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Tuesday, July 23, 2024  
17 Muharram 1446  

Arundhati Roy to be prosecuted for Kashmir speech under India’s anti-terror law

UAPA carries punishment of up to seven years’ imprisonment for inciting any unlawful activity
Photo via Facebook/Arundhati Roy
Photo via Facebook/Arundhati Roy

Renowned Indian author Arundhati Roy, known for her critical stance against the government, is set to be prosecuted under India’s stringent anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), for her speech about occupied Jammu and Kashmir, India Today reported.

The criminal complaint, originally filed in 2010, accuses Roy and several others of sedition for advocating the secession of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir from India. The case had languished in India’s slow-moving criminal justice system until recently, when Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor granted approval for the prosecution to proceed.

Roy, a Booker Prize-winning novelist, has long been a polarising figure in India due to her vocal criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration and her activism on issues affecting the poor and marginalized. Her remarks on IIOJK, a highly sensitive topic in India, sparked widespread protests at the time.

The UAPA legislation, which has been used extensively against Kashmiri residents, journalists and dissidents, allows for prolonged detention without charges and makes bail virtually impossible. It carries a punishment of up to seven years’ imprisonment for inciting any unlawful activity.

The case against Roy and her co-defendants has spanned over a decade, with two of the original accused passing away since the complaint was first filed. This latest development underscores the Indian government’s crackdown on free speech and dissent, particularly concerning the volatile issue of held region.

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Arundhati Roy