Terrorism is the most henious activites in the world.. The term “Terrorism” comes from the French word Terrorisme, which is based on the Latin verb “terrere” (to cause to tremble). The Jacobins cited this precedent when imposing a Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. After the Jacobins lost power, the word “terrorist” became a term of abuse. In modern times “Terrorism” usually refers to the killing of innocent people by a private group in such a way as to create a media spectacle. In November 2004, a United Nations Security Council report described terrorism as any act “Intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act”. In many countries, acts of terrorism are legally distinguished from criminal acts done for other purposes, and “terrorism” is defined by statute.
Anti-Terrorism laws in India: Distinguishing Myth & Reality
Terrorism in India has grown to a great extent in the last two decades. The bomb blasts and terrorist attack in many cities like Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Banglore and attack 26/11 on Mumbai in 2008 and recent attack on Pune on 14/02/2010. The terrorist attack have outraged every patriotic Indian. No civilized nation can allow this kind of barbaric inhumanity to be partly or fully supported or sponsored by any neighbor or domestic insurgents. The only way we can combat it is to minimize, if not eliminate, such occurrences. Prevention is crucial; and laws like POTA can prevent such occurrences.
After the 26/11 attacks on the Mumabi the Indian outlook towards the terrorist and terrorist organization has changed and the laws have become much more stringent to curb such activities.
India is facing multifarious challenges in the management of its internal security. There is an upsurge of terrorist activities, intensification of cross border terrorist activities and insurgent groups in different parts of the country. Terrorism has now acquired global dimensions and has become the challenge for the whole world. The reach and methods adopted by terrorist groups and organization take advantage of modern means of communication and technology using high tech facilities available in the form of communication system, transport, sophisticated arms and various other means. This has enabled them to strike and create terror among people at will. The criminal justice system of India like Criminal Procedure Code ( Cr.PC) was not designed to deal with such type of heinous crimes. In view of this situation it was felt necessary to make special anti terror laws for giving rigorous punishment for these enmity of the humanity.
There are many laws made in India but there are protests against these laws on the basis of the violation of fundamental rights of the people. In post anti terrorism laws in India, protagonists have, however, hailed the legislation on the ground that it has been effective in ensuring the speedy trial of those accused of indulging in or abeting terrorism. But after some time these laws have been break down in view of human right Violations After 26/11 there is need to much stringent law to end up the terrorist activities.
We have been talking since long about terrorism……. So let us discuss what is terrorism?
History of terrorism in India
Terrorism has been practiced by a broad array of political organisations worldwide. It has been practiced by both right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic & religious groups, revolutionaries, and ruling governments. The symbolism of terrorism can exploit human fear to help achieve their unlawful goals. The concept of terrorism may be controversial as it is often used by state authorities to delegitimize political or other opponents, and potentially legitimize the state’s own use of armed force against opponents.
Terrorism in India begins after it got independence in 1947. Some of the Indian states like Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, all the North East Indian states are worst affected by terrorism. The nexlite activities in Andhra Pradesh, Odisa, Bihar, West Bengal, Chattisgarh & Jharkhand has made the life of people insecure and unstable. The current scenario of terrorism is that growing and is expanding unabated.
Recent incidents of terrorist attacks in India
Since 1947 India got independence till that time ,at least 232 of the country’s 608 districts were afflicted, at differing intensities, by various insurgent and terrorist movements. In current situation there are as many as 800 terrorist organizations operating in the country.
The major incident of terrorist attack on India is
12 March 1993 – Series of 13 bombs go off killing 257
14 March 2003 – Bomb goes off in a train in Mulund killing 10
29 October 2005 Delhi bombings
2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack in Ayodhya
2006 Varanasi bombings
11 July 2006 – Series of seven bombs go off in trains killing
26 November 2008 to 29 November 2008 – Coordinated series of attacks killing at least 170.
This data shows that after 1980, the terrorist activities are increased in India. India has fourgh a war against the terrorism and in these wars we have lost more then 6000 people. We have already lost more then 70000 civilians. In addition, we have lost more then 9000 security personnel. Almost six lakh people in this country have become homeless as a result of terrorism.
Laws related to terrorism in India
Terrorism has immensely affected India. The reasons for terrorism in India may vary vastly from religious cause and other things like poverty, unemployment and not developed etc.
The Supreme Court of India took a note of it in Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab  3 SCC 569, where it observed that the country has been in the firm grip of spiraling terrorist violence and is caught between deadly pangs of disruptive activities.
Anti-terrorism laws in India have always been a subject of much controversy. One of the arguments is that these laws stand in the way of fundamental rights of citizens guaranteed in Part III of the Constitution. The anti-terrorist laws have been enacted before by the legislature and upheld by the judiciary though not without reluctance. The intention was to enact these statutes and bring them in force till the situation improves. The intention was not to make these drastic measures a permanent feature of law of the land. But because of continuing terrorist activities, the statutes have been reintroduced with requisite modifications.
At present, the legislations in force to check terrorism in India are the National Security Act, 1980 and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. There have been other anti-terrorism laws in force in this country a different points in time. The measure laws are that
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967
The UAPA was designed to deal with associations and activities that questioned the territorial integrity of India. The ambit of the Act were strictly limited to meeting the challenge to the territorial integrity of India. The Act was a self-contained code of provisions for declaring secessionist associations as unlawful, adjudication by a tribunal, control of funds and places of work of unlawful associations, penalties for their members etc. The Act has all along been worked holistically as such and is completely within the purview of the central list in the 7th Schedule of the Constitution.
Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 (TADA)
The second major act came into force on 3 September 1987 was The Terrorist & Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act 1987 this act had much more stringent provisions then the UAPA and it was specifically designed to deal with terrorist activities in India. When TADA was enacted it came to be challenged before the Apex Court of the country as being unconstitutional. The Supreme Court of India upheld its constitutional validity on the assumption that those entrusted with such draconic statutory powers would act in good faith and for the public good in the case of Kartar Singh vs State of Punjab (1994) 3 SCC 569. However, there were many instances of misuse of power for collateral purposes. The rigorous provisions contained in the statute came to be abused in the hands of law enforcement officials. TADA lapsed in 1995.
The Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999 (MCOCA)
Other major Anti-terrorist law in India is The Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999 which was enforced on 24th April 1999. This law was specifically made to deal with rising organized crime in Maharashtra and especially in Mumbai due to the underworld. For instance, the definition of a terrorist act is far more stretchable in MCOCA than under POTA. MCOCA mention organized crime and what is more, includes `promotion of insurgency’ as a terrorist act. Under the Maharashtra law a person is presumed guilty unless he is able to prove his innocence. MCOCA does not stipulate prosecution of police officers found guilty of its misuse. .
Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002
With the intensification of cross-border terrorism and the continued offensive agenda of Pak ISI targeted at destabilizing India and the post 11th September developments, it became necessary to put in place a special law to deal with terrorist acts. Accordingly, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA, 2002) was enacted and notified on 28.03.2002. though the same has also seen respected.
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2004
It would however be simplistic to suggest, as some critics did, that the new law has retained all the operational teeth of POTA or it has made only cosmetic changes. The difference between POTA and UAPA is substantial even as a lot of provisions are in common.
The anti terrorism legislation also failed to gave punishment to terrorist. In many times the anti terrorism laws not gave punishment due to some problem.
There is need of anti terrorism legislation in India. The usual arguments that are trotted out against an anti-terrorism law are that the law is misused, that acts of terrorism could not be prevented even when we had such a law, and that the existing laws are adequate to deal with terror. All these are specious. If a law is misused, the answer lies in punishing those who abuse its provisions and not dismantling the law itself. Those arguing that the existing laws are adequate are either deluding themselves or saying so for extraneous reasons. In the wake of 9/11, the US enacted the PATRIOT Act, which gave sweeping powers to the domestic law enforcement and the intelligence agencies.
These to fight the terrorism there is need of strong anti terrorism legislation.