National convention to protest against the passage of the Chhattisgarh Public Safety Act, 2005

National convention to protest against the passage of the Chhattisgarh Public Safety Act, 2005

Dear friends,

We would like to invite you to a National convention at Raipur on the 24th and
25th of June, 2006, to protest against the passage of the Chhattisgarh Public
Safety Act 2005, as well as to commemorate the anniversary of the imposition of
the Internal Emergency in 1975. To our minds, the passage of this draconian Act
harks back to the dark days of the Emergency when all democratic rights and
legal safeguards available to the ordinary citizen stood suspended.

You perhaps know that in its session in December 2005, the Chhattisgarh Vidhan
Sabha passed the Chhattisgarh Special PublicSecurity Act 2005 (CSPSA), when the
main opposition party, the Indian National Congress, had staged a walkout on the
Kunkuri Rice Scam. The Statement of Object and Reasons of the legislation states
that this law required to be enacted "to keep a control on organizations and
individuals who engage in disruptive activities and create an atmosphere of
terror and fear thereby having an adverse impact on the security and development
of the State."

On 17th March 2006, the President has given assent to the Bill, and the
Chhattisgarh Government has issued the notification on 21st March 2006, thus
making it an Act. The Act has many arbitrary features including its definition
of "illegal" and "unlawful" activities and so called "support" to organizations
engaged in illegal activities. The Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005
violates the provisions of the Constitution of India and is in utter disregard
of the principles of criminal jurisprudence.

Many organizations have joined us in pointing out the illegal and repressive
features of the said Act. These include The Communist Part of India (CPI), The
Communist Party of India (ML),The Communist Party of India(ML-Liberation), the
Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha , Nadi Ghati Morcha, Baiga Mahapanchayat (Lormi), Ekta
Parishad (Kanker), Dalit Mukti Morcha, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), All
Indian Peace & Solidarity Organisation, Chhattisgarh Mahila Jagriti Sangathan
(CMJS), Chhattisgarh Bal Shramik Sangathan (CBSS), and the Commonwealth Human
Rights Initiative (CHRI).

The PUCL Chhattisgarh organized a national convention at Bilaspur on at which
the following resolution was unanimously adopted:

The Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005 (CSPSA) is
Anti-Constitutional, Anti-Democratic, And Anti-People and is an extremely
repressive law, under which any form of democratic protest is being declared
"unlawful activity" and any group protesting shall be declared "unlawful". By
including terms like "tendency" and "encouragement" in the definition of the
crime, the Government is bound to use its discretion and misuse it for settling
scores with its political opponents. The Act denies legal recourse to relief to
the victimized persons, and provides for two to seven years of imprisonment
without proof of intent or definite act to commit certain acts. Even the
journalists and other media persons publishing reports or interviews about
banned organisations would also be punished under the Black Law. Enacting this
law while deliberately ignoring the comments and amendments to TADA and POTA by
the Supreme Court, the National Human Rights Commission and the
Parliament, the CSPSA is more repressive than any of the above-mentioned black
laws. Various political parties, people’s organisations, journalist's
associations and national/international human rights organizations have strongly
protested against the CSPSA. The State Government's draconian designs and motive
are clearly reflected in the fact that it has already banned some organizations
under the CSPSA, while the Advisory Board has not yet been constituted under the
law. Especially the ban on Adivasi Balak Sangh raises definite doubts that in
the tribal-dominated areas even children below the age of 18 years would be
arrested. Thus, this Convention categorically demands that the “Chhattisgarh
Special Public Security Act 2005” be repealed forthwith, and calls upon all
democratic people's organisations and political parties to jointly launch a
national campaign in protest against this Black Law. If necessary, the CSPSA
would not only be challenged in the Supreme Court of

India but in the International Legal Forums for violation of international
conventions and international standards set up for the human rights.

At the convention, also a decision to organize a major signature campaign
asking for a Judicial repeal of the act was undertaken. So far over 5000
signatures have been collected from all over Chhattisgarh and from outside the
state. Also, since the enactment of the law, two people have been arrested under
its provisions. Among them one is a girl student of class XII.

We would now like to invite you to Raipur to review the serious situation
arising from the passage of the Act, to demonstrate our collective solidarity to
oppose this Act, and to plan our strategy for the future.

An Outline of the Programme
24th June (Saturday)
Morning Session:Purpose of the Convention,An Introduction to the Black
Law,Reports on Action Taken (Both by the Government and the Human Rights &
Democratic Organisations)
Evening Session : Public(hall) Meeting (Asheervad Bhawan)

25thJune (Sunday)
Morning Session:Convention Deliberations (Contd), Statements &
Resolutions, Strategies & Agenda for Future

Evening Session:A Mass Rally & Public Meeting (At Moti Bagh, Raipur)

Venue:Ashirwaad Bhawan, Byron Bazaar,Raipur

Accomodation is arranged at the venue itself.
We hope you will be in a position to respond to our appeal and be with us in
this time of crisis.

With Regards
Rajendra Sail,
Binayak Sen
0771- 4001697

Click here for PUDR Report on Public Safety Act