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Delhi Lt Governor Sanctions Prosecution of Arundhati Roy and Professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain Under UAPA

Delhi Lt Governor Sanctions Prosecution of Arundhati Roy and Professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain Under UAPA

Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena has sanctioned the prosecution of noted author Arundhati Roy and former Central University of Kashmir professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for allegedly making provocative speeches at a 2010 event.

The FIR against Roy and Hussain was registered following the orders of the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi, based on a complaint by social activist Sushil Pandit on October 28, 2010.

“Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena has sanctioned the prosecution of Arundhati Roy and former Professor of International Law in the Central University of Kashmir, Dr. Sheikh Showkat Hussain, under section 45 (1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the case,” stated a Raj Niwas official on Friday.

Last October, the Lt Governor had also granted sanction to prosecute them under section 196 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for offences punishable under different sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC): 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief).

Roy and Hussain are accused of making provocative speeches at a conference titled ‘Azadi – The Only Way’ on October 21, 2010, at LTG Auditorium, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi. According to officials, “The issues discussed and spoken about at the conference propagated the separation of Kashmir from India.”

Speakers at the conference included Syed Ali Shah Geelani, SAR Geelani (anchor of the conference and prime accused in the Parliament attack case), Arundhati Roy, Dr. Sheikh Showkat Hussain, and Varavara Rao.

The complaint filed by Sushil Pandit under Section 156(3) of CrPC led the Metropolitan Magistrate Court, New Delhi, to direct the registration of an FIR on November 27, 2010. The FIR was subsequently registered, and an investigation was carried out.

There has been no immediate reaction from Roy and Hussain regarding the sanction for prosecution.

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