, without taking the
opinion of the militancy hit Northeast has given us to understand that
they still want to rule us with draconian laws that is already in
practice in the form of Special Power Arms Acts,? he said. The burnt of
the Tada that was scrapped under public pressure is still afresh in the
minds of people, he said while disclosing that journalist Kuldip Nayar
and several others have also extended their support to them.

Mr Sonowal who recently joined the ruling Asom Gana Parishad, however,
clarified that he was mobilising the people?s opinion against the
proposed draconian law in his individual capacity.

The leading legal and constitutional experts of the Northeast, who met
here on Sunday, are preparing a draft to challenge the relevance of such
an act in the country. ?It would be our base paper to create a public
opinion against the proposed act that is expected to be tabled in the
next session of the Parliament,? Mr Sonowal said.

Citing the example of the Illegal Migration (Determination by Tribunal)
Act that was framed by the Parliament for its implementation all over
the country, Mr Sonowal said in practice it was enforced only in Assam.
?We have all reason to believe that this act ? Super Tada ? would be
used to suppress the democratic and constitutional rights of the people
in the Northeast.?

He also expressed grave concern over the attitude of the think tank of
the government sitting in New Delhi that always tries to under estimate
the wisdom of the people in the Northeast.

?We are not only isolated geographically but in decision-making also,?
he said, while regretting that even after 50 years of independence,
people of the region are coerced to spoil their energy and potential in
fighting for their democratic rights.

The former students? leader, who convened the Sunday?s meeting, said
that the legal experts from all over the Northeast have started
deliberating on the draft paper of the Prevention of Terrorism Bill 2000
and are likely to prepare a final draft against the bill by next Sunday
taking the legal, political and historical background in consideration.