punjab laws

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PUNJAB GOVT ATTEMPTS TO CRUSH DISSENT & PEOPLE’S STRUGGLES THROUGH DRACONIAN LAWS

PEOPLE COME OUT IN STREETS TO OPPOSE

by Narinder Kumar Jeet

21 January, 2011

In the last Assembly session, Punjab Govt got passed four anti-people black-laws, to put shackles, on the struggling and rationally thinking people. The Punjab (Prevention of Damage to Public & Private Property) Act – 2010, puts a complete ban on the protest demonstrations, marches, rallies etc, as it ordains that nothing like that shall be permitted to be done without prior permission from the District Magistrate or Police Commissioner, which is most unlikely to come. Even where the permission is granted, the organizers shall have to give an undertaking to the concerned SHO, the route and slogans shall be approved by the police, lathis-even for carrying the flags shall be forbidden. The police will be authorized not only to get the rallies, demonstrations etc video-graphed, but will also have the power to get photographs, video-graphs etc from press-persons, which shall be used as un-rebuttable evidence against the protesters in the courts. Any one organizing protest activity without permission shall get two-year jail term plus fine. If the police complains of a damage to any public or private property by the protesters, in the course of such activity, the protesters shall get five year jail term plus Rs.20,000/- fine. If such a damage is alleged to have been caused by fire or explosive substance, the jail term shall be seven years plus a fine of Rs. 70000/-. An administrative office shall be appointed as a competent authority to assess the damage and the organizers of protest activity shall be liable to pay it. If they refuse to pay, the amount shall be recovered by auctioning their properties. All the offenses under this Act shall be non-bailable and cognizable by any Head Constable of the police. The onus to prove that they have not caused any damage to public or private property shall be upon the protesters, in view of the video-graphic evidence produced by the police.

Through the Punjab Special Protection Group Act-2010, the state is going to constitute an elite armed force, armed with ultra-modern weapons, gadgets and advanced training, for “combating anti-national forces” and for “providing proximate security to highly threatened persons and their families” to be so declared by the State Govt. The Act describes any person or organization which violates the law as “anti-national”. If one smokes in public or violates any traffic law, he is “anti-national” under this Act and the Special Protection Group shall have the power to proceed against him.  more>>