News Brief

Arundhati Roy To Be Prosecuted Under Anti-Terror Law 'UAPA' For Controversial Kashmir Comments

Kuldeep Negi

Jun 15, 2024, 10:46 AM | Updated 10:45 AM IST

Controversial writer-activist Arundhati Roy. (Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via GettyImages) 
Controversial writer-activist Arundhati Roy. (Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via GettyImages) 

Delhi Lieutenant Governor, VK Saxena, on Friday (14 June) sanctioned the prosecution of author and activist Arundhati Roy under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in a case registered in 2010 for her controversial comments on Kashmir.

Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a former professor of international law at Central University of Kashmir, will also face prosecution under the UAPA.

The FIR against Roy and Hussain was registered following an order from a Metropolitan Magistrate court in New Delhi, based on a complained filed by Kashmiri social activist Sushil Pandit on 28 October 2010.

"Roy and Hussain had allegedly made provocative speeches at a conference organised under the banner of 'Azadi - The Only Way' on 21.10.2010 at LTG Auditorium, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi. The issues discussed and spoken about at the conference propagated the 'separation of Kashmir from India'," the Governor's office said, India Today reported.

Other participants in the event included the late Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani, who was acquitted in the Parliament attack case, and activist Varavara Rao. All three passed away during the course of the case.

Sushil Pandit, the complainant, approached the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in New Delhi seeking a direction to the police to initiate a probe, and the court ordered the registration of an FIR in November 2010.

Sushil Pandit approached the court seeking directive to the police to launch a probe, leading to the court ordering FIR registration in November 2010.

In October 2023, the Raj Bhavan granted sanction to prosecute Roy and Hussain under section 196 of the CrPC for offences punishable under different sections of the Indian Penal Code: 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 is the author of Booker winning fictional book 'The God of Small Things'.

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Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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