J&K has seen 750 arrested under UAPA (Representational)
More than 50 per cent of people arrested under the controversial anti-terrorism law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA in the past three years were below the age of 30 years with the highest number from Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the statistics placed by the Home Ministry in Lok Sabha, 2,501 or 53.32 per cent of the 4,690 people arrested between 2018 and 2002 under UAPA were below the age of 30 years.
When it comes to states, Uttar Pradesh accounted for the highest number of 1,338 arrests in three years. Of this, 69.58 per cent or 931 people were below the age of 30 years.
Manipur came second in the list with 943 arrests under UAPA during the period out of which 499 or 52.91 per cent were below the age of 30 years. In Jammu and Kashmir, this was 750 and 366 respectively.
This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai in a written reply in Lok Sabha on Monday during which the government also made it clear that it has presently not considered any amendments to the UAPA, which has attracted criticism from the opposition, rights activists and various other sections.
On the issue of acquittals and convictions, the Home Ministry said that it was an outcome of an elaborate judicial process and is dependent on various factors such as duration of the trial, appraisal of evidence and examination of witnesses. "There are adequate constitutional, institutional and statutory safeguards in UAPA to prevent the misuse of law," the minister said.
However, many in the opposition have blamed the government for trying to muzzle dissent using the law.
Recently, the Tripura police had charged 102 persons including journalists, advocates and social activists under UAPA in connection with social media posts relating to communal violence in the state.