All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday said he was disappointed that only Muslim members voted against the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019, and, the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha, The Times of India reported.
The Lok Sabha passed the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill on July 15 and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on July 24. The UAPA Bill is currently in the Rajya Sabha, while the NIA Bill has been approved by the Upper House as well.
“It is true that the eight MPs who have voted against the UAPA bill are followers of Islam,” Owaisi told The Times of India. “But this trend is a serious issue and should be a matter of concern for all parties.”
Besides Owaisi, his party MP Imtiyaz Jalil, Haji Fazlur of Bahujan Samaj Party, K Navaskani, Mohd Basheer and PK Kunhalikutty of the Indian Union Muslim League, Hasnain Masoodi of the National Conference and Badruddin Ajmal of the All India United Democratic Front also voted against the UAPA bill. The bill got 287 votes while these eight members dissented.
The National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill broadened the agency’s investigating powers and gave the NIA officers power to investigate offences committed outside India too. The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019, proposed to allow the government to proscribe individuals as terrorists and also proposed to empower more officers of the National Investigation Agency to investigate cases.
“I strongly opposed the bill [NIA bill] and voted against it as it marks a violation of fundamental rights,” Owaisi told the newspaper. “As Fidel Castro had said, history will absolve me when innocents will suffer due to this draconian law.”
The MP from Hyderabad also reiterated his attacks on the Congress. He called the party out for its “secular credentials” and accused the party of disappointing Muslims. Owaisi said they were the original architects of NIA and UAPA bills. “They are the culprits. When they are in power they behave like BJP, when they lose power they become big brother of Muslims,” he said.
The House had witnessed a spat between Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Owaisi during the passage of the NIA Bill. The MP from Hyderabad had led the protests against the bill. Amit Shah had sought all-party support for the passage of the both the bills in Parliament. He said a division in the House on the matter of strengthening the NIA will send out a wrong message and boost the morale of terrorists.